HMRC quietly alters taxpayer charter

Practice correspondent
Sift Media
Share this content
Tags
22

The new HMRC charter advisory committee have made their opening gambit, quietly overseeing the release of a tweaked version of the HMRC tax payer charter last week.

It seems yesterday’s changes will be just an initial tweak, with more to follow as 2016 proceeds. Ian Young, director of international tax at the ICAEW, has been appointed adviser to the new charter committee. The new Charter oversight Committee “should, as a result of its position within the HMRC structure, be absolutely at the heart of how HMRC runs the tax system,” wrote Young.

The committee’s aim, explained Young, is to ensure the charter is clear and easily understood. “[Few] people would wish to immerse themselves in the minutiae of tax legislation. The taxpayers’ charter should be accessible to all.”

The new ‘Your Charter’ is available to customers through HMRC - GOV.UK.

The timing of the change is surprising since the new charter committee is only scheduled to meet for the first time next month. The alteration being made during January is also bound to raise a few eye brows and there hasn’t been much clarity on what exactly has been altered.

Finding the old version of the charter to compare and contrast it to the new one has proven difficult. “They’ve removed the old version from the .gov.uk, which is very cunning of them.” said Rebecca Cave, AccountingWEB’s tax policy editor.

Cave was also unable to confirm exactly what has been altered, but she noted the format had indeed been changed. “There are some key things that have been removed. They’ve changed the format of it,” explained Cave. “I believe they’ve removed the condition to keep the costs of dealing with HMRC at a minimum, because it’s set out in HMRC promises to do these things and tax payer is required to do these things.

“It used to be an unequal number, but now it’s an equal number. I think they’ve invented some new requirements and gotten rid of some HMRC’s requirements.”

The biggest change is the removal of “Do all we can to keep the cost of dealing with us as low as possible”. The new charter has also added three new responsibilities to the charter: Find out what you need to do and keep us informed, know what your representative does on your behalf and respond in good time. These changes seem suited to HMRC’s digital tax strategy.

Young was swift to downplay the changes, writing that the alterations maintained the spirit of the 2009 version. “This has been fiercely debated with HMRC but I was always clear that the underlying concepts in the 2009 version remain absolutely relevant today and while they might need to be more clearly articulated there was never any need for them to be changed fundamentally.”

“As well as reviewing how HMRC has demonstrated the standards of behaviour and values included in ‘Your Charter’, HMRC also periodically reviews the content, identifying areas for change,” explained a HMRC spokesperson. “The updated Your Charter was developed with input from customers and stakeholders.”

They added, “Although we have made considerable progress towards achieving our vision for improved customer experience, we know that we have more to do to meet the expectations of our customers. ‘Your Charter’ provides the framework for how we will do that by setting out what customers can expect in their dealings with HMRC and also explaining customers’ obligations.” 

Chris Jones, the president of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, has also been appointed to the group to oversee the HMRC Charter. He and Young will comprise is two of five external stakeholders on the new HMRC Board Sub-Committee who collectively represent agents and taxpayers.

“I see this role as an opportunity to promote better customer service by HMRC and work with the other members of the sub-committee to ensure the views and experiences of a wide range of stakeholders are taken into account by HMRC,” said Young.

Replies

Please login or register to join the discussion.

There's a summary of the old charter in the annual charter report (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/fil...) which may help.

Thanks (0)

Amended with your help!

SteLacca wrote:

There's a summary of the old charter in the annual charter report (https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/fil...) which may help.

Thank you, SteLacca!

Thanks (0)

Old charter from the government web archive:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140104211445/https://www.gov...

 

Thanks (0)

Is there anything in it about picking up the phone ?

 

..probably not as its all going Digital and no doubt we will be shouting into the phones more to get the lady to realize what department we want only for them to have no idea what the call is about when we do get through !!

Thanks (1)

What is the point?

According to the online business dictionary, a "charter", when referring to an organisation, is a document that defines or mandates its function and lays down rules for its conduct or governance.  It is only worth something if the organisation that prepares it intends to stick to it.  This document is not really intended to achieve that.  It is primarily intended to tell taxpayers what they MUST do when dealing with HMRC.

 

The State was created to serve the populace ad not the other way around.  It is about time taxpayers told HMRC what they expect from it and have real powers of redress when HMRC fails to deliver.  The penalties for failure are all borne by the taxpayer and as we all know HMRC never admits to making a mistake or for failure to deliver its service promise unless held to account by a statutory body and even then there is no downside; it's representatives  do not even seem to get embarrassed.

Thanks (5)

Today's Service on HMRC's website

All this spin from HMRC.

While accessing their website just now I had to wait 5-10 seconds for every 'click' I made to navigate round the Self Assessment service.

Then I got:

This HM Revenue & Customs web service is currently unavailable. We apologise for this inconvenience. Some of our online services may be available, please follow the link below to access them.

Perhaps if their management got the basics right and stopped lying to MPs, tax practitioners would give them some respect. The boots on the ground at HMRC do deserve our respect for working in the most politicised department at Whitehall

Thanks (3)

HMRC altering tax payers charter

One day an HMRC boss visited a school and gave a talk to the kids about  what to expect from HMRC when they became taxpayers. Afterwards their teacher asked them to write an essay on what they though about the talk. Little Jonny wrote just this: " HMRC are bastards!" The teacher being somewhat upset contacted HMRC and asked if someone could have Jonny for a day and give him a tour of a typical HMRC office , give him lunch and sweets etc. This they duly did and the teacher asked Jonny for an updated essay. He wrote "HMRC are CRAFTY BASTARDS" !

Thanks (2)

date ?

For years in Working Together groups we asked HMRC to date all documents, and state on them when they were last revised.  In this way a practitioner could download guidance and demonstrate s/he has followed it in the case of any dispute with HMRC. 

This undated revised Charter demonstrates very clearly that HMRC is not at all interested in a level playing field, The fact HMRC changed it and did not bring this to everyone's attention just demonstrates they are not really interested in providing "a helpful, efficient and effective service", and certainly show the taxpayers no respect whatsoever.  (Items 1 & 2 of our "rights".) 

Thanks (2)

One Wonders Why?.........

HMRC and all Government Departments waste so much time on all this smoke and mirrors and "committees"?

Loved this bit!

"Young was swift to downplay the changes, writing that the alterations maintained the spirit of the 2009 version. “This has been fiercely debated with HMRC but I was always clear that the underlying concepts in the 2009 version remain absolutely relevant today and while they might need to be more clearly articulated there was never any need for them to be changed fundamentally.”

Neatly avoiding stating he and his cronies represented the ICAEW incestuous relationship, via CCAB and FRC et al, of representing the body of opinion from Mega Corp plc © (Copyright PDD(R)Ltd 2002 and 2015) but not the 99% of UK SME businesses!

When all that was needed was a short statement, such as:-

HMRC have redefined our relationship with all our devoted and loyal customers.

In future in any case where HMRC suspects a "customer" has not properly declared income or gains, HMRC will demand assessed taxes from said customer, in direct opposed perspective from the body of British jurisprudence where the accused is innocent until proven guilty and our new improved customer-friendly regime will presume they are all guilty. Meantime, HMRC will raid their bank account, serve APNs, send in the boys etc.

Unless, in the highly unlikely event, they can somehow prove themselves innocent.

In which case, HMRC shall subject the customer to an extended adversarial process of proof, which the majority will not be able to afford. So don't damned well bother! We are now Gods!

This new charter will make taxation more transparent and simpler, for all our devoted and loyal customers.

As part of this process of improvement, HMRC are closing the wasteful resources of local offices, telephone enquiry lines and online FAQs and replacing these cumbersome and costly processes by one agent serving the whole of the UK, who unfortunately, will be unavailable for 99% of the working week (defined as Monday to Thursday 10.00 AM to 4.00 PM) as they will be:

1.  On  a course aimed at improving their customer facing skills:

2.  On leave:

3.  On sick leave:

4.  On compassionate leave:

5.  In a meeting:

6.  On a language and communication course where they are learning (or trying to) speak English:

7.  Dead.

You know it makes sense!

Signed: HMRC Divisional Gauleiter

(Well, it is Black Monday!)

 

 

Thanks (3)

thanks

can i copy your post? ...nicely done. thanks

 

Thanks (0)

Customer?

The Cambridge online dictionary defines a customer as: "a ​person who ​buys ​goods or a ​service"

This means that they have a choice to buy or not. When will HMRC get rid of this condescending tone. Tax payers are not customers - they have no choice in the matter. They have to pay tax, and they have to pay it to HMRC.

Given the choice a customer has I am sure most would not chose to pay tax, especially to HMRC.

Thanks (2)

Old Charter

I've just come across this.  http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2009/11/28/hmrc-charter/

Thanks (0)

Taxpayers Alliance

I had my first encounter with the Inland Revenue almost exactly fifty years ago, and for the last 40 years I have experienced the gradual (now accelerating) decline in the services, morale, and honesty of the State's tax collecting authority. The only way I have been able to fight back is by joining and supporting the TaxPayers Alliance and I urge all who feel frustrated or angry about HMRC to lend their support to this organisation.

http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/

Thanks (2)

Committee waste of time - job done below

Proposed New Charter

HMRC responsibility to you;

1. None

Your responsibility to HMRC;

1. You must comply with every law that we implement in full or face penalties if you don't.

2. Submit returns on time and pay tax on time or face penalties if you don't.

3. You must read our minds and not comply with what the law actually says but must interpret what we actually meant when we made the law or face penalties if you don't.

4. You must not complain when we change the law years later and retrospectively apply it to you, as you should have read our minds in the first place.

5. You must answer letters within 7days, keep your books up to the minute with daily submissions of information we will do nothing with or face penalties if you don't.

6. You should accept with good grace that you chose to be self employed and work silly hours, with no pension and few holidays and if you wanted to finish at 2.30pm, have an awesome pension and flexi time working to suit yourself with no real accountability to anyone then you should work for HMRC under the new Charter responsibilities above.

 

Thanks (3)

Quango ?????

The new HMRC charter advisory committee have made their opening gambit,

Were nothing more than a Quango, not really they said ..........

 

quietly overseeing the release of a tweaked version of the HMRC tax payer charter last week.

Thanks (0)

Gotten

Are we talking about HMRC or the IRS?

I didn't realise Rebecca had learnt her English from Hollywood "movies" as well as Francois

I learnt mine at a small town comp.  It's pretty bad but I don't say "gotten".

Thanks (2)

Apparently obsolete

Extract from Chambers's Etymological English Dictionary, Edinburgh, 1956.

(arch., Scot., and U.S.) gott'en.

The 1882 version merely contained the abbreviation "obs." which would indicate that the word was in common usage in England but was no longer used at the time of publishing. 

Thanks (0)

Really?

Romanista wrote:

Extract from Chambers's Etymological English Dictionary, Edinburgh, 1956.

(arch., Scot., and U.S.) gott'en.

The 1882 version merely contained the abbreviation "obs." which would indicate that the word was in common usage in England but was no longer used at the time of publishing. 

Thus you are implying Rebecca and Francois are antedeluvian Scots, born around 1870?

"Past tense, past participle of Get".

Furthermore: "As past participles of get, got and gotten both date back to Middle English. The form gotten is not used in British English but is very common in North American English. In North American English, got and gotten are not identical in use. Gotten usually implies the process of obtaining something, as in he had gotten us tickets for the show, while got implies the state of possession or ownership"

Source Oxford Advanced English Dictionary.

In any case it is appallingly poor grammar.

"Gotten rid of..." means in American usage obtained. Ergo Gotten rid, means literally "I have some rid."

Is rid nice? Can you eat it?

Good grammar would suggest one writes, for example, "Have removed".

Sadly, as we live now in a cultural desert dominated by mass media, I am fatigued to receive letters and emails from major companies and government which proudly state "We have got." etc.

Have is entirely sufficient; got is redundant in any case.

P.S. I wonder if "Got" tastes the same as "Rid"?

 

 

Thanks (0)

I'm pleased that you did not start your response with "So".

I really enjoyed your response Michael. 

However, I was implying nothing of the sort.  Although, Francois could possibly hae some Scots blood; The Auld Alliance and a' that. 

 

I only quoted from that dictionary because that is the one that sits on my desk and has done since I left school.  Being a Scot I am too mean to buy a more up to date one.

Thanks (0)

Auch! Yer a canny wee lassie!

Romanista wrote:

I really enjoyed your response Michael. 

However, I was implying nothing of the sort.  Although, Francois could possibly hae some Scots blood; The Auld Alliance and a' that. 

 

I only quoted from that dictionary because that is the one that sits on my desk and has done since I left school.  Being a Scot I am too mean to buy a more up to date one.

Whilst I do have the Oxford English concise large hard back, I am off the English Oxford now, as they keep adding maniac made up nonsense words on the sole "justification" and premise that "They are in increasing popular usage."

The online Cambridge dictionary is excellent. And free...

You just hit on another of my peeves: commencing a sentence with the word "So"!

 

Thanks (0)

Change the HMRC at the top?

How about an outsider for head of the HMRC?

Steve Davis for CE of HMRC Board Petiti on Change.org

 

 

Thanks (0)

I signed yesterday

I actually signed that petition last night. It would be handy to have someone who doesn't have their head in the clouds and their nose in the ar**s of the rich and powerful in charge.

Thanks (0)