The National Audit Office (NAO) has described HMRC’s push to increase online filing of tax returns as a real achievement, but says it still needs a better understanding of the benefits and costs involved.
According to the new NAO report, HMRC has failed to demonstrate whether it is maximising benefits. It also raises questions over whether the department fully understand the relative costs of dealing with paper and online returns or the costs and benefits of seeking greater take-up.
Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said the programme is largely complete, to time and budget, and is an integral part of the department's drive to increase efficiency. However, he added: “HMRC cannot demonstrate that the benefits are being maximised. Significant improvement is needed in its understanding of costs and benefits to inform future development."
The savings so far from online filing are £126m with an uptake of more than 11.5m taxpayers.