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‘Live’ online tax accounts set to kick off

PERSONAL TAX ACCOUNTS will be available online to the British public from mid-December.

The accounts are intended to offer taxpayers a joined-up view of their tax position, enabling instant updating of their information, alongside new services such as ‘web chat’ and a ‘virtual assistant’.

The announcement comes as part of the ‘Making Tax Digital‘ launch by financial secretary to the Treasury David Gauke (pictured) at HMRC’s stakeholder conference in London – with HMRC aiming to offer a fully digital tax service by 2020.

“Giving customers the ability to manage their tax affairs online is our latest step towards a fully digital tax system. This government is determined to revolutionise how we deliver public services and the tax system is no exception,” said Gauke.

“By 2020, HMRC will be a world-leading tax administration that is efficient, effective and easier for customers to use, enabled by £1.3bn of extra investment announced in November’s Autumn Statement.”

There are four key planks to the Making Tax Digital offering:

  • Tax simplification
  • Tax all in one place
  • Making tax digital for individual taxpayers
  • Making tax digital for businesses

Advisers have previously questioned the ambitious timetable that had been set to digitise the tax system, warning that HMRC has a less than impressive record of managing and implementing IT projects.

“I’ve yet to see HM Revenue & Customs display any capability whatsoever that it would be able to cope with monthly figures,” Elaine Clark, founder of CheapAccounting.com, told Accountancy Age in March.

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