Call for HMRC to do more for unrepresented taxpayers

Published on 12 December 2011

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has given a qualified welcome to HMRC’s response to the Tax Agent Strategy consultation, in so far as it affects those who offer their services free.

LITRG’s Technical Director, Robin Williamson has commented that LITRG remain of the view that HMRC can, and should, do much more for unrepresented taxpayers on low incomes who, lacking the means to pay for professional advice, are too often the real victims of official error and misinformation.

LITRG recommends that HMRC should allow all taxpayers to view data held about them on HMRC systems, and offer them a fast-track route to telling HMRC about changes or raising queries – for example, via ‘online chat’, a secure electronic form or a telephone helpline. We hope this idea can be explored as part of the current consultation on tax transparency for individuals.

LITRG welcome HMRC’s efforts to date to engage with the growing body of voluntary sector advisers through various initiatives including the provision of grant-in-aid funding. £2 million funding of pro bono (no charge) activity has not only alerted many people to tax credits, reliefs and exemptions they might otherwise not have known about, it has also generated an extra £16.8 million in declared tax that would otherwise have been lost to the Exchequer. Yet more such funding can only bring a better understanding of their tax position for such people and the collection of the right amount of tax.

(12-12-2011)

Contact: Robin Williamson (please use form at http://www.litrg.org.uk/ContactUs)