Consultation begins on taxpayers’ charter

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has published a draft of a taxpayers’ charter and is inviting the views of the public and businesses on it.

The charter is designed to establish the various rights and responsibilities of both HMRC and taxpayers.

The one-page document details the role of HMRC; what customers can expect from HMRC; what HMRC expects of its customers; and where customers can find information when things go wrong.

The Chancellor had announced plans for the charter in the 2008 Budget.

In June last year HMRC ran a formal consultation on the scale and purpose of the proposed charter. It said that an overwhelming majority of those who responded to the initial consultation supported a single document that covered HMRC’s values and principles and its expectations of taxpayers.

Lesley Strathie, HMRC’s chief executive, said on the launch of the new consultation: “Our new HMRC Charter will be designed to be straightforward, clear and easy to understand. Individuals and businesses will know exactly what they can expect from us and what we expect of them.

“As part of the consultation we would welcome comments and views from any individuals and businesses who deal with HMRC to help us create a simpler and more customer-focused system.”

Stephen Timms, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, welcomed the charter.

Mr Timms commented: “The Charter will put the relationship between HMRC and the public on a clear footing, helping to reduce misunderstandings and disputes. By clarifying what both parties should expect from each other the Charter will also help to save time and reduce costs for both HMRC and its customers.”

Views on the charter need to be submitted by 12 May 2009.

The consultation document can be read on the HMRC website at: http://charterconsultation.hmrc.gov.uk