Digital Support for Business & Agents – May 2018 Update

Jun 26, 2018

The May 2018 update contains the latest on the Agent Forum and Talking Points.

 “Digital Support for Business & Agents – May 2018 Update

 Agent Forum (AF)

As at end of April 2018 the Forum has 456 Agent subscribers, up 60 since the last progress report. And 131 HMRC staff. We continue seeking key stakeholder engagement to both use the Forum and recruit more Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for provision of issue resolution responses. It has attracted nearly 34.5k views (up 3.5k), 2004 (up +159) posted messages on 381 (43+) current topics; which are moderated daily with appropriate responses given, as determined by subject matter, related traffic generated and referrals provided by line of business.

Our priority continues to be enlisting formal SME engagements and focusing on recruiting more agents to register for and use the forum. A programme of promotion emails which commenced during February 2018 is ongoing at a rate of 1k p/w and expected to run to mid-June 2018.  Agent registration return rates across 4 email tranches are yielding approx. 5% of those emailed.

We continue to work closely with the Issues Overview Group (IOG), made up of Professional Bodies (PBs), a number of whom also sit on the VCG together with HMRC representatives.  It jointly determines what the ‘widespread’ issues priority classification should be, for earliest resolution. New arrangements for these meetings are in place and have moved away from a fixed schedule of events throughout the year to bespoke ones. Focus is on subjects of most concern, at which relevant Subject Matter Experts attend to both hear first-hand how Agents are impacted and to offer up or take away issues for resolution. P800 and related MTDfB issues are successfully being addressed.

The Digital Support for Businesses and Agents (DSBA) Agent Team, staffed by 2.5 FTE Issues Resolution Managers (IRMs), moderate and run the forum. As and when required we bring in extra cover from our Agent Account Managers (AAMs) team to ensure we maintain response service levels, when going to Lines of Business for issues resolution.”