Remember the tired old HMRC dog, that should have been put down years ago, aka The Taxpayers' Charter (HMRC use the "c" word and refer to it as a "Customer Charter")?
Well it still exists and, apparently, is being redrafted.
CCH Daily reports that HMRC commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct research to test taxpayers’ understanding of a revised version of its Customer Charter.
There have been criticisms that the charter is aggressive and assumes that those reading it will have contravened the tax law, rather than simply checking out their expectations around HMRC service.
The key areas that were most contentious were around whether the revised Charter used consistent language and tone, or created more confusion for customers with its threatening language.
There was criticism of the changing nuances of the language. Certain words stood out as being very different in tone to others, such as the word ‘tough’ with people questioning the language in Right 6, ‘Be tough on people who bend or break the rules’. This was felt to be more informal than language used elsewhere. One employer commented: ‘I find that a bit threatening. But maybe that’s what they want.’
There were some instances where the language was felt to be ambiguous. For example, some employers did not think Obligation 4 ,‘Keep accurate records and protect your information’ was as precise as they would like it to be. HMRC’s customer insight and knowledge team commented: ‘It made them (customers) question how long they needed to keep accurate records for and what exactly they needed to keep records of.’
The full results are available at HMRC Customer Views on the revised Customer Charter report
Tax does have to be taxing.
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