NIC and benefits toolkits get interactive checklists

Alongside its twice-yearly technology upgrade this month, HMRC introduced new interactive features in two of its most popular Agent Toolkits:

The PDF documents are designed to help tax advisers reduce the errors that most commonly crop up with clients’ tax returns. Since their introduction as a pilot project in 2009 the 20 toolkits HMRC has assembled have proved to be popular with accountants.

The guidance they contain does not have statutory force, but the efficiently packaged advice has proved helpful for tax practitioners. HMRC found in a survey that two-thirds of practitioners found the kits useful for limiting mistakes and in her most recent article, Jennifer Adams recommended the toolkits as a training aid for tax staff.

Partly on the basis of its practitioner research, HMRC has started to enhance the toolkits to include an completable checklist that the user can print out or save into the client’s file.

The other 18 toolkits will get similar functionality as they go through their next annual upgrades, the department said.