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HMRC, then called Inland Revenue, announced its decision to put self-assessment online in 2000—01. The self-assessment programme includes small businesses, individuals, and individuals filing through advisers, such as accountants and tax specialists. Uptake of the service has been slow but steady. In 2002 only 76,000 filed online, rising to more than a million in 2004. Last year around 3 million filed online. (see Figure 3 below). However, take-up of HMRC's online filing has been relatively low compared to other countries. In 2004, it was 17%, compared to 44% in the US and 83% in Australia.

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