HM Revenue & Customs hopes to save the taxpayer £800,000 and cut down on 36 tonnes of paper by March 2015 after digitising 500 different paper forms as part of the iForms project.
So far, 300 customer forms have been replaced with digital versions, with the ultimate aim of letting individuals fill out forms online – rather than having to contact the tax office to order a form via the post (a process that used around 20 million sheets of paper a year).
In a recent update, HMRC confirmed that it has saved £354,000 so far – with expectations that the remaining 200 forms will be available online at Gov.uk by the end of the year. Overall, the iForms scheme has saved 1.2 million envelopes and 1.6 million sheets of paper – and this is set to grow to three million envelopes and four million sheets of paper by March 2015.
HMRC CIO Mark Dearnley said of the project: “By the end of the year, all of our customer forms will be iForms which can be filled in online, and by next March we will have fully digitised many of them, allowing people to submit online without the need for printing.
“We’re making massive changes to realise our digital vision, which will help us to give our customers a much better service. Our aim is to provide digital services which are so straightforward and convenient that everyone who has a choice will want to use them.
“We’re making good progress on this and have already launched more than 300 iForms which have been used by 1.6 million customers. We’ve set ourselves tough timelines for achieving this and by December the remaining 200 forms will become iForms available via Gov.uk.”
The iForms project forms part of HMRC’s ongoing strategy to go paper-free, with the Government Digital Service (GDS) helping Whitehall to digitise 25 exemplar public services.