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Update for joint initiative on HMRC service delivery

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HMRC has published an update on the joint initiative on HMRC service delivery. The initiative was set up in September 2011 following the Treasury Select Committee recommendations that HMRC should work closely with professional bodies, tax charities and businesses to improve HMRC’s service and performance. Achievements include: a new HMRC standard of answering 80% of calls within five minutes and being more transparent by publishing contact centre performance; the introduction of a pilot scheme to trial filing R40 (claim for repayment of tax deducted from savings and investments) returns online; improvements to the P35 end of year process to help employers minimise or avoid end of year filing penalties, with HMRC having sent an extra reminder for 2012/13 and more timely letters to advise a return was late and penalties potentially accruing; debts are no longer pursued where a CIS repayment can be set against the amount due; the creation of a single point of contact for bereaved PAYE and SA customers and arranging for the affairs of a surviving partner to be reviewed at the same time as the deceased’s.

Paul Aplin, tax partner at A C Mole & Sons and former ICAEW Tax Faculty Technical Committee chairman, commented: ‘The changes to the P35 process resulted in significantly fewer employers facing penalties, the publication of call centre statistics increased transparency and extra call centre resource was allocated as a result. We are now working on improvements to CIS repayment turnaround and looking at new service standards. The project has delivered some real results on service delivery, but we still have much to do (and the enthusiasm to do it)’.