By establishing a common standard for an XML message (a computer language used on the internet), software companies will now be able to develop programs allowing filing of a number of different Inland Revenue forms and returns.
In April this year, the Revenue is expected to introduce services allowing self-assessment returns via the internet, and throughout the next two years the range of services offered on the web is expected to rise.
BASDA is working with a number of software vendors on applications which will utilise the new XML standards that have been agreed with the government. These vendors, including Transactions Technology and Forbes Computer Systems, hope to offer personal tax software that will be capable of filing returns.
Chief executive of BASDA, Dennis Keeling, said: ‘By April, we will have completed the development of the first elements of the self-assessment forms based on the BASDA XML standard and have tested them as far as we are able outside the live environment.’