Private beta set for late in year while annual report points to digital progress for company registration body
Companies House and HM Revenue & Customs are planning an online service that will bring together the registration processes for incorporating a company and to pay some taxes electronically.
According to the newly published annual report of Companies House, the discovery phase for the service has now been completed, providing an outline of user needs, and there are plans to release a private beta to a select audience late in the year.
Details of the relevant taxes are not yet public, but HMRC hinted at the plan late last year when it brought together two online processes from the organisations – its own Your Tax Account for SMEs and the Company Account and Tax Online service from Companies House.
The report also highlights the progress the organisation towards its target of becoming 100% digital. It says take up of Companies House’s digital services reached 83.7% for 2015-16 as a whole, touching 87.4% in March, which digital filing of annual returns and incorporations reached 99%.
The organisation has been pressing the open data agenda with its Companies House Service, which is built on a public API and makes the register available free online. By the end of the year it was used for more than 2 million search requests per day and had processed 63.9 million for the whole year, compared with just 4.7 million on legacy systems.
“The high take-up of the free data service will enable Companies House to retire its legacy search products (including WebCHeck and Companies House Direct) in the coming year, consolidating all search products under one service, and providing the basis for a similar migration of filing services,” the report says.