HMRC is broken. What’s the fix?
HM Revenue & Customs is doing a less than stellar job of communicating with individuals, SMEs and their accountants. Here, John Edwards and Ian Hornsey on what’s behind the performance problems, and where the solutions lie.
Two of Ian Hornsey’s clients, both now living in Australia, have had ongoing issues with HM Revenue and Customs for seven years. They’re now “jumping up and down in frustration”, the Managing Director of Devonports LAS Accountants & Business Advisors says.
“They’re suffering penalties and interest charges,” says Ian, also Chair of the IFA Members Advisory Committee and IFA Regional Ambassador for Eastern England. “There’s a simple fix, and HMRC should have been aware of that simple fix. But even my most recent letters have not been responded to for more than four months.”
It makes business very difficult for a practising accountant whose job is to protect their clients while ensuring adherence to the various intricacies of the tax system, he says. And the problem seems to be getting worse, rather than better.
“The biggest problem, of course, is the feedback from HMRC that it just doesn’t deal with the individual,” Ian says.
“Basically, when an individual gets their taxes right by submitting information online, the system works. However, failure comes with the lack of communication when something goes wrong.
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