HMRC must improve its service to accountants

The Low Income Tax Reform Group has advised people who missed the deadline for tax credit renewal that there is still time to have their application processed.

The cut-off date for submitting application was July 31st. The LITRG says that HMRC will have sent out a statement of account to anybody who missed the end of July deadline. This statement will inform claimants that their payments have ceased and any funds paid since the start of the financial year will have to be returned to the government department.

People who receive such a statement should contact HMRC as soon as possible, but definitely within 30 days of receipt, if they want their claim to be renewed and reinstated.

In 2010, the 30 day grace period was extended to 60 days due to problems getting through to the telephone helpline, the LITRG explained. It is not known whether the same concession will be granted this year so it is in a claimant’s best interest to contact the Revenue as soon as they receive the statement.

Meanwhile, the CIoT has called on HMRC to take speedy action to improve the services it provides to accountants and members of the general public. The Treasury select committee recently criticised the Revenue for the way it handles complaints and deals with taxpayers’ phone calls.

The CIoT’s president, Anthony Thomas, said unacceptably poor service levels were a cause of much frustration for taxpayers and contractor accountants alike. There has to be trust between taxpayers and the Revenue if the system is going to work effectively and it has to be easy for people to obtain clarity about their tax affairs.

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