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Box 23: How a government online forum could help taxpayers with self-assessment
Imagine a user who, while trying to complete her online tax self-assessment, is confused over how to
register multiple sources of income. She searches the frequently asked questions section of the HMRC
site, but the advice available doesn't capture the specific nature of her question. Rather than turn to an
external source of information, she instead clicks on the link to the HMRC's new user-support forum.
This links to a searchable series of fora, categorised by different groups of users (e.g. partners or self-
employed). A simple word search reveals a series of users encountering similar problems, but none
quite captures her specific query. She posts a short description of the issue, and another user responds,
drawing attention to an answer he wrote to a similar query, which she can use to complete her form. An
HMRC moderator later checks the factual accuracy of the second users answer and edits the entry on
the common problems section of the relevant user-category forum.