‘Trustworthy’ digital tax system must be created by HMRC, says NAO

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) must increase transparency and consider users in order to gain public trust in its digital tax system, the National Audit Office (NAO) has stated.

Within the Revenue’s recently-released 2015/16 Annual Report and Accounts document, the NAO recommended that HMRC’s digital tax system should be both secure and easy to use.

It also warned that, as HMRC data becomes digitised, it is vital to protect systems against cyber-attacks and data loss.

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Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, commented: ‘HMRC is running a complex and challenging set of change programmes, and aiming to maintain service to taxpayers at the same time.

‘On the one hand, it needs to keep its nerve and commitment to its goals, even if there are occasional setbacks along the way; on the other, it needs to ensure that it does not make the taxpayer underwrite the risk of failure through service breakdowns.’

HMRC has revealed that it aims to create the most digitally-advanced tax system in the world, and has already begun to implement new plans to dramatically transform how it administers tax.

Within the report, HMRC states that the move to the digital tax system will ‘deliver the biggest transformation of the tax system in a generation, making it more effective, efficient and easier for taxpayers’.

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