Tax Rebates & Refunds

Committee warns HMRC’s failings could undermine UK tax system

August 1, 2011
Posted in Income Tax — Written by Jennifer

A select committee into the effectiveness of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has warned that its failings could be undermining public confidence in the tax system.

The report uncovered dissatisfaction in HMRC services amongst members of the public, tax professionals and even the department’s own employees. Amongst the problems included in the report were:

• Delays in responding to post
• Excluding people without internet access
• Customers finding it difficult to contact HMRC by phone in busy periods
• Overpayments and underpayments of tax in the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) system
• Debt recovery letters sent out to the wrong people

The report states:

“There is a serious risk that if communicating with HMRC becomes too time-consuming, difficult and expensive, respect for the tax system, and with it voluntary compliance, may be undermined.”

The findings of the report, particularly where incorrect tax calculations are concerned, emphasise the need for people to take responsibility for their own tax contributions. If you think you are due a tax rebate, you can’t always rely on HMRC to calculate it and contact you – sometimes you need to take the initiative to get what you are owed.

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