HMRC Covering Themselves in Glory…….. Again

There are calls for HMRC not to be able to access our savers bank accounts and remove money directly from our accounts as over 5 million taxpayers face uncertainty after a leaked memo revealed that HMRC had not only once, but twice miscalculated taxpayers bills.

Professional bodies such as The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) have stated that external tax specialists should be called on to review HMRC’s Real Time Information (RTI) system. One can only assume HMRC will not accept such an invitation, but would it be such a bad thing to let professional bodies such as ATT assist HMRC in reviewing their RTI system?

Whilst problems with the systems used by HMRC are not a new thing, it is concerning to the taxpayer when the current systems are miscalculating their tax bills and on top of that it is the horrifying potential that they can collect debts by ‘direct recovery’ from bank accounts including ISAs (this was announced in the Budget in March).

I believe a complete overhaul of the way HMRC is run and the systems used should be reviewed from the helplines, to the software that is used. The helplines are less than helpful and it is almost impossible to get through to them on the phone, not particularly user friendly to say the very least. The RTI systems were introduced as a way to resolve all the problems with the current systems, but this has proved not to be the case.

This is why I believe that a review on how HMRC is run and the systems should be reviewed by specialist professional bodies, independent of HMRC. We should be able trust and have faith in such a powerful government organisation, as it stands we have been left disillusioned. Should HMRC allow the likes of ATT to review their RTI systems, maybe this could be the first step to regaining the trust of the taxpayer?  

By:Sam Greenwell

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