RegulationNov 25 2015

Osborne to invest £1.3bn in digital drive for HMRC

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Osborne to invest £1.3bn in digital drive for HMRC

The government will invest £1.3bn into making HMRC “one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world”, George Osborne has said.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer told the House of Commons in his Autumn Statement that HMRC will have access to digital tax accounts for all small businesses and individuals by 2016/17.

He added that by 2020 the government will require most businesses, self-employed people and landlords to keep track of their tax affairs digitally and update HMRC at least quarterly via their digital tax account.

Mr Osborne said: “In the digital age, we don’t need taxpayers to pay for paper processing, or 170 separate tax offices around the country.

“We’re going to build one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world.”

Mr Osborne also set a new target of reducing the costs to business of tax administration by £400m by the end of 2019/20.

HMRC will ensure the availability of free apps and software that link securely to HMRC systems and provide support to those who need help using digital technology.

The Autumn Statement also said HM Treasury would consult on options to simplify the payment of taxes, including whether to align payment dates and bring them closer to the point when profits arise, so taxpayers make a single regular payment that covers all their tax affairs.

Mr Osborne added: “From 2019, once those digital accounts are up and running, we’ll require capital gains tax to be paid within 30 days of completion of any disposal of residential property.”

This requirement will be introduced from April 2019.

Meanwhile £800m will be spent on additional work to tackle evasion and non-compliance in the tax system, delivering an additional £7.2bn over the next five years.