VP of Business Development Circit
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HMRC receives first Open Banking payment

Not only has HMRC awarded a £3m Open Banking contract to Ecospend but an untied customer has made the first Open Banking-enabled payment to HMRC. Dudley Gould examines how Open Banking is shaping the future of how taxpayers file and pay their taxes. 

24th Feb 2021
VP of Business Development Circit
Columnist
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Open Banking
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February 2021 has been an important month for Open Banking and HMRC. HMRC has awarded a £3m Open Banking contract to fintech startup Ecospend to improve its payment functionality. 

On the same day, personal tax app untied announced that one of its users had made the first-ever open banking enabled tax payment to HMRC. Shortly after, the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) announced that over three million people and businesses across the UK are using open banking enabled apps and services.

Ecospend, a young fintech offering open banking data (AISP) and payments (PISP), has been awarded the Open Banking contract by HMRC to make it easier and more secure for taxpayers to pay HMRC. Ecospend has avoided public attention up until now.

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Replies (16)

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By Mrbailey
25th Feb 2021 09:35

Oh jesus.

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By Mrbailey
25th Feb 2021 09:35

Oh jesus.

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By RogerMT
25th Feb 2021 09:42

"In the not too distant future, tax software should be able to fully automate the process for taxpayers by using Open Banking technology to read your bank transactions, file your tax returns automatically and securely make payments to HMRC."
Truly frightening! These people do not live in the real world.

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Replying to RogerMT:
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By North East Accountant
25th Feb 2021 16:50

Love to see how that will work with Delboy down the market.

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Chris Caspell CTA TEP
By ccaspell
25th Feb 2021 09:48

“ In the not too distant future, tax software should be able to fully automate the process for taxpayers by using Open Banking technology to read your bank transactions, file your tax returns automatically and securely make payments to HMRC.”

I do wonder if these fintechs have any idea how it all works. What have bank transactions to do with what goes onto a tax return? Surely they are merely just a part of it?

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By JBar
25th Feb 2021 10:09

"In the not too distant future, tax software should be able to fully automate the process for taxpayers by using Open Banking technology to read your bank transactions,.."

Admittedly, I now need glasses, but I never had a problem reading bank transactions myself. In any case, since when does simply reading a bank ledger/s on its own produce an account of an overall financial position and the tax consequences of it?

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Replying to JBar:
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By The Mad Fox
25th Feb 2021 10:42

Absolutely, where do any cash transactions fit in?

That apart, Open Banking and MTD are the most unwelcome crackpot changes in the history of professional practice.

Does anyone agree or am I on my own?

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
25th Feb 2021 10:39

Ah the old "simplicity" of filing a mind boggling numbers of returns for no apparent reason.

its ok "the computer" will do it all.

It should be mandatory for anyone designing this stuff to spend a week in an accountants office.

They might change their minds once the penny drops as to what we actually do.

Absolutely no idea what so ever. At no point do they think "could my ancient mum (probably about 55) do this?"

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By GardenGirl666
25th Feb 2021 10:53

Agreed that hands on experience should be mandatory for these developers. I take exception to the 55=ancient! I am over 55 and am still keeping up with HMRCs latest moves to replace the humble bookkeeper with AI. There's an ancient adage, GIGO and I fear that relying on data reading software without any intelligent oversight will end up benefitting HMRC and costing the taxpayer dear.

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Replying to GardenGirl666:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
26th Feb 2021 16:36

@Garden girl, I am nearly 50 myself, I was referring to the point of view of these young developers who seem to think everyone has a mobile phone (and is highly proficient with it), everyone has high level of broadband connectivity, and everyone loves and adores using digital tools, as that is their little millennial bubble they live in.

The world is just not like that for millions of people in this country, and forcing everyone down the millennial digital route is not helpful. it might be fine for them, but for many people setting up a ZOOM call is beyond them.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By GardenGirl666
25th Feb 2021 14:26

Fair point - it took me a couple of minutes to work out how to get video as well as sound!

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Replying to GardenGirl666:
Morph
By kevinringer
25th Feb 2021 13:16

GIGO is the alternative spelling for MTD.

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By HarryB
25th Feb 2021 17:29

(I'm 54 next month so I'm pleased to learn that I'm still young and can use a [email protected] properrlee - even the psell checker.)

I just can't believe that people actually believe the drivel they write about how easy MTD will be. I've spent the last 30 years helping intelligent, professional people through the labyrinth of the UK tax system - and I'm busier today than I've ever been. Why? Because despite all the promises, and AI developments - computers cannot make judgments, they don't understand the nuances of accounts and tax. Human input and guidance is needed - and to some extent, as things get more complicated, even more human input is needed -to sanity check the programmed, limited decision making ability of computers.

Open Banking - what???
'By leveraging Open Banking, Ecospend allows taxpayers to make payments to HMRC directly, quickly and securely.' Yes - do that already - its dead easy and takes a couple of seconds. How is OB going to automate that for me. And am I happy for that automation?

20 years after we've gone through the car crash that will be MTD, so in 2043, some bright super millennial will say - 'I know what's easier than doing 5 Returns a year! Why don't we simplify it to 1 a year! 80% less errors, more tax collected and easier for taxpayers to cope with.....'

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By Ian McTernan CTA
26th Feb 2021 12:51

The combination of Making Tax Digital, Open Banking and untied’s technology will bring taxpayers simplicity, ease and confidence.

HA HA HA....it's almost like these people walk around with blinkers on with no concept of the real world.

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Replying to Ian McTernan CTA:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
26th Feb 2021 16:36

I think they just talk to each other in their own echo chambers, and the senior bods in organisations at HMRC's side and the ICAEW's and other institutes sides are so lack in understanding on tech issues they are too scared to call it out, for fear of being seen as out of touch with the modern world.

Its the classic, I don't understand it, so I will be seem to being with it, as it seems like the right thing to be behind rather than a dinosaur.

The whole machinery of HMRC is dismissing objections as it we are all really thick luddites to be ignored.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
Morph
By kevinringer
26th Feb 2021 16:44

The Emperor's New Clothes

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