HMRC accounts to be available online for SMEs from 2015

5th July 2013 | News

From April 2015, up to two million people and almost five million small businesses will be able to take full control of their tax affairs via their own secure online accounts, following an announcement from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
 
The news comes as HMRC’s Digital Services division recently received a welcome £200 million of Government investment in order to make its digital ambitions a realistic possibility.
 
The chance for SMEs to interact digitally with their tax affairs gives financial departments significantly more control over their bookkeeping and improving efficiencies at meeting filing deadlines.
 
HMRC itself believes the digital system will remove much of the existing red tape, resulting in a more "level playing field" that gives them better opportunity to seek out the minority who continue to flaunt the rules.
 
An online accounts system will give small business owners more time to focus on doing what they do best, instead of being tied down with paperwork and bureaucracy.
 
In terms of customer service, HMRC hopes it digital services will ensure more practical support and advice is delivered online at a reduced cost.
 
David Gauke, exchequer secretary, said: "We want to give people the power to manage their tax affairs online as easily as they manage their bank accounts and this investment of over £200 million will allow HMRC to deliver a digital tax service fit for the 21st Century.
 
"For individuals, this will mean a better understanding of what they are paying and where it is being spent.
 
"For business people, it will give the control over their tax affairs and flexibility to manage them that allows them to focus on growing the business."
 
Lin Homer, chief executive of HMRC, is confident the new digital service will allow firms to interact with HMRC in a manner that suits them.
 
"This investment will enable us to transform our increasingly popular digital services and build a ground-breaking digital tax service,” she said.
 
"We are committed to doing business with our customers in the way they want to do it."