CIOT: HMRC must act urgently on Treasury Committee recommendations

HMRC must act urgently on Treasury Committee recommendations

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has welcomed today’s Treasury Committee report into the Administration and Effectiveness of HMRC, which draws heavily on evidence provided by the Institute, its Low Incomes Tax Reform Group and other professional bodies.

Anthony Thomas, President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, said:

“Successive operational failings and unacceptably poor levels of service have damaged public confidence in the tax system.

“For the tax system to work effectively, there must be trust between taxpayers and HMRC. Taxpayers and their agents must be able to navigate the tax system easily, pay their taxes and get answers from HMRC to their questions. The key is clarity over their tax affairs.

“HMRC must act urgently on these recommendations or risk undermining confidence in the tax system still further. The recommendations are in line with the aspirations of the HMRC Charter, which was intended to embed a taxpayer perspective from the bottom to the top of the Department.

“I hope the Committee will call back HMRC officials in the near future, and regularly thereafter, to monitor the Department’s progress.”

The CIOT has welcomed the Committee’s recommendation that professional representative bodies, such as the Institute, should work with HMRC on drawing up public minimum service standards, developing new performance indicators and testing the Department’s communications.

Anthony Thomas commented:

“This is a welcome recognition from the Committee that, when it comes to making the tax system work better, tax advisers are part of the solution rather than part of the problem. We look forward to working with HMRC and other bodies to try to bring about improvements in these areas.

“We are also pleased that the Committee has recognised the concern of taxpayers and their agents that HMRC cost savings are in reality being displaced onto them. The Committee has asked us and the other bodies who raised this to provide evidence of the extent of the problem. We are already planning how best to do this.”

Notes for editors

1. ‘Administration and effectiveness of HM Revenue and Customs’, the House of Commons Treasury Committee’s Sixteenth Report of Session 2010-12, is published today, Saturday 30 July 2011. It will be available on the Committee’s website at:

2. The CIOT’s evidence to the Treasury Committee can be found at:

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) is a charity and the leading professional body in the United Kingdom concerned solely with taxation. The CIOT’s primary purpose is to promote education and study of the administration and practice of taxation. One of the key aims is to achieve a better, more efficient, tax system for all affected by it – taxpayers, advisers and the authorities.

The CIOT’s comments and recommendations on tax issues are made solely in order to achieve its primary purpose: it is politically neutral in its work. The CIOT will seek to draw on its members’ experience in private practice, government, commerce and industry and academia to argue and explain how public policy objectives (to the extent that these are clearly stated or can be discerned) can most effectively be achieved.

The CIOT’s 15,400 members have the practising title of ‘Chartered Tax Adviser’ and the designatory letters ‘CTA’.

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