Nichola Ross Martin, on AccountingWeb, bemoans the fact that complaining to the HMRC about their cock ups costs time and money:
"If you are like me, then your experiences of HMRC error, mistake and delay will have cost your average clients hundreds, not thousands of pounds.
The time and expense of writing into HMRC and the adjudicator to make a claim for compensation will often increase the claim disproportionately – it might double. Making such claims also feels like a waste of one’s professional time."
She calls for a fresh approach, and the implementation of a table of statutory compensation for HMRC cock ups.
"The level of compensation would apply to the gravity of the problem. The highest level would be paid where it was found that the incident to which it pertained was wholly avoidable by HMRC and the taxpayer or agent had suffered prolonged stress, delay and were unable to carry out one or more tasks as a result."
I and, I suspect, many other taxpayers heartily endorse her suggestion.
However, I fear that HMRC and the government will never implement it.
HMRC and the government wish for the dice to be loaded against the taxpayer, in their eyes we are their servants not the other way around.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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