GOV.UK seeks tax agent service testers

GOV.UK is seeking tax agents' feedback and user testing as HMRC is gradually phased into the portal.

HMRC's Agent Strategy, stakeholder and engagement team blogged twice in May about wanting feedback on the website's GOV.UK transition. 

It outlined plans to work with the Government Digital Service (GDS) to develop new or updated content for tax credits, child benefit, PAYE and VAT which will soon be available on the site. 

So far, statutory pay and High Income Child Beneift Charge are two areas that have made the transition to GOV.UK from HMRC. 

The team added that it would be developing a new service for technical manuals, and has selected the employment income manual as a test case due to its popularity. A public beta of the new service will be rolled out over the coming months. 

The work to migrate remaining manuals across to GOV.UK will only start after a period of extensive training, it added. 

A subsequent blog responding to comments from practitioners on the first one was then published.

This blog post asked agents for user testing for content formats on the site: "Tagging content to the appropriate organisations, topics and policies is important as it provides users with the ability to navigate around the site and find related content. Let us know if you would like to be involved in any user testing and we’ll look at how we can include you in future sessions.

Feedback from accountants so far on the blog has been a mixed bag: 

"As an accountant," wrote Erica Scott, "I can't say that I'm looking forward to the move to GOV.UK. There's too much scrolling on this site – you lose half a page just on the titles alone – it'd be nice to see everything without having to constantly scroll up and down. Far too much white-space.

"For a while (I mean a few years ago) the HMRC site was actually ok, then they tinkered with the search facility and it's gone downhill since then." 

In contrast, Daniel Chatfield said he "can't wait" for the move to the new portal, due to HMRC being one of the worst sites he has to use.

Comments

I would be a user tester, if I were paid for it...

Jekyll and Hyde | | Permalink

.... but will not offer my services free to a government that quite clearer persist on making my working life a lot harder than it should be.

Never again....

Kazmc | | Permalink

Never again would I offer my services for anything with HMRC. Being in the RTI pilot was enough to put me off for life!!!

raybackler's picture

Google is better    1 thanks

raybackler | | Permalink

I try using the HMRC search facility and it is great at coming up with out of date and irrelevant documents.  It is quicker and more accurate to use Google, who then find the correct links to the HMRC website.  Until they sort this out, I don't care which website is used, because it is effectively useless for everyday use and I will always start with Google.

Democratus's picture

when have HMRC ever listened to "customers"?

Democratus | | Permalink

I predict no effective change. .gov.uk = .hmrc.gov.uk but with more irrelevant stuff for those of us wishing to just view HMRC.

I already don't like .gov.uk - adding more to it will not help me at all.

Cost?

the_Poacher | | Permalink

Wonder how much the move to gov.uk has cost? Doesn't seem to be any better than the old services. Just more spaced out

kevinringer's picture

hmrc.gov.uk search engine better than gov.uk

kevinringer | | Permalink

Type something into the search engines on both sites. Which one returns the more relevant hits? The old one! But generally I use google adding 'site:hmrc.gov.uk' to the end to restrict it to hmrc.gov.uk.

kevinringer's picture

Compare ...

kevinringer | | Permalink

... http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/news/online-services-changes.htm with the same announcement on https://taxagents.blog.gov.uk/2014/04/16/new-look-for-hmrc-online-services/. The former is concise with all quick links etc laid out neatly whereas the latter requires scrolling and the announcement itself is lost in the clutter of the site.

GDS don't care

the_Poacher | | Permalink

GDS totally ignore all input from anyone else as they always know best.