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HMRC's Charter - What Is It? What Has That To Do With Accountants?

14th Feb 2023
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The HMRC Charter is a document that outlines the standards of service and conduct that HMRC aims to provide to its customers. The charter was first introduced in 2009, and it sets out the principles that HMRC will follow when dealing with taxpayers.

 

Written in the Charter is as follows:

We Recognise that someone can represent you (hence tax agents are allowed, even if grudgingly it often seems). We’ll respect your wish to have someone else deal with us on your behalf, such as an accountant, friend or relative. We’ll only deal with them if you have authorized them to represent you. To protect you, HMRC works with professional bodies to set the standard expected of professional agents who support you to meet your tax obligations. We can refuse to work with professional agents who fail to adhere to this standard.”

 

The HMRC charter is based on four key principles, which are:

Respect: HMRC aims to treat all taxpayers with respect, recognizing their rights and responsibilities.
 

Professionalism: HMRC aims to provide a high standard of service, professionalism and expertise in its dealings with taxpayers.
 

Integrity: HMRC aims to act with honesty, transparency, and accountability, and to be impartial and fair in its dealings with taxpayers.

 

Responsiveness: HMRC aims to provide a prompt and efficient service, responding to queries and complaints in a timely and effective manner.
 

The charter is not a legally binding document, but it does represent a commitment by HMRC to deliver a high standard of service and conduct. The charter is supported by several service standards, which set out specific targets for HMRC in areas such as answering telephone calls, processing tax returns, and responding to complaints.

 

One of the key features of the HMRC charter is its emphasis on transparency and accountability. The charter sets out the rights and responsibilities of both taxpayers and HMRC, and it provides clear guidance on what taxpayers can expect from HMRC, and what HMRC expects from taxpayers.

 

The charter also includes several commitments by HMRC, such as:

To provide clear and concise information to taxpayers about their rights and responsibilities.

 

To make it easy for taxpayers to get in touch with HMRC, and to provide clear and helpful guidance when they do.
 

To treat all taxpayers fairly and impartially, and to respect their privacy and confidentiality.
 

To work with taxpayers to help them understand and meet their tax obligations, and to provide prompt and efficient service when dealing with tax returns and other matters.
 

To take complaints seriously, and to work with taxpayers to resolve any issues or concerns they may have.
 

The HMRC charter has been well received by taxpayers and tax professionals, and it has helped to improve the standards of service and conduct provided by HMRC. However, there have been some criticisms of the charter, particularly in relation to HMRC’s powers of enforcement and collection.

Overall, the HMRC charter is an important document that sets out the standards of service and conduct that taxpayers can expect from HMRC. By following these principles, HMRC aims to provide a fair, transparent, and efficient service to all taxpayers, while also maintaining the integrity of the UK tax system.

123Sheets:

123 Sheets provides Making Tax Digital software for accountants so that they can file data to HMRC on behalf of taxpayers, as is the client’s right under the HMRC Charter to appoint a representative to act on their behalf. Get 123 sheets at half price for your first purchase and learn more on our website.
 

 

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