Mission Impossible? Tax Filing that’s Straightforward and Stress-free

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A new tax filing platform ‘taxforward’ launched by Oxford Saïd MBA 2016

Theresa May has talked about a review of the provisions for self-employed individuals in the UK because the numbers are growing massively year on year

An online platform to help individuals file their personal tax return with just a click of a button has been launched by MBA alumna Connie Cha this week. taxforward demystifies the UK tax filing process for the self-employed, for landlords and for company directors, translating the jargon of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) into everyday speech, providing simple and elegant workflows, and enabling direct filing to HMRC.

‘Theresa May has talked about a review of the provisions for self-employed individuals in the UK because the numbers are growing massively year on year,’ said Connie Cha, Founder and CEO of taxforward. ‘There has been a shift in how organisations are structuring their operations for cost-efficiency. Big corporates, such as Deloitte, are taking on independent contractors alongside employees and individuals are building their livelihood though a company vehicle rather than a typical employment contract.’ With taxforward, Connie is predicting that the growth of the freelance and sharing economy will continue with advances in technology making it easier than ever to find such jobs. ‘So many individuals are adopting portfolio careers and the sharing economy also has given rise to individuals having multiple income streams so it’s a very exciting time to be building taxforward with these major forces at work,’ Connie said.

Connie’s first experience of filing a tax return came after she graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London where she had trained as an actress and ‘was completely in the dark about how to complete it.’ She initially ‘met tax’ during her first job at Deloitte in their Consumer Business audit team where she also completed her chartered accountancy qualification (ACA) with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Connie decided to explore the idea for taxforward as part of her Entrepreneurship Project on the Oxford MBA at Saïd Business School. She pitched the seed of her idea to her team who came on board to help develop the business plan and they spent Hilary term exploring the market, not just for actors, a community she was familiar with, but for people in other creative and new digital industries in London. During the process she recognised that the model was viable and after the project ceased, set about building the platform with support from Prof. Jonathan Reynolds, her mentor on the Entrepreneurship Project, but also drawing on other programmes such as Strategy and Innovation, Entrepreneurial Finance and Collaborative Economy.

The Oxford alumni network has been instrumental in moving the company forward, with graduates offering help and advice as well as helping to film a content series that visualises the challenges that individuals experience when confronted with a tax return. Building her tax knowledge into the platform, taxforward will offer a pay per return model for far less than the average cost of an accountant, where users pay a flat rate for the main tax return and can then pick and mix from additional modules such as employment, self-employment and property, paying only for what they need.

Over the coming weeks, taxforward will be helping individuals understand whether they need to file whilst providing hints and tips to filers before their tax filing window opens in early December to liberate users from frustration around existing tax infrastructure. ‘To stand out we want to give users a feeling of empowerment that they can do it themselves,’ Connie said. ‘With significant growth in what I like to call the New Economy key pieces of infrastructure such as simplified tax filing are required. In short, we want to be the tax partner to the New Economy.’

For more information or to speak to Connie please contact the press office:

Josie Powell, PR Manager, Saïd Business School
Mobile +44 (0)7711 387215; Tel: +44 (0) 1865 288403
Email: josie.powell(at)sbs.ox.ac(dot)uk

Tom Pilsworth, PR Coordinator, Saïd Business School
Tel: ++44 (0)1865 288879
Email: thomas.pilsworth(at)sbs.ox.ac(dot)uk

Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. We are a vibrant and innovative business school, but yet deeply embedded in an 800 year old world-class university. We create programmes and ideas that have global impact. We educate people for successful business careers, and as a community seek to tackle world-scale problems. We deliver cutting-edge programmes and ground-breaking research that transform individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. We seek to be a world-class business school community, embedded in a world-class University, tackling world-scale problems.

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