HMRC announces efficiency drive to help SMEs


HM Revenue & Customs has announced
proposals to help small businesses settle their tax affairs more
efficiently. The ‘Delivering a new relationship with business’ document,
outlines a package of amendments designed to transform its relationship with
business, including measures to allow companies to settle their tax affairs
sooner, reducing the burden of forms and inspections.

HMRC is also undertaking a consultation exercise on its efforts to create a
new management act that will modernise and simplify the legislative framework
for the administration of taxes.

Paul Gray, acting chairman of HMRC, said: ‘Taxpayers, practitioners and HMRC
will all benefit from making the tax system as transparent and efficient as
possible. We want our stakeholders to help us to produce an Act that delivers
the streamlined legislation and clearer guidance which will benefit everybody.’

HMRC is aiming to have the three-pronged delivery plan in place by 2010-2011.
The plans focus on aligning the enquiry window with the submission of the tax
return, enabling businesses to settle their tax affairs sooner. The agency hopes
this will significantly reduce the administrative burden in dealing with tax

The system will also develop a single customer record showing all of a
company’s dealings with HMRC in one place. HMRC also announced plans to update
its online filing system and improve the services that it provides for agents
and tax advisers.

Paul Gray,
added: ‘We have made real progress in reducing the burdens on
but I recognise we still have a lot to do to deliver the sort of step-change in
customer experience that businesses are looking for. Today’s paper details what
we aim to achieve over the next four years to make the new relationship with
business a reality.’

Related links:

SMEs hurt by delays in registering for VAT

Accounting standard for SMEs poorly constructed 

Related reading