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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hmrc-compliance-with-public-sector-equality-duties-2016-to-2017/part-1-our-customer-service-and-policy-work
1. About this report
This report contains equality information required by regulation 2 of the Equality Act Specific Duty Regulations (SI 2011/2260). It shows how the department complies with the public sector equality duty in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 in relation to its diversity and inclusion, customer, and policy administration activities.
It covers the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 for customer service and policy administration and HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC’s) diversity and inclusion data.
Part 1 of the report covers customer service and policy activities. This year we have broadened our dialogue with external stakeholders to deepen our understanding of issues facing customers and improve our customer service and performance against our equality objectives.
Previous reports may be found on GOV.UK.
1.1 Equality regulations
The equality regulations require all public bodies to:
- eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation
- advance equality of opportunity
- foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who don’t
Promoting equality of opportunity means public bodies have to:
- remove or minimise disadvantages for groups of people
- take steps to meet the needs of protected groups of people
- encourage all groups of people to participate in public life or other activity in situations where their participation is low
2.1 Our mission
We are the UK’s tax, payments and customs authority, and we have a vital purpose: we collect the money that pays for the UK’s public services and help families and individuals with targeted financial support.
2.2 Our vision
Our vision is to be a world class organisation.
2.3 Our values
We are professional: we are confident and expert in running HMRC, striving for clarity, consistency and excellence in our work, partnering with others and collaborating across teams to achieve great results, and enjoying what we do, proud to serve our customers and society.
We act with integrity: with high ethical standards, we are honest, fair, and even-handed in our treatment of others, exercising judgement and discretion, and holding ourselves to account for our actions.
We show respect: empowering and trusting our colleagues and customers to do the right thing, we are friendly, courteous, inclusive and considerate, and recognising, valuing and celebrating the views, qualities and achievements of others.
And we are innovative: we champion new and different ways of working to adapt and move with the times, having the courage and tenacity to challenge how things are done, committed to continuous improvement and to developing ourselves.
2.4 Our objectives
Our key objectives set out in our Single Departmental Plan are to:
- maximise revenues due and bear down on avoidance and evasion
- transform tax and payments for our customers
- design and deliver a professional, efficient and engaged organisation
2.5 Our strategic principles
To guide our decision-making, we follow a set of strategic principles for everything we do:
- customer-centric: we understand our customers through data and insight, so we can better tailor and target our support
- simplicity: we design our systems, products and processes around customers, to make it as easy as possible for them to deal with us
- integration: we design a tax system that integrates with third parties and business software
- proportionate and even-handed approach: we deploy our resources in a fair and targeted way to ensure no one is out of reach
- cost-efficiency: we use digital services and smart data to work more efficiently, driving down the cost of the tax system for customers and the public purse
We apply these not only to our core customer service and compliance work, but also to our other activities – from the tax credits and other benefits we administer, to our customs work and the support we provide to other public bodies and charities.
We work closely and consult with a wide range of different groups and stakeholders, such as customer representatives and software developers, to make sure we are getting our strategy right.
We are one of the UK’s biggest organisations. In March 2017, we had around 61,800 full-time equivalent employees in 145 buildings across the UK, collecting tax and duties from more than 45 million individuals and 5.4 million businesses.
2.6 Our achievements
Our key achievements in 2016 to 2017, which reflect our commitment to customer service, while meeting departmental strategic objectives, include:
- £574.9 billion record total tax revenues brought in – £38.1 billion more than last year
- £28.9 billion compliance yield generated
- 91.7% customer calls handled against our target of 85%
- 9.6 million customers submitting their Self Assessment tax return online by 31 January 2016 deadline
- 83% success rate in taking action through the courts and tax tribunals, protecting £15 billion in tax
- 9.4 million customers accessing their Personal Tax Account
- more than 5 million Business Tax Accounts made available to small business customers in the country, with millions of businesses already using the service to file, pay and obtain help
- 96.2% of all customs checks cleared within 2 hours, against our target of 95%
- 987,014 tax credits customers renewed online using our digital service compared to 754,900 in 2015
- 71% of our waste recycled and 98% of our waste diverted from landfill
- more than 1,200 apprentices recruited across 15 of our professions, including more than 900 in Operational Delivery
- recruited more than 800 new staff to further enhance our customer service with the introduction of a 7-day service across our main helplines from January 2017 so that customers have more opportunity to contact us at a time that suits them
- extended webchat availability up to 10pm on weekdays, 8pm on Saturdays and 4pm on Sundays
- paid out £27.1 billion in tax credits and £11.7 billion in Child Benefit. Tax credits benefited 4.1 million families and around 7.2 million children and Child Benefit supported around 12.9 million children
Please see HMRC’s Annual Report for more details of our achievements in 2016 to 2017.
3. How our customer service and policy work complies with section 149 of the Equality Act
The Customer Equalities team in HMRC has continued to work with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, helping the department to comply with equality law, provide the best possible service for people in protected equality groups, and drive forward improvements in customer service.
We also run a biannual Disabled Customers Consultation Group with a number of external stakeholder groups and host a Mental Health Forum to discuss and address issues faced by customers with mental health conditions.
We monitor customer complaints involving the protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act, and use the analysis and information to improve customer service. For example, we identified a trend of complaints involving deaf customers, and issues identified were confirmed by our external stakeholders.
We worked with the Royal Association for the Deaf (RAD) to produce videos with British Sign Language (BSL) and subtitling, for HMRC’s YouTube channel.
We have been developing our staff training programme, as part of a strategic approach to raising awareness of customer equality policy, among policy makers and customer-facing staff.
As an example, we have delivered a number of training sessions covering legislative requirements, Equality Impact Assessments and reasonable adjustments that should be offered to customers who need extra support. We plan to continue developing this work in 2017 to 2018.
Since the launch of our internal Customer Zone intranet site last year, we have continued to build on the content, adding further guidance around extra support for customers and how we meet our obligations in Your Charter. We developed a new page and guidance to support staff dealing with vulnerable customers, including those with mental health conditions.
Our equality objectives for 2016 to 2020 reflect our immediate and longer term priorities around customer understanding, digital services and customer service.
HMRC’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2016 to 2020, is built around 4 themes: representation, inclusion, capability and customers. It guides the work we do to help maximise the performance of all our people, and, in doing so, enables us to respond more effectively to the needs of our diverse customer base.
4. How HMRC helps customers who need extra support
We have continued to drive forward our ambitious programme to improve customer service for our diverse customer base and transform the entire customer experience of HMRC. This includes rolling out our digital services, where we want the customer experience to be consistently excellent.
We continue to offer a telephone service and face-to-face support for those customers who need it. Our Needs Enhanced Support (NES) service has continued to provide support and guidance to those who need extra help, including vulnerable customers.
In 2016 to 2017, our NES service:
- received more than 100,000 calls from customers about taxes, tax credits and Child Benefit, transferred from general helplines and the voluntary and community sector
- resolved queries from more than 27,000 customer letters
- supported more than 22,000 customers face-to-face in community venues or in their homes
We are also continuing to upskill our advisers and expand their capability so that we can resolve more complex queries in a ‘once and done’ way and ensure customers get their tax and payments affairs right first time.
We have continued to work with the RAD, which offers an advocacy and advice service. This is via a microsite for BSL customers with complex tax issues or for those who need help when they communicate with us. The site contains a wealth of advice for deaf customers, with links to our guidance and Frequently Asked Questions in BSL video clips.
Our partnership with RAD also provides a Video Relay Service that enables deaf customers to communicate directly with us via interpreters.
Our Visually Impaired Media Unit has continued to meet customers’ requests for information in alternative formats. In 2016 to 2017 the unit converted more than 35,000 documents into alternative formats, which included large print, Braille, audio, email and plain text on CD.
The team retained the external Customer Excellence Award for the third year running.
This honour is awarded by the Cabinet Office to government organisations that demonstrate an excellent service to their customers. The award is based on the following criteria: customer insight; leadership policy and culture; information and access; delivery; and timeliness and quality of service.
HMRC’s award-winning Tax Facts programme of tax education for teenagers is helping to ensure we engage with our next generation of customers at the earliest opportunity, by helping them understand their future responsibilities as taxpayers and the importance of paying tax – tax morality.
Teachers are using it widely in secondary schools as well as a number of charities, including The Prince’s Trust and Career Ready, and it continues to be praised by educationalists for its easy-to-use resources for teachers and the valuable life skills it offers their students.
At the request of primary school teachers, we have launched a new Junior Tax Facts programme for 8 to 11-year-olds, to make them aware of all the things in their local communities that are funded by taxes.
The Personal Finance Education Group, (part of Young Enterprise, a not for profit business and education charity, which supports teachers and others involved in educating young people about money) accredited the materials with its quality mark for resources of the highest quality and educational value.
We have a network of HMRC people who volunteer as Tax Facts ambassadors. The ambassadors have supported teachers and charities in using the Tax Facts programme, which is helping young people to understand how the tax system will affect them when they start their first job or set up their own business.
4.1 Examples of support for vulnerable customers by the NES service
A customer contacted us because his tax credits payments had stopped, as he had been overpaid. He was extremely distressed, telling us his family could not cope without the payments and that he felt he should simply end his life. The customer then passed the phone to his partner and drove off on his own.
The NES adviser stayed on the call to support and reassure the partner, while also working to find out where the customer might have gone. With the case escalated as was required under our guidelines, a NES manager contacted the police, sharing the details of the situation so they could search for the customer and make sure he was safe.
The NES adviser talked to the customer’s partner about what we needed to do to get the payments reinstated and arranged a follow up call to resolve the issue.
The police found the customer sitting in a car park next to a large cliff. Officers persuaded the man to return to the family home with the police and got him to agree to seek urgent medical support. He got the help and support he needed and the problems related to his payments were resolved by the NES adviser taking an empathetic approach to establish the customer’s income and genuine expenditure needs.
A vigilant Child Benefit adviser passed over customer details to the NES service after becoming concerned for a customer’s welfare during a call. The adviser believed that an aggressive male companion was coercing the customer into changing her bank details.
Although the male companion had terminated the call, the adviser passed the details to a specially-trained NES adviser so they could investigate further. These details indicated that the single parent customer was extremely vulnerable.
The NES adviser arranged to call the customer when she was on her own, and was able to find out that she was a victim of human trafficking and at the mercy of the male companion.
The adviser firstly ensured the customer’s safety by contacting the police, who came to the aid of the customer, and then involved HMRC’s fraud teams.
NES worked on the case with HMRC’s Compliance and Human Trafficking teams, providing vital information, which enabled the police to take action against the male companion.
4.2 HMRC’s customer service
We are transforming the UK’s tax and payments system with simple, secure and personalised digital services for our customers that helped deliver our best ever performance last year.
Our expanding online services gave customers newer, easier, faster and more convenient ways to interact with us. We worked hard to build new digital services as alternatives to traditional ways for contacting us and ensuring customers are aware of these options, while also delivering strong performance within the more traditional routes of contact, such as phone or post.
We are continuing to add new services to the tax accounts all the time, and launched 25 new digital services during 2016 to 2017.
At the end of March 2017, more than 3 million businesses had accessed their Business Tax Account, and more than 9 million people were using their Personal Tax Account.
More than 80% of customers told us they were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with our digital services. We saw 92% of Self Assessment customers submit and pay their return online – more than ever before. We’re transforming tax credits with nearly a million customers renewing online in July 2016.
We improved our customer service by recruiting more than 800 people as we introduced a 7-day service across our main helplines from January, so that customers have more opportunity to contact us at a time that suits them.
We received around 50 million phone calls, answering in less than 4 minutes on average and maintained our improved management of 12 million customer letters, keeping post-on-hand at its lowest level for recent years.
Our virtual online assistant answered 2.2 million customer queries.
We received fewer new complaints. We prevented 500 million phishing emails from reaching our customers’ inboxes.
5. Making it easier for customers to contact HMRC
HMRC is making it faster and simpler for customers to confirm their identity to access its services, however they choose to do it.
There are now more ways than ever for customers to get the help they need, for example, in January 2017, we introduced voice-recognition technology. By 31 March, 320,879 customers had enrolled and by May there had been more than one million enrolments for the voice technology.
It means that customers can speak to us without the need to remember a password. This facility could be helpful to some of our elderly customers or those with difficulties remembering important details during stressful situations.
We have continued to harness the latest technology to support customers online, providing new and better ways for them to find what they need. This includes making support available via Twitter, YouTube, webchat, and webinar.
We answered 18,828 queries on social media in 2016 to 2017, and held more than 1.6 million webchats between our advisers and customers.
Our virtual online assistant was used by 2.2 million customers.
We developed a dedicated online forum and phone line for new businesses and self-employed individuals to get help and support for filing and paying their taxes for the first time, and to provide help with the transition to using our digital services.
For individual and business customers who want to use digital services, but are unable to, we put in place support so that they can get the help they need. This included the introduction of ‘co-browse’, a facility for customers who need further help with understanding how to use digital services.
We share the customer’s screen during a webchat, first using it to help them log on to our digital services, and then helping them to navigate their online tax returns, other forms, and calculators.
Customers who require assisted digital support can use our Trusted Helper service – where authorised friends and family members can act on their behalf.
Our NES service provides support to customers who we have identified as needing extra help. In 2016 to 2017, the NES service received just over 100,000 referrals from frontline staff and the voluntary community sector.
6. The Budget process
In partnership with HM Treasury, we have continued to advise ministers on measures that are included in the annual Budget cycle. We help to ensure that equality considerations and any impact on equality are taken into account, as part of the policy decision-making process.
Ahead of fiscal events the Customer Equalities team reviews and provides advice on identifying and mitigating any equality impacts of proposed measures, and associated submissions.
We report on any impact on equality in Tax Information and Impact Notes, (TIINs) – and publish HMRC TIINs on GOV.UK. We reviewed 135 TIINs for the Autumn Statement 2016, and Spring Budget 2017.
The Customer Equalities team provides advice on how to identify any impact on equality in proposals for change projects that go to our Investment Appraisal Board, and details actions that we might take to minimise any risks and impact.
The Customer Equalities team has continued to engage proactively with Central Policy colleagues to ensure that processes for the review of future policy measures are robust and fit-for-purpose and that training for tax professionals contains relevant information and guidance on customer equalities.
All projects involving change that are submitted to the Investment Appraisal Board are required to record formally that they have fully considered any impact on external customers and reviewed all equality implications.
We handle about 6 projects a month. We review the Equality Impact Assessments, so that we can be sure that HMRC has considered equality in an appropriate and proportionate way.
Information about completing Equality Impact Assessments and a wide range of guidance on equality is available on the HMRC intranet. We work with external stakeholders to provide greater insight into these, identifying alternative approaches to a new product or process where it would be appropriate.
7. Digital delivery in HMRC
Our Digital Delivery Centres are designing digital services in a way that matches the fast-moving world of IT delivery, constantly testing products on customers, taking account of research and refining our services accordingly.
We make sure that all new services are rigorously tested for accessibility by all customers, both in-house and by the Digital Accessibility Centre, to ensure that they meet best practice accessibility standards and legislation.
7.1 Making our digital services more accessible
Our services must be accessible to everyone who needs them, so our service delivery teams start thinking about how users might access and use the service before they design or build anything.
Over the last 12 months the number of service delivery teams has increased from around 40, to 50 across the UK and we have delivered and improved accessibility standards for a number of services.
We also published the findings of the GOV.UK assistive technology survey, which was created to establish what types of screen readers, screen magnifiers and voice recognition software people are using.
We develop our services so they meet government accessibility requirements, including:
- level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
- compatibility with the most commonly used assistive technologies, including screen magnifiers, screen readers and speech recognition tools
- user research from people with disabilities
HMRC wins IT Accessibility Award
HMRC has been recognised in the 2017 Heroes of Accessibility awards for its sustained efforts in creating inclusive IT services that can be used by disabled people.
This prestigious international accolade, which is sponsored by Knowability, a not-for-profit organisation based in Austin, Texas, was due in no small part to the leadership of Chris Moore, MBE, who became HMRC’s digital accessibility champion in 2014.
Chris has provided accessibility awareness training to more than 150 people, created an accessibility and usability checklist and supported colleagues by providing advice and guidance on accessibility needs and standards.
Service delivery teams carry out user research in every development phase. When undertaking research, we include users who have disabilities or use assistive technologies.
During the ‘discovery phase’, the teams learn how people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive impairments might use their service, as well as the barriers users face. As the teams begin to discuss ideas and develop concepts, they consider whether their products meet the design principles. During the private beta phase of user testing, the service delivery teams start testing for accessibility standards. They test each time they build a new feature.
All of HMRC’s digital services are audited for accessibility by the Digital Accessibility Centre, an organisation which provides independent evidence to show that the service meets accessibility standards.
In January 2017, we launched a new stakeholder forum, the Assisted Digital Working Group (ADWG). Members include representatives from large and influential public and professional bodies, including the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and Chartered Institute of Taxation, as well as the Low Income Tax Group and TaxAid.
The aim of this group is to make sure the concerns of tax agents are understood and reflected in the development of digital projects for those taxpayers who may need more assistance to engage with HMRC digitally.
The group provides updates to stakeholders on the development of the Making Tax Digital programme and feeds any concerns through to project owners, to make sure customers’ and clients’ needs are recognised in the digital development process.
The group commissioned research on people using assisted digital technologies for the Making Tax Digital for Business (MTDfB) programme. Working with our Customer Insight and Understanding team, the group separated our customers according to their willingness to use new technology, along with any barriers they may face and support needs.
Our understanding of the needs of customers using assisted digital services played an important part as HMRC developed its Assisted Digital Customer Support model, which we will refine and revise to ensure it is fit for purpose.
Recent research conducted on behalf of the department by Ipsos Mori also featured a qualitative section directly aimed at understanding some of the drivers and barriers to engagement. This research gave us insight on access and skills barriers and has helped the work we do to develop assisted digital customer support services.
For example, those customers who are unable to engage with MTDfB digitally, for accessibility reasons, will be exempt. The application process for those wishing to opt out of the digital process is still being developed and will be confirmed before April 2018.
7.3 Grant funding programme
We have secured £1.5 million per year for 2016 to 2019 in our grant funding programme, with an additional £500,000 for 2016 to 2017. This funding will give assistance to voluntary and community sector organisations, enabling them to provide advice and support to HMRC’s most vulnerable customers.
The support ranges from signposting help and providing general advice, through to specialist tax advice and encouraging people to go online to increase customer confidence and their capability in using HMRC digital services.
The support will help our customers to comply with their tax obligations and claim their correct entitlements.
7.4 Complaints handling
Like all large organisations we do sometimes make mistakes or provide a level of customer service below expectations and receive complaints from our customers.
Last year we received 77,279 new complaints – a reduction of just under 4% compared to the previous year. We fully or partially upheld 49.4% of these complaints and successfully resolved 98.6% of them within the department.
The remaining complaints were referred to the Adjudicator. Of these 41% were fully or partially upheld, reflecting our improvement on the previous year.
In the report, published in December 2016, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman said: “We welcome the leadership that HMRC has shown in valuing and learning from complaints not just within the department, but also across Whitehall.”
During the year we reviewed and updated our ‘complaints ambition’ to focus on 3 key themes:
- we listen to what our customers tell us when they complain and learn from and act on this feedback across HMRC
- we provide a responsive and fair complaints service that respects customer Charter rights and obligations
- we make complaining accessible and easy for our customers
To offer customers an easier way to make a complaint, we piloted an online complaints form for income tax customers. Feedback from customers has been positive and we will increase the availability of the online complaints form during 2017 to 2018.
8. Your Charter
Your Charter sets out what our customers can expect from us – and what we expect from them – as we transform our services and ways of working.
We appointed Charter Champions across the department to embed Your Charter both within the department and with our customers, ensuring that the focus remains on Charter commitments in our day-to-day work and when designing our processes and services.
The Charter Committee, which is a sub-committee of the HMRC Board, monitors HMRC’s performance against the customer rights set out in Your Charter, and assesses how we help customers meet their obligations.
Our progress is reported in Your Charter Annual Reports. The 2016 to 2017 report describes the Charter Committee’s activities and actions; shares the latest HMRC customer survey results, which gather regular feedback against Your Charter commitments; and outlines some of the areas the committee plans to concentrate on in the forthcoming year.
9. HMRC’s equality objectives 2016 to 2020
We reviewed and updated HMRC’s equality objectives early in 2016. They were published on 12 May on GOV.UK. They provide a baseline from which we measure improvements in our performance.
Below is a summary of our progress against each objective.
9.1 We will further develop our understanding of customers
We will do this by:
- gathering information about the impact of our services on customers through increased stakeholder engagement and research, which will enable us to improve the way we identify customers who need extra help
- further improving our understanding of the impacts of HMRC operations on different groups of customers, such as disabled people, so that we can better target resources to improve both customer service and staff skills
- monitoring customers’ use of enhanced support and voluntary community sector support; and analysing equality-related customer complaints to support the development of more customer-focused policies and operational processes
We have increased the number of external stakeholders who engage with us, as part of the Mental Health Forum and Disabled Customer Consultation Group; and have proactively sought feedback on issues faced by the customer groups they represent, so that we can improve the accessibility of HMRC services.
We have regular dialogue with staff in customer-facing teams to develop our understanding and also to raise awareness of support available. In response to feedback we have also developed web-based materials to support those engaging with vulnerable customers and those with mental health issues.
We monitor customer complaints to identify trends, proactively taking action as necessary to improve processes.
We also liaise with the NES service to make sure that appropriate resources are in place to support customers who need extra help with their tax and benefit affairs.
9.2 We will promote HMRC’s equality policies and best practice and make our aims more visible to staff and to our customers
We will do this by:
- developing and monitoring a programme of education for our staff, particularly policy and frontline staff. This will help ensure they are aware of the importance of equality and understand the reasonable adjustments that they can offer customers to help them in a way that suits them best. This will include: staff seminars; workshops; online products; newsletters on equality issues; and improved guidance that is clearly signposted on the internal Customer Zone intranet pages
- supporting the development and provision of extra help that our customers look for via the GOV.UK Additional Needs page and promoting and clearly signposting the page on our Customer Zone intranet pages, so that staff can better understand the accessibility support that can be provided
- increasing engagement with key internal stakeholders across the business, promoting best practice, auditing and reporting to help ensure that there is a useful flow of equality information and consistency of approach
We continue to explore the options to establish Customer Equality Champions and, or advocates across the department to promote best practice and to feed back any issues or concerns to the Customer Equality team. We have delivered, and will continue to deliver, training sessions on customer equalities for policymakers and key groups of staff.
We continue to revise and develop the materials available on the Customer Zone on a regular basis. We have increased content by about 30%, including material on services for customers with specific disabilities.
We developed a dedicated Supporting Vulnerable Customers page on the Customer Zone – bringing together the new guidance that we have produced on dealing with vulnerable customers and links to existing business guidance into one central place.
We have regular contact with key internal stakeholders, especially policy professionals, via the Process Improvement Working Group. This group meets every 6 weeks and provides the opportunity to remind policy leads of their responsibilities around equalities.
9.3 We will continue to improve customer service
We will do this by:
- continuing to embed equality into our policies, processes, projects and training and monitor our performance, so that we can demonstrate real improvements through our Public Sector Equality Duty reports
- engaging with voluntary and charity sector organisations to help us to provide a more effective level of service to diverse groups
- continuing to ensure that our digital services are developed to be as inclusive as possible, providing extra help with digital, and alternative formats when these are requested
- ensuring that if a customer discloses a condition and expresses a preference for a reasonable adjustment, we will record this on our systems, where possible, so that it is in place for future dealings with this customer
We review equality impact assessments that are submitted to the Investment Appraisal Board (approximately 6 projects per month); and the equality impacts of draft ministerial submissions.
We have engaged with Central Policy colleagues to make sure that future training for tax professionals contains relevant information and guidance on customer equalities. We also review performance across HMRC to inform the content of the annual Public Sector Equality Duty report.
We have regular contact with voluntary community sector groups, for example via the Disabled Customer Consultation Group, Mental Health Forum, Individual Stakeholder Forum and the Department for Work and Pensions Stakeholder Engagement Forum; and are taking action to make sure we have a regular dialogue with those representing customers within each of the protected characteristics categories. This includes broadening our understanding of the issues faced by the hearing impaired community who do not use sign language.
We are in regular contact with those responsible for introducing digital services to make sure that equality issues are identified and addressed. Our ADWG is working through a number of issues with stakeholders related to the provision of accessible digital services – this includes working with companies to make sure that software that they develop is compatible with assistive technologies.
In the recently published Terms of Collaboration between HMRC and Software Developers, HMRC has sought to ensure that available software will be compatible with forms of assistive technology, setting a minimum accessibility standard requiring that developers “make sure your digital tools meet WCAG 2.0. AA as a minimum/or higher”.
This means that MTDfB software should meet their needs in the same way as their existing software.
Guidance underlines the need to record reasonable adjustments required by customers. We have been and will continue to seek improvements in noting customers’ records with the extra support they need, so that we can continue to improve customer service and experience.