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Customer Charter

Responses from the Individual Stakeholder Forum - Thursday 6 March 2008

  • HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) would like a simple, straight forward document to become a core part of our communication where customers will find out what we need to know.
  • Something to cover all HMRC customers.
  • Engagement with staff to run parallel with customer engagement.
  • Taxpayer charter is only a working title so need views on what to call the document.
  • Timescale – could be up to 18 months.

Forum reaction to the project

  • Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) welcomes it provided it is permanent, statutory, and prominent part of relationship with department. (Not like old Charter) To regulate relationship between taxpayer and government (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) charter – good example).
  • A document to hold HMRC accountable.
  • Tax Aid would welcome an accessible document to help people in need to understand responsibilities and rights.
  • Level up the playing field – HMRC knows their responsibilities but taxpayers do not know when they should hold the department responsible for failing to do what they say they will do.
  • Needs to contain remedies for customers when things go wrong.

How members could use the Charter

  • Clients don’t know – HMRC needs to think through how to use intermediaries to pass on charter details to their clients/members.
  • Intermediaries may use charter on their clients behalf.
  • Issues with all groups and want to work with each for useful document.
  • Something in terms of how/when HMRC liaises with third party eg debt advice agencies.

Appropriate name for the document

  • Write it first and then name it.
  • One charter could prove impossible for all customer groups – tailor to groups otherwise too general.

Next steps

  • Informal discussions with stakeholder now started and more to follow.
  • HMRC will send a letter of invitation to customer groups to ask them if they want to be involved in discussions.
  • Two formal consultations.

Who else – other groups not represented at ISF

  • Devolved administrations.
  • Let Ifeoma know.