Our new Self Assessment tax return preparation app
Like many businesses, we have been using lockdown as a reason to accelerate our adoption of technology and our tax service line is no exception.
Within our Private Client team we are rolling out a new app which will enable our clients to upload personal tax information rather than emailing or posting, and this information will enable us to speed up the process of sending their tax returns to them too.
What can I do on the app?
The app enables users to see the types of information they should upload (including using the prior year as an automatic guide for most clients), it keeps copies of the information uploaded and it enables clients to have a copy of, and then sign, their completed tax returns on their app too.
The app can be downloaded onto a phone, or can be accessed via a web browser on a PC. Copies of backing information needed for the return can be uploaded, and copies of completed tax returns and associated explanatory reports can be downloaded. The app will provide notifications and reminders of tasks which need to be done and sets out where the process is up to.
What is the benefit?
For many of our clients, this will mean that the process of submitting tax return information, and correspondence regarding sign off of the return, can be a “mobile” experience if that is what the individual wishes. The tax return will still be emailed to our clients as normal at the end of the process (or a hard copy posted if preferred). But in terms of the process for those who are happiest using a mobile device as a means of completing tasks and storing copies of information, then this will provide a truly modern experience.
The app is subject to two factor authentication processes and the data is hosted in secure data centres run by one of the world’s leading cloud computing storage providers so the user has peace of mind that data security is of the highest level.
You may have seen similar tax return apps being advertised on television where the advert is promising any tax return, no matter how complex, can be done for a surprisingly low cost. So is that going to be our model too? Not quite.
We believe that your tax affairs require a proper investment of time from highly experienced staff to ensure that not only are your tax affairs are not just easy to input into HMRC’s systems, but more importantly are right and you understand them. The purpose of the app is to make the process of provision of information back and forth more efficient, but it will not replace the involvement of a highly experienced team of professionals to make sure your tax return is simply a step in proactively managing your tax affairs.
When can I use it?
We will be rolling the app out to new clients immediately and will be rolling it out for existing clients for the 2021/2022 tax year where they are happy to use it as a means of providing their tax information.
What can’t I do on the app?
An app can’t deal with HMRC queries, it can’t chase up HMRC when there are issues with repayments and it can’t provide you with advice on more complex matters. An app can’t tell you about the tax implications of a future event which might have an impact on your taxes this year (for example an EIS investment). An app won’t replace the knowledge of a broad range of issues that a good tax adviser can provide.
The app will add to our systems; it won’t replace having an experienced tax adviser who can be contacted in person and who can provide advice to you as well as ensuring your taxes are filed on time and right first time. But for some of our clients, it will make the process of providing tax information to us feel a lot less cumbersome and a little more modern!
What does the app look like?
Please see the below video showing how easy it is to use the app and fill in the 2019/20 tax questionnaire.
The final screenshot shows how the app will look once all of the tasks are completed.
If you need any help or support with the app, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.