Welcome to the blogosphere, HMRC!

Adam Moody | Partner

It was announced at the end of 2013 that the HM Revenue & Customs had launched a blog in order to improve the way it works with tax agents, taxpayers and practitioners.

Blogging is a 21st Century phenomenon, but it’s only in the last five years that businesses, organisations and bodies have realised the potential of the humble blog. For Raffingers Stuart our blog is a portal for us to share our news and, most importantly, our views – on industry issues, business news and topics of national interest. For our firm it is a way to communicate with our clients and friends in real-time.

So why have HMRC chosen a blog? Well, HMRC’s Director of Business Tax Customer and Strategy, Theresa Middleton, reasoned that they wanted a “more immediate way of getting agents’ views.” With the blog they can keep people up-to-date all of the time. Their blog, titled ‘HMRC working with tax agents’, contains details of the services available for agents, as well as details of joint HMRC and agent consultative meetings, the rollout of HMRC’s Tax Agent Strategy, and improvements to HMRC services through working together with agents. And, after inspecting the blog for myself I have to admit I’m impressed. There’s already over a dozen entries with everything from news and advice to helpful case studies – I can already foresee this becoming the go-to resource for tax information.

What’s interesting is that Theresa Middleton said the move to blogging was an example of the new digital services for customers and agents that are being introduced in the next couple of years. That got me thinking, what is next? HMRC are already on twitter – and with 90,004 followers they have more fans than Paulinho…(apologies, had to get a Spurs reference in there somewhere!) So, how much more ‘digital’ can they go?

Are we set to see HMRC making and sharing their own ‘how-to’ Instagram videos? Or are we to see the HMRC team getting in on YouTube viral trends such as the Harlem Shake? Well, perhaps not…. But you can’t blame a man for pondering what’s next.

Back to reality…for those of you who haven’t checked out the blog yet go and [https://taxagents.blog.gov.uk](judge for yourself).