HMRC’s Customer Charter

21 January 2021

HMRC’s Customer Charter, under the Finance Act 2009, ‘must include standards of behaviour and values to which Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs will aspire when dealing with people in the exercise of their functions’. It is important for payroll professionals to be aware of the existence of the Charter, and its content, as it details what customers should expect from HMRC, and similarly what HMRC expects from its customers.

The Charter outlines the level of service and standard of behaviour that individuals can expect to receive when liaising with HMRC. There are also a number of additional principles of support for customers who need extra help.

HMRC’s primary function is to collect tax that is subsequently spent on the UK’s public services, and it should aid customers in meeting their tax responsibilities. HMRC should also ensure that customers receive the benefits, tax credits, refunds and any other support that they are entitled to.

The Charter also includes a reminder that, for the minority who act illegally, firm action will be taken. Additionally, employees of HMRC should not have to endure threats, intimidation or harassment, and the Charter reminds customers of mutual respect. Where behaviour of this nature occurs, again, appropriate action will be taken.

The standards are as follows:

  • Getting things right
  • Making things easy
  • Being responsive
  • Treating customers fairly
  • Being aware of a customer’s personal situation
  • Recognising that someone can represent a customer
  • Keeping customer data secure

In scenarios where a customer is unhappy with the level of service they have received, and this has not matched the standards of the Charter, they can make a complaint, and will need to reference the Charter, detailing which aspects of the Charter they feel HMRC has failed to meet.

An annual report is published, which provides information about HMRC’s performance against the Charter, and details progress, listing any priorities for future improvement.

CIPP comment

The CIPP sits on HMRC’s Customer Charter Stakeholder Group, so if you have any comments or feedback on HMRC’s Customer Charter, then please email [email protected] with the details. Thank you, as always, in advance.


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