Contractors and MPs criticise HMRC for customer service failures
For most people, the need to get in touch with HM Revenue and Customs is a source of stress in itself, whether it’s to update information, query a bill or deal with a situation which cannot be handled through the online systems. But those who are concerned about having to get in touch with the tax man will be disappointed to hear that MPs have described the levels of customer service offered by the department as ‘worse than abysmal’.
Describing multiple failures on the part of HMRC, the MPs even expressed concerns that the lack of organisation on the part of the department’s customer service teams could have a negative impact on their ability to collect the tax that is due. The main complaint is that around half the calls made to HMRC in the first half of 2015, totalling around 12 million according to estimates, went unanswered. There are also concerns that there is no data on losses due to tax avoidance and the rate of prosecutions for those who are suspected of tax evasion have been described as ‘woefully inadequate’.
Many people are concerned that there still aren’t appropriate systems in place to effectively address the problem of avoidance schemes or that of offshore tax evasion. There has also been some concern that the way that revenue is reported to the public is unnecessarily complicated and confusing. The failure of the department to identify positive moves which will improve their performance when it comes to addressing the problems that have been identified has led to the MPs in question issuing a list of 12 urgent recommendations, despite their previous suggestions having been effectively ignored.
Whether or not HMRC’s current poor performance has a knock-on effect on their ability to collect the appropriate level of taxation has yet to be seen, but there is no doubt that their practices will be under scrutiny in the coming months.
If you are just starting out on your own and want to know more about the details of contractor tax then our guides can help you to understand what is involved. We also have a contractor take home pay calculator which will ensure that you have realistic expectations of what you could be earning and we also have plenty of free contractors’ guides which will help you to understand the wider picture when it comes to working for yourself.
For anyone who wants to ensure that they are not affected by the inadequacies in the system, using a specialist accountant will mean that you do not have to deal with HMRC direct, not to mention the benefits of expert advice and support when it comes to your finances. Call our team today to find out how we could save you time and money on 01442 275789 or email your enquiry to email@example.com.