People who need to renew tax credits with HMRC by the 31 July deadline now have another helping hand in the form of Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant
Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant can now be used to renew tax credits in a new service launched by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Britain’s tax collection authority says more than three million people will benefit from being able to use devices such as the Amazon Echo smart home system to seek help about state benefits, which must be renewed by 31 July.
People can ask Alexa to “open HMRC” and ask for help and information with a change of circumstances, payment information or a renewal.
No personal information is stored on Alexa and customers can’t renew their tax credits using the system.
To renew tax credits, tech-savvy customers can use the HMRC smartphone app, which also allows them to check their tax credits payment schedule and find out how much they have earned for the year.
HMRC’s Alexa service makes life more convenient
Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s director-general for customer services, said: “We know our customers have hectic lives – full of interruptions and distractions – which is why HMRC’s online services are available at all times of the day and night.
“As the 31 July deadline for tax credits renewals approaches, customers can feel reassured that they can renew their benefits online or via the HMRC App at a time that suits them.
“And if they need to access help and support – Alexa can help customers find out about what to do when they receive a renewal pack, how to change their circumstances or how to find out about payment information.
“We’ve improved our services so customers can renew their tax credits at a time that’s convenient to them.”
Tax credits help working families with targeted support and more than 65,000 customers this year have already used the app to renew their tax credits, compared to 38,411 customers in 2017.