Chancellor pledges £71m to help digital tax roll-out

Plans to transform the tax system through digital technology, which were first outlined in last year’s Budget, have moved a step closer after the chancellor announced a raft of measures in his latest Budget.

In his eighth Budget George Osborne announced that £71m of extra funding is to be made available to improve the service HMRC provides to tax payers. The money will be used to fund an extended service that will include extended hours and Sunday opening on online services and tax and tax credit phone lines – by 2017.

Money will also be used, the government says, to enhance existing telephone services and slash call waiting times by recruiting an extra 800 new call centre staff.



Furthermore, the latest announcements mean that, from 2018, landlords and the self-employed who keep digital tax records can adopt a pay-as-you-go payment plan.

Commenting in Accountancy Age, Geraint Jones, head of private client tax services at BKL, said: “Anything that improves the service that HMRC offers to taxpayers in terms of quality of service and extended opening hours can only be a good thing.”

The government has said it will consult on the measures later this year alongside deeper details of the Making Tax Digital programme.

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