HMRC has responded to concerns raised by tax agents with a wide-ranging initiative to improve its service to agents - starting with post processing and handling.
The tax department will work hand in hand with professional tax bodies to achieve quick improvements on priority issues as well as working towards a more rounded view of service quality that will include new performance measures.
The plan was agreed with professional tax bodies at a high-level meeting on 7 September when HMRC chairman Mike Clasper and several board members agreed to start work at the beginning of October on three strands of activity:
- A review of post processing and handling, to be followed by other priority areas identified by practitioners: non-Self Assessment repayment claims; automated PAYE coding notices; and issues relating to deceased estates.
- A programme under which tax agents and charity representatives will spend time with HMRC’s front line service delivery teams to bring a “customer” perspective to bear on its internal processes.
- HMRC staff will also carry spend time with practitioners and charities to learn what it’s like to experience the tax department’s service on the other side of the fence.
The priority issues were initially flagged up by the ICAEW Tax Faculty, and then confirmed in a profession-wide survey; 199 AccountingWEB members took part, and their priorities closely matched those of the professional bodies that ran similar surveys: