LITRG has submitted its response to the latest consultation by HMRC on what powers they should take and what safeguards taxpayers and tax credit claimants should be given. We are concerned that HMRC, in its desire to rationalise its processes for business, will once again forget the need to give appropriate help to the most vulnerable of its customers.
It may not be widely known that 2007 has been designated ‘European Year of Equal Opportunities for All’. At the same time there are significant changes afoot in the UK, with the establishment of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR).
Last month the Treasury Committee published a report on how well HMRC have cut back their resources following merger whilst maintaining the level of service provision. Significant progress is being made on staff reductions but much remains to be done to provide an acceptable customer service
It is essential that any system of taxation should be transparent, as simple as possible and related to the ability of the individual to pay. In our submission to an influential group of MPs, we argue that rebranding council tax benefit as a rebate would both help simplify the system and improve take-up.
The occasions when the taxpayer or tax credit claimant is required to contact HMRC are rising every day, and with fewer and fewer opportunities to pop in to your local Revenue office it means that the phone call is an unavoidable cost. A report from the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) supports LITRG’s appeal for a much fairer deal for the HMRC customer.
Today, not long after thousands of pensioners with retirement annuities received incorrect PAYE codes, it is revealed that some 600,000 pensioners have had wrong amounts of tax collected from their pensions for many years.
The new Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Jane Kennedy) got off to a difficult start last week by announcing further problems identified with the tax credits system in the years 2003-04 to 2005-06. However it appears as if HMRC are going to take these mistakes on the chin and not seek recovery from claimants.