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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/hmrc-charter/consultation-hmrc-charter
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) proposes to update its charter which sets out the standards of behaviour and values that HMRC aspires to when interacting with customers – what you can expect from us and what we expect from you.
HMRC deals with the tax and payments affairs of almost every business and individual in the UK.
HMRC’s Charter is a legal requirement under the Finance Act 2009 section 92. The legislation states that the charter ‘must include standards of behaviour and values to which Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs will aspire when dealing with people in the exercise of their functions’.
Legislation also says the charter must be reviewed regularly and revisions published. The last charter review was completed in August 2015.
You can read the current HMRC Charter.
Why HMRC is reviewing the charter now
HMRC began work to review the charter in September 2019. Our ambition is for the revised charter to set out more clearly the experience that we want to deliver to our customers.
This approach supports the recommendation made by the Loan Charge Review in December 2019 that HMRC’s Charter be reviewed ‘to set higher expectations of performance during interactions with members of the public and ensure that staff are offered training on how to deliver it’.
This charter review also supports recommendations from the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee report ‘The Powers of HMRC: Treating Taxpayers Fairly’ in December 2018. This report recommended that ‘the Charter is amended to clarify HMRC’s responsibilities towards unrepresented taxpayers including that issues are clearly set out, legislation is explained and rights to review and appeals are made accessible’.
How HMRC has reviewed the charter
Over the last 3 months, we have reviewed HMRC’s Charter using various methods including:
- reviewing existing insight, such as HMRC’s annual customer surveys, on what matters most to customers
- researching other customer charters and customer promises in organisations that are similar to HMRC
- holding several face-to-face round table events where our people including frontline employees and customers worked together to discuss the current charter and tell us what is most important to them
- consulting with internal forums and external stakeholder forums across HMRC
- discussing our charter ambition and obligations at HMRC’s Customer Experience Committee, which replaced the Charter Committee in autumn 2018
Proposals for a revised charter
HMRC has drafted a revised charter which it would now like to put to public consultation.
The revised draft charter aims to take account of views we have received so far for example that the revised charter:
- is short and direct with simple, accessible language
- embodies or represents HMRC’s values: we are professional, we act with integrity, we show respect and we are innovative
- is more focussed on HMRC’s commitments to customers, while not losing sight of customers’ obligations to HMRC
Measuring our performance against the charter
The Customer Experience Committee assists the Commissioners of HMRC in their statutory obligation to report each year, through the Charter Annual Report, on the extent to which HMRC has demonstrated the standards of behaviour and values included in the charter.
We are examining our measurement framework as part of the overall charter review and would welcome views on how best to measure performance against the revised charter during this consultation.
Ways to respond in the consultation process
The consultation period will run from Monday 24 February to Friday 15 May 2020.
We welcome comments on any aspect of the revised draft charter and, or how HMRC uses its charter.
The list below may help you to structure your feedback:
- do you think the draft charter sets the right standards for HMRC’s service to customers?
- to what extent do you feel the draft charter sets out the areas which are most important to customers when interacting with HMRC?
- how you would like to see HMRC measure and monitor how it is performing against the charter, including how it can best listen to feedback and take action on areas for improvement?
Email your views to: HMRC.Charter@hmrc.gov.uk.
Write to: HMRC Charter Team, Customer Insight and Design Directorate, 9th Floor, 10 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB
Revised HMRC Charter (draft)
Working with you to get tax right
HMRC is here to collect the tax that pays for the UK’s public services. We do this by working in partnership with you.
We will help you meet your tax responsibilities and work with anyone you’ve asked to act for you. We will also help make sure you get any benefits, tax credits, refunds or other support you can claim. However, we will take firm action against the small minority who bend or break the law by not paying their tax.
What we want our service to be all about
Making things easy
We aim to ensure our services are as accessible as possible and that it is easy, quick and convenient to deal with us.
Getting things right
We aim to give you accurate, consistent and clear information. This will help you meet your obligations, understand your rights and what you can claim. When we ask for information, we rely on you to give us full, accurate and timely answers. If you disagree with us, we will inform you about options available to you and work with you to reach an appropriate outcome quickly and simply. If you are not satisfied with the service you have received, we will explain how you can make a complaint.
When you get in touch with us, we aim to answer your questions and resolve things first time, or as quickly as we can. We will also explain what happens next and when you can expect a response from us. If we make a mistake, we will put it right as soon as possible.
Treating you fairly
We work within the law to make sure everyone pays the right amount of tax and gets their benefits and other entitlements. We trust you are telling the truth, unless we have good reason to think you’re not.
Being aware of your personal situation
We will listen to your worries and answer any questions clearly and concisely. We will be mindful of your wider personal situation, including offering you extra support if you need it.
Keeping your data secure
We will protect information we hold about you and treat it as private and confidential. And we will always use that information fairly and lawfully.
A word about respect
We will always treat you in line with our values of respect, professionalism and integrity. Our employees are people too, so please treat them in the same way. We take any threats, intimidation or harassment very seriously and will take appropriate action against any behaviour of this type.