Consultation: HMRC Charter

Published on 13 August 2020

LITRG has responded to the consultation on proposals to change HMRC's Your Charter.

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(c) Shutterstock / Claudio Divizia

LITRG consider that the Charter is an important document, especially for unrepresented taxpayers as it is an expression of the desired relationship between HMRC and those who interact with HMRC.

We have several concerns about the proposed wording contained in the revised Charter. In particular, the unequal balance of power between HMRC and the general public is not recognised within the draft Charter. HMRC have greater powers so they should also have more responsibilities; we think the Charter should explicitly acknowledge this. For example, we would like to see further emphasis on HMRC’s responsibility to provide accurate guidance and the understanding that genuine mistakes can and do happen.

The draft Charter is a short document and would benefit from links or subsections providing more detail for users of HMRC’s processes, systems and guidance. It should also link to specific targets or appropriate key performance indicators so there is more awareness of how a reasonable service from HMRC should work and what it should look like to its users.

This is the fourth iteration of the Charter since it was launched just over 10 years ago. LITRG is concerned that unless HMRC put the Charter at the heart of what they do, by training staff, embedding it throughout the organisation in day to day work and committing adequate resources to publicising it to the public, it will be no more effective than the previous versions and will therefore be of little use to either HMRC or those who interact with HMRC.

The consultation is available on GOV.UK.

Our response is available here.

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