HMRC Tax Credits Beta Given Green Light

May 01, 2014

Following a Government Digital Service (GDS) review, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has been given approval to continue with a public beta of a new tax credits system.

The new process, designed to allow tax credit customers review their claim online, had to be reassessed to ensure the progress it had made was sufficient enough to meet pre-April 2014 criteria.

But, GDS says that HMRC must meet certain requirements in order to proceed to beta development, including a written confirmation by 31st May that the system implements feedback from other channels like contact centres and this informs continuous development.

It was also requested that HMRC ensure user research is used in development and that progress is to be made on recruiting the remainder of the tax credits staff, rather than relying on employees dedicated to other areas.

Besides this, GDS said it was essential that the scheme have a disaster recovery and business contingency plan, both of which must be tested and engaged with its Performance Platform to build a tax credits dashboard.

New Tax Credits System Hits GDS Targets

According to the digital organisation, the main reasons for approving the beta include:

  • the service meets the minimum user needs for a public beta, while rapidly improving user experience
  • it is moving toward the long term goal of a Digital by Default experience for tax credit renewals
  • HMRC has conducted a large amount of formal and informal user research since its last assessment and used this to compile plans for going forward
  • the service has used input from a new content designer who improve itself, making it simpler, clearer and more concise.

GDS also claims that the new system has improved “beyond recognition” from the version reviewed just two weeks before and addresses initial concerns about service usability and user testing.




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