UK body switching to paperless taxpayer forms

November 19th, 2014 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Document and Information Capture | Document Management

A UK tax collection body has saved a significant amount following a switch to paperless forms. 

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, the non-ministerial UK agency responsible for the collection of taxes, hopes to save taxpayers £800,000 ($1.25 million) by March 2015, after the body completes its campaign to digitize 500 forms, according to IT Pro. Thus far HMRC has managed to convert 300 taxpayer forms, with 200 more to go, – an impressive task that can be made easier for companies via paper conversion services.

Previously people would call the office in order to request that taxpayer forms be delivered to them, a process that used 20 million sheets of paper per year. Now individuals will simply be able to access all the forms that they need online. HMRC expects that the final 200 forms will be digitized by the end of 2014. Thus far the conversion has saved 1.2 million envelopes, 1.6 million sheets of paper and £354,000. In addition to the £800,000 the tax body plans on saving by March, HMRC also intends to conserve 3 million envelopes and 4 million sheets of paper.

Not just a money-saver
Going paperless isn't just a money-saving decision either, there are plenty of benefits to digitizing. The Forum of Private Business noted a few other advantages of utilizing content management services over physical documents. First off, storing paper files is just a waste of time. When files are stored digitally you can access them with a quick search instead of burning hours out of the day searching for lost documents. Often you are given the option to organize files, something a computer can do automatically, as opposed to a human. 

Additionally, document storage systems make everything simpler. Sharing files, revising documents, accessing forms – all this can be done with a mere click. The efficiency via simplicity is made even better due to the fact that everything you need is easy to locate, from anywhere, anytime, when files are digitized. UK taxpayers and employees of the HMRC will soon likely see the benefits of going paperless beyond cost-savings.

"We're making massive changes to realize our digital vision, which will help us to give our customers a much better service," said Mark Dearnley, CIO of the tax body, according to IT Pro. "Our aim is to provide digital services which are so straightforward and convenient that everyone who has a choice will want to use them."

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