Tax charter fails to meet needs of taxpayers

The draft of the taxpayers’ charter, which sets out the rights and responsibilities of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and taxpayers, has been described as “inadequate”.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) said that the draft version of the charter has too pronounced an orientation towards HMRC rather than towards taxpayers themselves.

The CIOT argued that the draft appears to have been produced by editing the recent internal mission statement ‘HMRC Vision’.

Nick Goulding, the CIOT’s president, said: “We can completely understand that the charter should have regard to the ‘HMRC Vision’ and that the charter should work for HMRC staff as well as for their customers. But its main orientation must be for users of HMRC’s services; it seems to us that the current draft has lost sight of this aim.”

Mr Goulding added: “It is an important complement to the ongoing review of HMRC’s powers, and needs to show that the department has a proper sense of taxpayers’ rights and is prepared to set out safeguards that balance its new powers.”