HMRC’s Charter sets out what the public can expect from HMRC and vice versa. The Charter is divided into two main headings:
‘Your Rights’ made up of nine headings detailing what the public can expect from HMRC.
- 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’ made up of three headings detailing what HMRC expect from the public.
- Be honest
- Respect our staff
- Take care to get things right
HMRC have recently published their second Your Charter annual report which covers the period from January 2012 – March 2013. Whilst the report focuses on some successes in customer service including an improvement in call handling performance from 65.5% of calls answered in the first six-months of 2012-13 to an average of more than 90% of calls answered in the last six months of the year.
HMRC also accepted the criticism from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on HMRC’s failure to answer phone calls. HMRC have now introduced a new target to answer 80% of calls within five minutes (well below industry benchmarks to answer 80% of calls in 20 seconds).
The priorities identified by HMRC for 2013-14 are to focus on the ease of getting in touch (whether by phone, post or online), the service provided by customer-facing staff, clearer communications and ensuring there is certainty about when a matter is concluded.