Many ordinary working taxpayers do not even know it exists, but The Taxpayers Charter is there to make sure that HMRC give you a service that is even-handed, accurate and based on mutual trust and respect. HMRC also want to make it as easy as possible for you to get things right.
The Charter is there to protect you and, better still, it gives you certain rights. In return for 3 simple obligations on your part (honesty, respect for HMRC staff and diligence to get things right) HMRC promises to:
- Respect you.
This includes treating you with courtesy and making you aware of your rights;
- Help and support you to get things right.
This includes processing the information you supply as quickly and accurately as possible and also correcting any mistakes as quickly as they can;
- Treat you as honest.
This includes only questioning what you tell them if they have good grounds to do so;
- Treat you even-handedly.
This includes consideration of any financial difficulties which you may be having and explaining what you can do if you disagree with their decisions, or if you wish to make a complaint;
- Be professional and act with integrity.
Critically, this includes a useful sub-clause to ‘make sure that you are dealt with by people who have the right level of expertise‘ and another to ‘let you know how appeals, investigations or complaints are progressing‘. Here at Taxfile we feel that these may be the most helpful clauses of all, judging by past history;
- Tackle people who deliberately break the rules and challenge those who bend the rules;
- Protect your information and respect your privacy.
This includes a sub-clause to respect your legal rights when they visit premises;
- Accept that someone else can represent you;
Hey – we would be happy to represent you!
- Do all we can to keep the cost of dealing with us as low as possible.
For example if you, or your representative (see clause 8 above) feel that an HMRC officer is relentlessly dragging out a tax enquiry with perhaps unfair queries, creating unnecessary work, then Point 9 of the charter gives you grounds to instigate a complaint on the grounds of unfair costs you might be incurring.
There are some potentially useful clauses there for the ordinary taxpayer. We have only skimmed the surface and there are many more sub-clauses and detail in the full version, which is available to download in PDF format here (right-click to save).
If you ever find yourself the target of an HMRC tax enquiry or investigation, Taxfile are here to help you. We can represent you (as per clause 8 of The Charter!) so you know the figures supplied to HMRC will be as accurate and as complete as possible, and all supplied with your best interests in mind. Contact us here for more information or alternatively book a no-obligation appointment at one of our London or Devon offices (choose Tulse Hill, Dulwich or Exeter).