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HMRC is struggling to deliver its promise of digital tax services

Last updated on Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Written by Alex Cadman

Tech Week Europe recently reported that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and its plans to digitalise tax services may have been ‘over-optimistic’.


According to the National Audit Office (NAO), HMRC has failed to address an overestimation of the number of staff reductions that would be made when the new digital systems went live. Described as ‘over-optimistic’, their plans to change so much and all at once has come under scrutiny.

HMRC has also not fully estimated the costs that would be passed down to taxpayers as a result of developing and implementing the new digital systems.

The NAO previously commented in a report: “HMRC was over-optimistic about how much change it could deliver all at once, and how fast it could reduce the demand for telephone contact in particular.”

While moving tax services over to the digital realm is a big project, it is crucial that HMRC get it right in order to protect the information and confidentiality of hundreds of thousands of businesses and contractors in the UK. As more and more business processes are becoming digital, cyber security is now more of a necessity than an add-on.

Digital tax services are coming as part of HMRC’s ten year plan to close 137 of its 170 offices as it strives to move most of its taxpayer interactions online.

What do you think about HMRC’s plan to make tax services digital? Leave us a comment below.

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