Government commits to improving extra support offered by HMRC

(2 minutes to read)

The LITRG has welcomed the government’s acceptance that further improvements are needed to help unrepresented taxpayers caught in a dispute with HMRC.

The government has responded to the Treasury Sub-Committee report ‘Disputing Tax’, saying it will continue to refine and improve the extra support service that HMRC offers.

The report, published in July, made a number of recommendations after taking advice from the LITRG, the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) and other stakeholders.

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) welcomes the government’s commitment to make improvements to services, and suggests how HMRC might capitalise on the report’s recommendations.

Victoria Todd, Head of LITRG Team, commented, “We have been concerned for some time that HMRC are failing to provide the necessary levels of guidance to ensure that unrepresented taxpayers can meet their obligations in full, as well as understand their entitlements under the tax and benefit systems.”

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Todd added, “People can find themselves in dispute with HMRC for many different reasons, sometimes unexpectedly. For example, we see often cases where individuals receive an inaccuracy penalty because HMRC think they have acted carelessly whereas the taxpayer concerned thinks they have made a mistake despite having taken reasonable care. We therefore welcome the Government’s acknowledgement of the importance of guidance in helping unrepresented taxpayers who are in dispute with HMRC and their acceptance that further improvements can be made to the GOV.UK material.

“While focusing on disputes is a good starting point, we hope that HMRC will prioritise reviewing and improving the accessibility, quality and level of detail in their guidance on GOV.UK, not just in relation to disputes, but more widely. This should in turn help prevent disputes arising in the first place.”

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