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One star review AccountingWEB HMRC under scrutiny with release of performance survey
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HMRC under scrutiny with release of performance survey

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The Charter Stakeholder Group has released a survey giving a chance for individuals, businesses and agents to have their say on HMRC’s performance against its charter. 

21st Feb 2024
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A survey prepared by professional representatives from the Charter Stakeholder Group will be key in providing feedback on HMRC’s performance for the financial year 2023/24.

The survey uses the same standards as last year, which includes asking participants to rate HMRC out of 10 on: 

  • getting things right
  • making things easy
  • being responsive
  • treating people fairly
  • being aware of personal situations
  • recognising that someone can represent you
  • keeping data secure.

Richard Wild, head of tax technical at the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) said: “The results will speak for themselves as this year’s survey asks the same questions as before, allowing us to undertake a direct comparison between the two.”

Remembering last year’s survey, Wild said: “It reflected the feedback we were regularly hearing from our members, about their frustrations with wasted time and the cost of HMRC inefficiencies to taxpayers, agents and HMRC itself.

“The fact that the three charter standards of being responsive, making things easy and getting things right scored an average of just 2.8 out of 10 between them, with responsiveness being the poorest, highlights just how much HMRC’s performance impacts the health of the tax system,” he continued.

There isn’t much hope that this year’s survey will yield positive results. With the closure of HMRC’s helpline over the summer and further restrictions in December, taxpayers found themselves frustrated with HMRC’s lack of care.

“Given that this year has been even more challenging for agents and taxpayers, especially with the closures and restrictions on some phone lines, we would expect the survey to highlight continuing dissatisfaction,” said Wild.

It doesn’t look good for HMRC

As the survey made its way to Any Answers for the AccountingWEB community to see, several members voiced their opinions on HMRC’s performance.

Commenter SteveHA remarked that providing comments on all standards was impossible due to the complete lack of responsiveness from HMRC.

Another member, Jennifer Adams wrote, “I did think of completing this survey while hanging on the phone to HMRC, it’s been 31 minutes so far. It’s all so painful and a complete waste of time.”

The community was sceptical about whether the results would change anything. Considering last year’s survey results, it appears HMRC hasn’t shown any sign of improvement.

AccountingWEB contributor, Jason Croke summed up the community’s current feelings about HMRC by saying, “In reality, HMRC will ignore any results and will say they are on track to achieve their (internal and mystery) targets and that taxpayers must get used to using digital channels (so it’s the taxpayers’ fault for having queries HMRC’s basic Windows 95 software can’t cope with) alongside HMRC having no real people in the back office to pick up the failings of their digital systems.”

If you want to provide your opinions and experiences of HMRC, fill out the survey

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Replies (4)

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By FactChecker
21st Feb 2024 20:32

Sorry, but if you're going to re-issue an article ... it would be nice to be informed that's the case, along with a note of what (if anything) has changed.
[It might sound trite, but it's exactly the same lack of visible change management for which HMRC gets castigated from time to time.]

Having said which ... I'd encourage everyone to complete the survey. The chances of it having a real impact on any HMRC attitudes, let alone services, may be close to zero ... but the more that reply the slightly greater the chance that the PAC (for instance) can find suitable ammunition.

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Replying to FactChecker:
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By johnjenkins
27th Feb 2024 10:06

The PAC have already said that HMRC leave a lot to be desired and no notice was taken. HMRC now needs to be scrapped. What do you put in it's place I hear you ask. The admin can be done by clients Accountants. Auditors would be appointed to pick up any anomalies (all done from a central database containing everyone (of course fraud prevention would have to be strong). A separate entity for investigation and collection. This entity would liase with police etc.
Just think, no more IR35, no more AML, no more non answered phone calls, no more post taking a year to answer. I'm sounding a bit like Ewan McGregor.

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By JustAnotherUser
22nd Feb 2024 08:49

guess their customers will shop elsewhere /s

someone should commission a study to show better services returns high and more accurate tax payment and compare that to the MTD sentiment that MTD will not close the tax gap. Get them to spend those billions on improving service first.

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Morph
By kevinringer
27th Feb 2024 09:44

Whilst HMRC may take no notice of the survey, it can be used by the PBs as evidence to Government about the chasm that exists between HMRC's perception of its performance and HMRC's actual performance as ranked by "customers". HMRC want to close the tax gap but first they need to close their own reality chasm.

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