Digital Working Together – time to get involved
Susan Cattell outlines a great opportunity to have your say on issues affecting you and other agents working with HMRC. Your input is vital.
What is Digital Working Together?
Working Together is the mechanism which allows tax agents to work with HMRC to improve HMRC’s operations. Its key purpose is to identify widespread issues affecting many agents and their clients so that HMRC can address them. Agents can see that issues they raise are added to an issues register which is updated by HMRC as actions are taken to address them.
Some of you may remember the old face to face Working Together meetings but these have now been replaced by digital Working Together. Until now the digital meetings have only been open to a limited number of agents so that the technology and processes could be fine-tuned. From now on any agents can get involved and a big advantage of the digital meetings is that you can take part from your office, your home or anywhere you choose.
Digital Meetings 2016 – an opportunity
You can now sign up to receive invitations to the remaining Digital Working Together meetings of 2016 which will take place in July, September and November; each meeting lasts approximately an hour. The advantages of getting invitations are:
- If you register for a meeting (even if you can’t attend it) you will receive the Agent Digest.
- Agent Digest includes the Issues Register ie the widespread issues which HMRC will work to address. You can use it to track progress in dealing with issues which affect your day-to-day work. You can report issues you think should be considered for the register through ICAS.
- Agent Digest also includes potential issues which will be added to the Register if there is evidence to demonstrate they are widespread: it is vital that agents affected by these issues tell HMRC through ICAS. If HMRC don’t have evidence of the problem it won’t be added to the register and it won’t get fixed!
- The meetings involve discussions of new issues, potential issues and progress on existing issues, between professional body representatives and HMRC Specialist Agent Managers; you can submit comments either during the meeting or between meetings through ICAS.
If you are already involved in Digital Working Together you will know that until recently the meetings were run on a regional basis. However the remaining meetings in 2016 will be run on a national basis so anyone can join in any, or all, the meetings.
How do I sign up?
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “I want to join Working Together”. We will contact our HMRC Specialist Agent Manager with your name and email address, to be added to the HMRC database. You will then receive a welcome email and invitations (from HMRC) to future meetings.
What if the issue I have only affects me?
Working Together and Agent Digest are only for widespread issues affecting many agents. If you have an issue specific to you or to one of your clients this should be raised through HMRC’s agent account manager team rather than Working Together. HMRC has produced a guide on how to use the agent account manager service.
ICAS Practitioners' Conference 2016 2 June 2016
Toni Clark (Head of Digital Agent Engagement, HMRC) and Brian Ainslie (HMRC Specialist Agent Manager) will be speaking at the conference about Digital Working Together and Talking Points.
If you are not already attending, sign up now.
Send an email to email@example.com if you have any questions about Digital Working Together.
You should also use this email address to report issues and potential issues to be considered for inclusion in the Issues Register.