HMRC Charter Consultation
HMRC have published a detailed summary of the changes they have made to the draft (Taxpayers’) Charter published last year.
HMRC received an unprecedented number of responses to the consultation. This followed the Chancellor’s announcement of a consultation process during the 2008 Budget. The 2009 Finance Act provides explicit legislative backing for the Charter when it is finally published.
The current draft Charter is longer than the previous draft but retains the simpler language and aims to be easier to understand – especially by unrepresented taxpayers. It comprises a front page with all key headlines and an additional three pages adding detail to explain each of the items on the front page.
The front page briefly sets out HMRC’s role and then explains what you can expect from HMRC and what they expect from you. In this context there are then two sections:
‘Your Rights’ – This summarises the nine expectations you can have of HMRC. That is to:
- Respect you
- Help and support you to get things right
- Treat you as honest
- Treat you even-handedly
- Be professional and act with integrity
- Tackle people who deliberately break the rules and challenge those who bend the rules
- Protect your information and respect your privacy
- Accept that someone else can represent you
- Do all we can to keep the cost of dealing with us as low as possible
‘Your Obligations’ – This summarises the three expectations that HMRC have of you. That is to:
- Be honest
- Respect our staff
- Take care to get things right
HMRC plan to launch the final Charter in the autumn following some final testing for tone, style and design.