TaxScouts, the easy tax preparation startup, has raised £1.2m to double its team in the UK and expand operations.
This follows a pre-seed of £300,000 backed last July by angel investors.
TaxScouts combines automation and accountants, offering personalised online tax preparation at a fraction of the normal cost.
Founded by alumni of startups TransferWise and MarketInvoice, TaxScouts aims to help taxpayers avoid filing self-assessment tax returns as the clock runs down on January 31 by automating personal income tax preparation.
Last year, over 11 million self-assessment returns were due and even though 93.5 per cent were received by midnight on January 31, more than 1.2 million people left their taxes to the last minute, submitting their information on the two days before the deadline. Of this number, 30,348 people completed their returns in the last hour before the submissions closed. According to HMRC, over 745,000 people missed the deadline altogether, incurring an initial £100 fixed penalty, which applies even if there is no tax to pay, or if the tax due is paid on time.
Mart Abramov, co-founder and CEO of TaxScouts, said: “This funding could not have come at a better time. Not surprisingly, the last few months have been explosive for us as we are gearing up for our very first tax season … this new round of investment we’ll be able to focus on scaling the company to keep improving our services to both taxpayers and accountants.”
The company matches £99 taxpayers with a qualified accountant, who will prepare their tax return and offer advice. TaxScout partners with accountants throughout the UK, enabling smaller regional accountancy firms to expand their customer base nationally. TaxScouts hope to quadruple its network of accountant partners by the end of 2019. Another goal is to reduce the accountants’ workload by 80 per cent through process automation and digital data processing over the coming years.
Anthony Danon, principal at SpeedInvest, said: “With an ever-increasing amount of people in the UK experiencing non-standard income and with late fines amounting to billions last tax season alone, the time is better than ever to fundamentally redefine the experience, to make it seamless for everyone. TaxScouts has built automation that brings simplicity, speed and convenience through a unique approach that creates shared value across taxpayers and accountants. We are excited to be backing such a product-minded team that has led product and engineering in some of UK’s best fintech startup stories.”