HMRC has, over the last few years, been working to really understand the needs of their customers. There are a significant proportion of SMEs who want to get things right but need help to do so. Many of these SMEs don’t necessarily feel comfortable approaching the HMRC as an organisation and some are even completely unaware of what their obligations are. It’s these customers who are unaware of their obligations and those who know what they’re supposed to do but not how to do it that they are trying to reach with their SME education. They particularly want to help customers as they face key business life events, which include starting in business, registering for VAT, taking on an employee, importing and exporting, incorporation and ceasing to trade. There are a range of levels of engagement that have been undertaken with partners in support of their customers and clients, from development of bespoke educational material, where a specific need is identified, to signposting customers to existing help and support that HMRC provide, via intermediary channels.
Education offering includes:
- Modular e learning packages for the customers to work through. Content covers all aspects of an SME’s key life events, and packages can be tailored to respond to specific challenges relevant to that trade/profession.
- Webinars – HMRC are currently developing webinars covering various tax topics, including Business Expenses and Capital Allowances, Record Keeping and CIS. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/webinars/index.htm
Partner Service. Through a free subscription service, partners can receive:
The SME Tax Widget... An online application enabling partners to display the latest tax guidance from HMRC on their own website. The Widget houses a selection of basic tax guides for small business in video and written format which saves users time searching for the right advice and provides centrally managed information hosted by HMRC so partners can be sure of accurate and up-to-date content.
Key message alerts.... These are monthly alerts and reminders on HMRC key messages over the year – for instance timely reminders of filing deadlines or links to HMRC Budget information following that event.
HMRC Editorials …. Relevant HMRC news alerts or short briefs on hot topics, for instance, these could be notification of consultations, or new legislation etc.