Tax bodies publish ‘principles of digitalisation’

Digital Services: Tax bodies publish ‘principles of digitalisation’
22 May 2024

CIOT and ATT have welcomed the start of a new pilot to test the Making Tax Digital for Income Tax Self-Assessment programme, but have concerns regarding the standards used to evaluate digital services.

The two bodies have published seven ‘Principles of Tax Digitalisation’ which they say are a benchmark against which digital tax services should be measured.

Alison Kerrey, Chair of the joint CIOT and ATT Digitalisation and Agent Services Committee, commented: ‘We support moves towards digitalisation of the tax system. However, there is still real concern about the implementation of this programme, whether it will meet its objectives, and the risk of it contributing to further degradation of HMRC’s already poor service levels.

‘Before signing up clients to the pilot, agents should carefully check they meet the eligibility requirements, and that they, their client and their software provider are ready to participate.

‘HMRC should assess the MTD for ITSA pilot, and the ongoing implementation of the MTD programme, against these general principles for tax digitalisation, with check-points to ensure that these principles are being met. Failure to adhere to them could result in increased costs, poor implementation, unmet policy goals and a significant loss of trust in the tax system.’

CIOT and ATT principles of tax digitalisation

A digitalised tax system should:

1. Enhance existing processes
2. Be cost and resource efficient
3. Be secure
4. Be integrated and adaptable
5. Accommodate agents
6. Be simple, tested and co-created
7. Accommodate accessibility requirements