We’re on track to introduce Agent Online Self Serve (AOSS), the new agents’ digital service, to a small number of agents for testing by the end of the year. This is known as a ‘private beta’ release and we’ll use feedback and research from this to refine and improve the new service.
We’ll then gradually invite more agents to use the service during 2015 and we’ll continue to make more new functions available to agents as they are introduced.
What will AOSS offer?
In the first stages we’re developing:
• a secure digital agent registration service that will help to protect agents, their clients and HMRC from fraud and enable agents to work more efficiently across different tax regimes
• a new end-to-end digital authorisation service to make it quicker and easier for you to let us know when you take on a new client
• a personalised agents’ ‘home page’ for registered agents so that you can view and manage your clients’ tax affairs in one place – including viewing VAT and PAYE information that is unavailable now; and
• a secure messaging service and links to technical guidance – all accessible through the personalised home page.
We’re also doing some important work to determine the best way to move existing agent/client relationships to the new AOSS platform. We need to ensure that the data held in the new service is accurate but we want to minimise the impact of any changes on agents. We’re looking at some options for migrating information from the old to the new service and we’ll let you know more about this as soon as we can.
Third Party Software
We know that many agents use third party software and we are working with software providers to ensure that their products are compatible with (and can support) the new service.
We also know that some agent firms have developed their own bespoke third party software applications to send submissions to HMRC through the Government Gateway. If this applies to you or your firm we’d like to hear from you.
Want to know more about the design of digital services?
The beta phase involves building a fully working prototype for public testing. It will be continuously improved until it’s ready to go live.
Learn more about the different design phases for digital services from the Government Service Design Manual