Tuesday 6 August 2013

Hall Outlines HMRC's Challenges Ahead

Mark Hall, HMRC's outgoing Chief Information Officer (CIO) has given his incoming replacement (Mark Dearnley) some advice about the major challenges facing HMRC for when he arrives in October from Vodafone.

HMRC is currently working on systems consolidation that will reduce the number of systems serving the former Customs & Excise side of the organisation by 300. Hall states in Computing that part of the aim of the consolidation programmes has been to clear the way to put more taxes online, in a more integrated manner as HMRC aims for the "cloud".

Hall is quoted:
"We already have 200 online services. These are primarily targeted at business 'customers'. They are things like VAT, for example, or they are targeting things like self-assessment. Our ambition is to consolidate them even further and start to look at individual and personal taxpayers in the next wave of digitisation." 
HMRC hopes that the digitisation process will cut the number of paper filings and phone calls taxpayers have to make to HMRC and, therefore, will eventually save some £50M annually in administrative costs.

As per Hall:
"Going forward, we will be targeting our personal tax customers more. We have four key exemplar projects we are running in this area. The first one is PAYE [pay as you earn] online, which will ultimately deliver an online service to 39 million individual taxpayers.

You could go online to inform us that you have got a new company car, for example, so the service is targeted at providing the information you already get on paper, but in an online experience, and giving people a simple route to log simple changes and changes of circumstances.

The second one is called 'My Tax for Business', which will provide an online portal for business so that they can see all of their taxes in one place - a bit like online banking... If you're a business, you will be able to go into one place and administer all your taxes from one place.

The third one is paperless self-assessment. Self-assessment is already online, but you still receive a piece of paper asking you to file.

The final one is for agents and intermediaries, to enable them to act and support their customers in a similar way. As their customers have moved online, we need to move agents online as well - enabling the agents to do the same thing as their clients."
These projects are very ambitious, especially given that HMRC are still in the process of rolling out RTI. In Hall's opinion RTI is:
"absolutely on track".
So there we are, the new CIO has quite a task ahead of him; it is therefore very kind of Hall to help guide Dearnley in this manner.

My question to the staff members of HMRC, how are the above projects going thus far?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. "They are things like VAT, for example."

    If I worked in the VAT administration process side of things I might start looking elsewhere for employment.

  2. Vodaphone, didn't they employ as head of tax a certain John Connors an ex. colleague of one Dave Hartnett who signed off on an "arrangement" regarding tax and Vodaphone? Or was that all imagination?
    Of course, no conflict of interest chaps, eh, what!

    BTW, anyone notice what appeared to be Hartnett in the front row of the "Silent Ceremony" part of Stephen Fry's Keys to the City - re-ran it and he appears at 15:18, if it is he, looking at the camera as the audience in the Guildhall stands?

    G4S running the firefighting at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Kenya. Obviously fu@king up big time on Olympic security hasn't stopped their progress then? What next I wonder, G4S policing the borders, protecting the revenue? Aren't they alreafy doing security on estate used by HMRC?