TechnologyAccounting SoftwareTreasury to review use of digital certificates

Treasury to review use of digital certificates

A review is under way into Customs & Excise's policy for accepting digital certificates backing VAT returns, in order to achieve optimum ease of use, while maintaining security.

Financial secretary Paul Boateng told Commons the policy review ‘will take into account any latest advice from the office of the e-envoy’.

He was replying to a question from Tory spokesman David Lidington, who asked ifchancellor Gordon Brown would allow companies to submit online VAT returns direct to Customs without having to obtain a digital certificate from an outside supplier.

Boateng said Customs currently allows any digital certificate approved by the office of the e-envoy to be used with electronic VAT return and that only two organisations have approved products: Equifax and The British Chambers of Commerce.

He said a government recognised approval body must approve the digital certificate service.

Boateng said the government welcomed digital certificates subject to two conditions: the technical interface between the Government Gateway and the service provider could be established and the government could rely upon them contractually.

‘[We] have been, and continue to be, in discussion with a number of potential suppliers to increase the availability of digital certificate services,’ he added.

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