Tuesday, 14 April 2015

@gdsteam invent the right angle

Here's a selection of GDS posts and a film in the week leading up to purdah:

24-03-2015
Janet Hughes
25-03-2015
Chris Mitchell
25-03-2015
Janet Hughes
25-03-2015
Janet Hughes
26-03-2015
Janet Hughes and Stephen Dunn
26-03-2015
Mike Bracken
27-03-2015
David Rennie
27-03-2015
Mike Bracken
27-03-2015
Mike Beavan
28-03-2015
Mike Bracken
28-03-2015
Mike Bracken
29-03-2015
Mike Bracken
29-03-2015
Liam Maxwell
30-03-2015
Martha Lane Fox

Let's take a look at Chris Mitchell's 25 March 2015 offering. It won't take long.

Digital self-assessment is ready to go live. That's Chris's message:
The Digital Self-Assessment service has passed its live Digital by Default Service Standard Assessment. You can now access this via your tax dashboard online. It will make self-assessment fully digital for about 10 million people.
"10 million people". That's a lot of people. "Tax dashboard"? Clearly this is something to do with tax, self-assessment, tax returns, ... Digital self-assessment. It's big:
This exemplar service has been public beta since June 2014 and we have over 1.24 million customers ...
Hang on a minute. "June 2014"?

This service Chris Mitchell is talking about was first released to the public in June 2014?

But DMossEsq clearly remembers receiving his user ID for Self Assessment Online, as Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs called it then, all of seven years ago. You can see HMRC's letter dated 31 January 2008 when they sent DMossEsq's user ID and activation PIN for the service.

So just what is this service that Chris Mitchell, a service manager for GDS, has been incubating for months and years?

Take a look at his 25 March 2015 blog post. What he and his team claim to have added to the work already done by HMRC is an option to go paperless. You were already able to submit returns on-line. You could already see your old returns on-line and HMRC's letters calculating how much you owed them and their new tax codes for you, year by year. That was already on-line.

What Chris and the team seem to have added is a switch to do it all on-line, don't send the taxpayer a letter, send them an email instead. That's fine, as far as it goes.

But that's not what people are going to understand from "it will make self-assessment fully digital for about 10 million people" – which is that Chris and the team have just made self-assessment fully digital for about 10 million people. They haven't and it's misleading to suggest in any way that they have.

"Ready for Live: Digital Self-Assessment"? Obviously you weren't going to fall for that inadvertent sleight of hand. But there are MPs out there, and even Cabinet Secretaries, who might. Not to mention impressionable people in Australia and the US.

----------

Updated 15.4.15

Hat tip Bryan Glick, extract from the The Conservative Party Manifesto 2015 (p.49):
We have already created 20 high-quality digital services, which include apprenticeships applications and tax self-assessments. We will save you time, hassle and money by moving more services online, while actively tackling digital exclusion. We will ensure digital assistance is always available for those who are not online, while rolling out cross-government technology platforms to cut costs and improve productivity – such as GOV.UK.
The "tax self-assessments" facility mentioned there was available in early 2007 and possibly before that.

1 comment:

sp calvin said...

There is quite a lot of information available on the Internet if you further want to gain a better picture about how to go about this whole process of signing digitally. Apart from that, if you want information about the process of e-filing, you can surely do a small research and get all your doubts clarified. Most of the organizations have already started this practice and you can surely contact the financial department of your organization in order to know more information about the whole practice.http://www.mordocrosswords.com/2015/07/submit-paperless-return.html

Post a Comment