Technology

Tax / HMRC in-house digital spend hits £73m

Revenue and Customs Digital Technology Services (RCDTS) Ltd, the not-for-profit company set up by HMRC in the wake of the decision to end the outsourced Aspire commercial contract, reported income of £73.7m last year, up from £59.8m the year before

Tax / HMRC promises leniency despite slow take up of Making Tax Digital

HMRC has promised not to throw the book at firms who struggle to register for Making Tax Digital (MTD) as new figures show total take-up lagging in certain sectors

Tax / Lack of accessible software for MTD opens up exemptions

Anyone who cannot find suitably accessible software to comply with the Making Tax Digital for VAT rules should apply to HMRC for a temporary exemption, for example for age or disability reasons, says the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG)

Tax / HMRC plans IT downtime for Making Tax Digital

The newly launched HMRC Making Tax Digital for VAT online reporting service will be unavailable for part of the weekend and for the whole working day on Monday due to IT maintenance

Tax / HMRC cracks down on fake phone calls spoofing taxman

HMRC has deployed new defensive controls to protect abuse of its phone lines in a bid to put an end to fraudster’s spoofing the tax authority’s most recognisable helpline numbers

Tax / EY alliance with Thomson Reuters on digital tax services

EY is teaming up with Thomson Reuters to develop leading-edge, digitally enabled tax services targeted at mulitnationals operating across tax jurisdictions

Tax / HMRC ordered to delete illegally held voice records

HMRC has been given 28 days to delete an estimated five million taxpayer biometric ‘voice prints’ obtained from callers to its helplines, after an investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found they were being held illegally in contravention of data protection rules

Tax / US Congress moves to ban free tax filing software

US lawmakers are planning to pass a bill to prevent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from developing a free electronic tax filing system to help US taxpayers file digitally

Tax / Compliance fears drive increased use of tax technology

Company boards are increasingly concerned about tax compliance and planning, partly because of initiatives such as Making Tax Digital for VAT and automatic exchange of tax information, driving a 20% hike in investment in tax technology

Tax / HMRC’s online inheritance tax service unavailable

HMRC’s online page for inheritance tax (IHT) is currently unavailable, with the department stating it is working with its IT partners to provide an urgent fix for the unspecified difficulties

Tax / Call for 0.5% levy on social media firms to fund mental health support

A cross-party group of MPs is calling for a 0.5% levy on the profits of social media companies, to be used to fund a new Social Media Health Alliance which would work to protect the health and wellbeing of young people

Tax / Taxing cryptocurrency: does the guidance go far enough?

After four years in the making, HMRC decided to put out its updated cryptocurrency for individuals’ guidance at the end of 2019. Amy Austin, reporter at Accountancy Daily, gets industry reaction to see if anything has changed and whether the new guidance goes far enough 

Tax / Ignore email scams promising fake HMRC tax refunds

Scammers are targeting self assessment taxpayers by email claiming they are entitled to tax refunds and asking for bank details to transfer the money

Tax / HMRC sets up innovation team to drive IT collaboration

HMRC is investing more resources in technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and ground-breaking technology with the creation of the first innovation team at the tax authority briefed to collaborate with external IT specialists to develop innovative software to improve tax collection and close the tax gap

Tax / Making Tax Digital: looking to the future

The arrival of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT reporting from April 2019 is forcing businesses to upgrade their accounting practices. David McGeachy and Alison Hobbs of Saffery Champness examine the future plans for the extension of MTD to all taxes
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