A recent report, ‘Reducing costs in HM Revenue & Customs,’ carried out by The National Audit Office (NAO) calls for HMRC to rethink their digital strategy. Using the internet as the first port of call will allow customers to access their records online, removing a third of postal and telephone communications.
Improvements are already underway; an online dashboard for businesses has been introduced allowing tax records to be viewed in the same place. Online VAT registration is also expected to be up and running by the end of 2012. The report also recognises the challenge HMRC face is reducing running costs by GBP1.6bn by 2016.
HMRC plan to take this advice on board and will highlight the changes in their digital strategy report, expected before the New Year. A spokesman said: “Customers usually engage HMRC by the channel of their choice (paper, online, telephone) based on preference, habit or trust, rather than the most cost-effective channel for them and us. Our aim is to change this so that customers who are able to use our digital channel either unsupported or with help choose to use it because the service is quick and gives them certainty, security and reliability. Where customers are unable to access the digital channel even with help, then alternative routes such as paper and telephone will still be made available to them.”
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