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Thousands submit tax appeals online as justice system goes digital

People seeking to challenge their tax bill no longer have to fill in forms manually.

Thousands of tax appeals are being submitted entirely online for the first time.

The initiative means people seeking to challenge their tax bill no longer have to print out, manually fill in and post forms.

Officials say it has also drastically reduced the number of applications returned because they are incomplete or inaccurate.

The new system, which went live in June last year, is open to those appealing HMRC decisions in the first tier tax tribunal.

We are spending £1 billion on transforming the justice system so it is fit for the digital age Justice Minister Lucy Frazer

More than 2,000 taxpayers have already used the system, according to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

It said that on average almost a third of appeals have been made online since the scheme was introduced.

Online appeals are submitted to the tax tribunal services so the case can be considered by a judge and, if necessary, proceed to a hearing.

The MoJ said simplified forms spell out what steps applicants must have already taken, preventing them from wasting time submitting applications which are then returned.

It is the latest example of the increasing role played by technology as the Government embarks on a £1 billion modernisation of the justice and courts system.

Earlier this week, ministers disclosed that the first “fully video” court hearings involving members of the public are set to be held within weeks.

People will be able to participate in tax appeal cases on a webcam under the pilot announced on Thursday.

Last month it was revealed the first “fully digital” divorce applications had been submitted in England and Wales.

Justice Minister Lucy Frazer said: “We are spending £1 billion on transforming the justice system so it is fit for the digital age.

“Allowing people to submit their tax appeals online is just one example of how we are making the system quicker, smarter, and much more user-friendly.”

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