Public Accounts Committee inquiry: HMRC standard report 2022-23
LITRG submitted a response to the Public Accounts Committee inquiry into HMRC’s 2022-23 Standard Report.
The role of the inquiry was to allow the Committee to examine HMRC’s performance in 2022-23. The Committee invited updated evidence on HMRC’s performance in collecting revenue and managing compliance, the main components of the £814 billion raised by HMRC in 2022-23 and HMRC’s customer service and debt management performance.
LITRG’s written evidence focused on HMRC’s customer service and the impact on low-income unrepresented taxpayers. Whilst acknowledging general support for HMRC’s aim to be a trusted and modern tax department by becoming an increasingly digital organisation, our response raised a number of concerns about HMRC’s approach. In particular, not everyone can use digital channels – some people are digitally excluded and others need support to move to and use digital services. People also move in and out of these groups as circumstances change. HMRC must ensure adequate support is provided for those who need it and that non-digital channels remain easily accessible.
We also expressed concerns that some current digital services (including online guidance) are not yet at the standard required to facilitate a significant channel shift. We firmly believe that if digital services are good, people will use them without being mandated or forced. We also reviewed some of the more radical changes in the last year, such as the closure of the self-assessment helpline, and expressed concerns about the evidence base for these decisions and the decisions made to extend pilots based on limited data.
You can read LITRG’s full submission using the link provided. A link is also given to the original call for evidence.