ver the last few years we have noticed an increase with clients falling foul of bad decisions by HMRC.
The most recent example of the atrocious service HMRC are providing involved a client who was sent a bill for nearly £7,000 for an underpayment of tax.
Over the last year we have worked with Tax Aid to try resolve the issue. Our client, Jose had , at all times, reported all changes to his circumstances .
Despite Jose client taking the initiative and staying in contact touch with HMRC , they:
- repeatedly failed to respond
- assessed him on the wrong National Insurance number
- spelt his name wrong
- sent the letters to the wrong address
- linked him with two identities
- sent him an unclaimed tax refund of £1621 claimed he had underpaid and owed £6800
- repeatedly asked for higher payments extend the period for repayment.It took Nucleus’ and Tax Aid’s involvement, since January 2015, to stop HMRC pursuing him for alleged money owed. Even then it’s taken a year to get a resolution – with HMRC have finally agreed to write off the debt
The Public Accounts Committee’s recent report ( Nov 2015: service 80%.) found that “HMRC is still failing to provide an acceptable service to customers” as it fails to answer the majority of calls and that they “could not tell us [PAC] when it would be able to do so” .
The committee said HMRC was only answering 39% of phone calls within five minutes, against a target of We welcome the report which states that HMRC produces a detailed plan setting out how and when it will provide an acceptable standard of customer
This echos a recent Citizens advice report which reported that the average wait when calling HMRC is over 47 minutes which in turn costs clients like Jose of £4.66 for each call they make to try and resolve their issue. Money client’s like Jose can ill afford.