This is a freeview 'At a glance' guide to HMRC's Customer Charter. HMRC's Charter sets out what taxpayers can expect from HMRC and what HMRC expect from taxpayers. The latest version was issued in November 2020. 

Finance Act 2009 introduced a legal requirement for HMRC to prepare and regularly review a Charter which 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". 

HMRC’s Customer Charter replaced the Taxpayer’s Charter.

As well as HMRC's obligations, the 2009 and 2015 versions of the Charter set out taxpayer obligations to HMRC, including: 

  • Be honest and respect our staff.
  • Work with us to get things right.
  • Find out what you need to do and keep us informed.
  • Keep accurate records and protect your information.
  • Know what your representative does on your behalf.
  • Respond in good time.
  • Take reasonable care to avoid mistakes.

January 2016 saw a number of subtle amendments and a balancing of the number of items on each side; the most significant of these was a downgrading of the obligation for HMRC to keep the costs of enquiries to a minimum from a right to a promise.

A new Charter was published in November 2020. 

The revised version of the Charter focuses on what HMRC will do for taxpayers and contains three main headings: 'Working with you to get tax right', 'Our standards' and 'Mutual respect'.

The Charter opens with a statement that HMRC will "help you meet your tax responsibilities and make sure you get any benefits, tax credits, refunds or other support you can claim"

HMRC's seven standards are detailed as: 

  • Getting things right.
  • Making things easy.
  • Being responsive.
  • Treating you fairly.
  • Being aware of your personal situation.
  • Recognising that someone can represent you.
  • Keeping your data secure .

The need for mutual respect is emphasised, reiterating that HMRC employees should be treated accordingly.

The Charter then provides information on what to do if you are not happy with a decision or the service you have received.

HMRC are required to report at least once a year on how they have demonstrated the standards of behaviour and values included in the Charter.

Useful guides on this topic

How to appeal an HMRC decision
Disagree with a HMRC decision? How to appeal, what type of decision can you appeal, what are your different options when you disagree with HMRC? What are the key steps in making an appeal?

Statutory Review (by HMRC)
What is a Statutory Review? Is it automatic? What happens in a Statutory Review? Can you challenge a Statutory Review's findings? Can you influence a Statutory Review? 

Writing to HMRC? Address and links
HM Revenue & Customs have different addresses for Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE), Self Assessment (SA) and Capital Gains Tax (CGT) customers to use. Deciding which address to use is the fun part.

External links

The HMRC Charter

HMRC’s principles of support for customers who need extra help

HMRC Charter performance indicators

Finance Act 2009 section 92


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