Comment from FreeAgent CEO: HMRC May Use AI to Monitor “Compliance” with Tax Laws

  • Ed Molynex , CEO at FreeAgent

  • 23.03.2018 10:00 am
  • undisclosed

I’m not surprised to hear that HMRC is looking to artificial intelligence when it comes to tax compliance. Automation is already becoming an increasingly integrated part of financial reporting and management and it’s a trend that shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, our own research has found that 96% of accountants believe that either all or some accountancy work will be automated by 2022. 

What might be surprising however is the scale of the automation that HMRC is suggesting. Roughly ten million tasks could be handled by computers by the end of this year, and this could also potentially include tax returns.

In much the same way that the online self assessment service changed tax compliance forever in the UK, AI has the potential to make a similar impact, by making the process more efficient. These changes aren’t just being driven by the technology itself, but also because of legislative changes including Making Tax Digital and PSD2, which is accelerating the use of AI significantly too.

Automation has the potential to be very beneficial for the UK’s 5 million freelancers and micro-business owners, so it will be interesting to see how HMRC incorporates it over the coming years.

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