HMRC’s Customer Charter

17 December 2020

Payroll professionals may not be aware of HMRC’s Customer Charter, but it is crucial in understanding what should be expected from HMRC, and equally, what HMRC expects from its customers.

The Charter is a legal requirement under the Finance Act 2009, which states that the Charter ‘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.’

The Charter defines the service and standard of behaviour that should be expected when communicating with HMRC. There are also additional principles of support for customers who need extra help.

HMRC’s aim is to collect the tax that is then spent on the UK’s public services, and it should assist customers in meeting their tax responsibilities, also ensuring that they get any benefits, tax credits, refunds or other support that they are eligible for. There is a reminder that firm action will be taken against the minority who act illegally.

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

The Charter reminds customers of mutual respect, and the fact that HMRC employees should not be subject to threats, intimidation or harassment, and that, where this does happen, it will take appropriate action.

Where a customer believes that the level of service they have received does not match the standards of the Charter, they have the option of making a complaint. The Charter should be referenced in the complaint, along with the elements of the Charter that the customer feels that HMRC has not met.

HMRC monitors performance against the Charter, and it publishes an annual report which details that information, including details about progress and priorities for further 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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