HM Revenue & Customs – what to expect and what is expected

HM Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”) are the UK’s tax, payments and customs authority, and have one vital purpose – to collect the money that pays for the UK’s public services and help families and individuals with targeted financial support.

While HMRC assure taxpayers that they try their best to make your experience with them as easy as possible to ensure that things get done right, there could be instances where things are below satisfactory level. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of would what you can expect from HMRC and what HMRC expects from you:

Taxpayers’ rights – what you can expect from HMRC

Rights Comments
HMRC will respect you and treat you as honest HMRC will treat you even-handedly, with courtesy and respect. They will listen to your concerns and your questions clearly. They’ll presume that what you are telling them is the truth, unless they have good reason to think otherwise.
HMRC will provide a helpful, efficient and effective service HMRC will help you to understand what you have to do and when you have to do it. They will deal with the information you give them quickly, efficiently, and keep any costs to you at a minimum. They’ll make sure any mistakes are put right as soon as they can.
HMRC will be professional and act with integrity HMRC will act within the law and make sure that you are dealt with by people who have the right level of expertise. They’ll help you to understand your rights and will be sensitive to any financial difficulties that you might have.
HMRC will protect your information and respect your privacy HMRC will protect information that they obtain, receive or hold and only share information when the law lets them. They’ll explain why they need any additional information.
HMRC will accept that someone else can represent you HMRC will respect your wishes to have someone else deal with them on your behalf (accountants or relatives) and will deal with them courteously and professionally.
HMRC will deal with complaints quickly and fairly HMRC will deal with your complaints or appeals as quickly as they can.
HMRC will tackle those who bend or break the rules HMRC will identify those who are not paying what they owe or are claiming more than they should and recover the money. They’ll charge interest and penalties where appropriate and be reasonable in how they use their powers.


Your obligations – what HMRC expect from taxpayers

Be honest and respect HMRC staff You need to be truthful and act within the law. All relevant facts and information about taxes, entitlement and any additional information must be given to HMRC. You must treat HMRC staff the way you would like to be treated.
Work with HMRC to get things right You need to work with HMRC to make sure that your tax and payment affairs are right and that you are paying and claiming the correct amount of money.
Find out what you need to do and keep HMRC informed You need to make sure you know how to pay tax and claim payments and get in touch with HMRC as soon as possible if you need any help.
Keep accurate records and protect your information You need to make sure that you keep accurate financial records that support what you tell HMRC to do. You should not share confidential information with others such as passwords.
Know what your representative does on your behalf You need to make sure you know what information and payments representatives give HMRC. You need to make sure that the information and payments are accurate and on time.
Respond in good time You need to make sure you send returns and pay any amounts owed on time and pay interest on late payments or penalties promptly.
Take reasonable care to avoid mistakes You need to make sure you take care to avoid mistakes when sending HMRC information, paying taxes and claim any payments or relief.


Despite this, many times dealing with HMRC is not plain sailing. If you need to get your tax affairs right and are having troubles getting your point across to them, please contact a Barnes Roffe Partner today and let us help you.


Blog written by: Ellé Palmer

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