A brave new world or a brave new marketing department?

HMRC’s New Digital Tax System

HMRC has issued its new singing dancing 10-year plan and I had to smile as I read it because whilst it never used the term “World Beating” it settled for being “one of the best tax authorities in the world” and just stopped short of saying “never knowingly undersold”.

I urge you to have a read because as an exercise in marketing, it’s very good and reads very well like a good prospectus full of how well we have done but with still room for improvement to tempt us.

Some terms made us smile How about this “A modern and digital approach will also help to maintain trust in the tax system” I don’t doubt for a moment that a digital approach is a future and I don’t and won’t argue against it’s increase but I take umbrage in the use of “maintain trust” as let’s be honest trust in the tax system has been eroded for some time now, especially as regards towards Accountants and it is most definitely at a level that needs “Maintaining” rather it needs “Improving”.

Whilst congratulating themselves on being “widely praised for the speed and effectiveness of delivery of the CJRS and the SEISS” no mention of course of the decision to specifically exclude accountants for the SEISS thus turning us into a citizen’s advice bureaux with the result being that we became embroiled in helping and giving information when it would have taken less time to have actually made the claim on behalf of our clients. All this of course was the exact opposite of the CJRS where we were given access and have helped millions of claimants get their dues whilst at the same time being warned of the dire consequences of being party to any fraudulent claims.

The claim is that “For the majority of businesses, tax will be made more straightforward and harder to get wrong.” Surly is stating the raging bloody obvious and equally surly shouldn’t need saying but here it is again how easy is it to get wrong? Well just look at all the if, but’s and ends in a list of tax rates and allowances.

As a piece of marketing rhetoric it reads very well, it says all the right things some could say it ticks all the right boxes and somewhere in the bowels of HMRC GCHQ a group of marketeers are slapping themselves on the back knowing they have provided their lords and masters with the sort of document that pleases everybody of importance without actually understanding what is the reality.

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