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HMRC to roll out new contractor accountant aid

This spring, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs will be rolling out a brand new pilot programme in the North East to make taxes easier for the self-employed.

HMRC recently announced the new scheme, which will run for seven months, with an eye towards giving contract workers face to face and telephone access to skilled and qualified accountancy experts that can help them stay on the right side of the taxman. The phone service is quite noteworthy because it will support several experts to meet with a taxpayer at the same time on one single call, even if the freelancer has a myriad of issues; no longer will a customer have to be transferred from one expert to another or wait in long phone queues, HMRC plans.

The revamped phone network is most definitely the star in HMRC’s tiara as far as their new scheme is concerned, but when there are issues that cannot be resolved by ringing up even the most skilled of experts, the tax authority also has plans to make in-person help available as well. In this way everyone should be able to get the help they need – theoretically anyway. I suppose we’ll have to wait to see how this pilot programme pans out before we can see this scheme rolled out across the UK.

Meanwhile, contractors living in the North East will have a nice new bit of help when it comes to their tax payments and such. Does anyone else think the North East is a bit of an odd place to run a pilot programme like this, though? I don’t know how many Northumbrian SMEs there are, but apparently there’s just enough for HMRC to get a good idea as to how a large-sale version of their new initiative will work. Seems a bit daft to me, but then again I’m not an overworked and underpaid HMRC employee so I suppose I should just keep my trap shut and let someone else with a bit more authority make the decisions around here.

Oh, who am I kidding? The taxman doesn’t have the best track record with good decisions. Still, I suppose we will have to reserve our judgment for at least a few months following the inception of this new pilot programme, regardless of how much we might want to take the piss out of HMRC. Not that they need any help in that department.

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