Editor in Chief (interim) AccountingWEB
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Your chance to feed back on HMRC digital services

Two tax bodies have launched an online survey to explore how they and their clients access HMRC’s online services.

10th Mar 2020
Editor in Chief (interim) AccountingWEB
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The CIOT and its taxation technicial partner body ATT are running a survey asking practitioners how well HMRC Online services are working for them.

The tax department’s online taxpayer accounts and agent portals are part of a long-term digital transformation project that predates, but supports the Making Tax Digital initiative. But as visitors to AccountingWEB’s Any Answers page may have detected, progress towards this goal has not always been smooth.

In the old days, most accountants just logged into HMRC online services using their clients’ credentials and passwords. This approach is no longer tenable in the era of heightened cybersecurity and general data protection regulations (GDPR). HMRC has created a new set of online tax accounts for businesses and taxpayers, while practitioners still use a combination of facilities accessed via the government web gateway and its successor the Agent Services Account.

This means tax advisers cannot see their clients' Personal Tax Accounts (PTA). Accountants have asked for years to be able to see what their clients can see, and while tax department acknowledges their needs, the evolution of agent services fed to commercial software via HMRC’s application programming interfaces has been a slow process.

The two tax bodies have launched an online survey to dig into these scenarios. As well as asking about clients’ use of online tax accounts, the survey touches on digital agent authorisation.

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