Technology challenges and choices for Devolved Tax

In my last blog I discussed the business issues that Revenue Scotland has to think about following the 18 September referendum decision.  But what does this mean for the technology choices that Revenue Scotland might want to consider?
Supported by new technology, we believe that a successful Digital Tax Office will be one which has technologies that handled in the Cloud with technology sourced ‘as a Service.’  This means that services, platforms and storage/infrastructure solutions are ordered, accessed and used over the internet, eliminating the need for local implementations, software management and infrastructure. For a Digital Tax Agency, this ‘as a service’ concept will be a key enabler and, because it also creates demand simply from the possibilities it offers, a driver. Large business benefits includes a low cost agency through virtualisation of services, reduction of licence costs for software (as most Cloud software and platform solutions are sourced on a pay-per-use basis) and reduction of necessary infrastructure (as this can be sourced and maintained in the Cloud).   Cloud solutions also ensure flexibility towards changes in legislation, product portfolio and political wishes.
When chosen wisely, the ‘as a Service’ concepts can facilitate the division between routine tasks and specialist tasks. This will mean that any task with a routine character, in which process steps are standard, the Tax Office can make use of reusable data and no human interaction is strictly necessary, may be procured ‘as a Service’ which enables the Tax Office to benefit. As such, all one-off processes (such as registration) and recurring standard processes (such as Tax collection) may be transformed to a ‘Service’ which is sourced from Cloud providers. This frees up capacity as less manual work needs to be performed freeing up capacity to allow the Tax Office to focus more on activities which ensure quality of processes and assessments, and improving tax compliance.   It also provides more room for professionalising the ‘bespoke’ contact with large enterprises that prefer to deal 1-on-1 with the Tax inspectors to deliver higher-quality services.
Revenue Scotland has many advantages that longstanding Tax Agencies do not have.  It can design a future state from scratch rather than build on legacy systems.    The rapidly increasing availability of new technology, much of which involves ‘as a service’ concepts with all the business benefits they bring with them, also creates a demand for them. The adaptation of the ‘as a service’ concept by virtually all major software providers and system integrators ensures that required changes in business processes and organisations are much easier to realise than before. So the possibilities to improve encourage the desire to improve.

Capgemini Tax & Welfare

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