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HMRC revises its taxpayers’ charter

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HMRC has published a revised version of its taxpayers’ charter, which it has called Your charter, setting out what taxpayers can expect from HMRC and what HMRC expects from taxpayers (see HMRC says it will:

  • respect you and treat you as honest;
  • provide a helpful, efficient and effective service;
  • be professional and act with integrity;
  • protect your information and respect your privacy;
  • accept that someone else can represent you;
  • deal with complaints quickly and fairly; and
  • tackle those who bend or break the rules.

In return, HMRC expects taxpayers to:

  • be honest and respect our staff;
  • work with us to get things right;
  • find out what you need to do and keep us informed;
  • keep accurate records and protect your information;
  • know what your representative does on your behalf;
  • respond in good time; and
  • take reasonable care to avoid mistakes.

HMRC chief executive Dame Lin Homer said the revised charter ‘links more clearly what customers can expect from us and what we expect from them; [and] underpins everything we’re doing as we transform our services and ways of working’.

Commenting on the revised charter, Andrew Hubbard (RSM) said: ‘Although it does appear that no fundamental changes have been made, it would surely have been better, in the interests of transparency, to set out clearly what had changed. To find out what had changed it was necessary to dig deep into the internet archives to compare versions. In an increasingly digital world, it will be very important to be able to access earlier versions of documents.’

HMRC also published the Your charter annual report (see, which reviews HMRC performance against the standards of behaviour and values in Your charter.

In related news, the department has recruited a new HMRC Board sub-committee (the Taxpayers’ Charter Advisory Group) to hold HMRC to account for its performance against the commitments in Your Charter. According to Ian Young, chair of the former Charter Advisory Committee, the revised Your Charter will have a much-enhanced focus within HMRC, and the charter ‘will have the “ear” of the Board when the Charter committee considers this is appropriate.’

External non-executive Edwina Dunn will chair the new committee as the Board’s charter champion; and the committee will include external non-executive Diane Herbert, along with five other external stakeholders who collectively represent HMRC’s broad customer base, including individuals and businesses, tax professionals and people who have a disability: Uday Dholakia, Natalie Doig, Chris Jones, David Oxley and Sue Terpilowski.

Ian Young, the chair of the former Charter Advisory Committee will attend Charter Committee meetings for the first 12 months to ensure continuity with the new committee, while Justin Holliday (HMRC’s chief finance officer) and Homer will also attend committee meetings.

Issue: 1293
Categories: News