HMRC Ramps Up Digital Tax Plans

HM Revenue & Customs is working to offer free software to small businesses as the department prepares to fully digitise the UK tax system.

The department has launched a series of public consultations on various strands of digital tax, such as tax administration, the use of third-party information and ensuring businesses are ready for a digital shift. 

The consultations include advice on how digital record keeping should operate and where exemptions might be put in place.

HMRC is collaborating with software developers to offer free software to small businesses that are not using digital systems and may not be able to afford to buy a system.

HMRC’s interim digital director, Brigid McBride, said the department won’t be building or offering its own product but that there is a “clear commitment that free software will be available”.

She added: “We have worked with industry through our digital advisory group and come up with a proposal of the definition of an organisation that would qualify for free software.

“We don’t want the software to be a barrier for startups or small businesses, and we are working with developers on how to make the option of offering free software commercially viable for them.”

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