ATT welcomes new HMRC commitments towards improving public trust and confidence in the tax system

The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) welcomes today’s publication by HMRC of their report on the implementation of powers and safeguards introduced since 20121 which has led HMRC to make a range of far-reaching commitments.

The findings and conclusions in the report follow over a year’s engagement between HMRC and stakeholders including the specifically created HMRC Powers and Customer Safeguards Implementation Evaluation Forum (Evaluation Forum), of which ATT is a member.

HMRC’s commitments today are impressive and reflect positive engagement between HMRC and their stakeholders, says the ATT. It shows the willingness of HMRC to recognise that the post-2012 powers and safeguards needed to be viewed in a much wider context.

Jeremy Coker, President of the ATT, said:

“The commitments by HMRC in the report can improve public trust and confidence in the tax system.

“Among the most significant promises made by HMRC are the focus on improving awareness and uptake of the statutory review process, updating HMRC’s guidance on what constitutes reasonable excuse for failing to meet a tax obligation, identifying ways to inform harder to reach taxpayer groups about tax obligations and supporting those who need extra help. Each of these commitments has the potential to make a real difference in the relationship between ordinary taxpayers and HMRC.

“It is encouraging that the Government wants the work of the Evaluation Forum to continue. We, the professional bodies and third sector members of the forum have voiced our concerns to HMRC strongly and consistently throughout the evaluation process and HMRC have responded constructively. The continuation of that relationship with the forum is essential if HMRC are to meet all 21 commitments.

“To meet these commitments, HMRC also need adequate and appropriate resourcing. The commitment by government to ensure they have such resources is not a luxury – it is an imperative. Trust and confidence in the tax system by the public is going to be vital in the years of recovery from the pandemic. We see HMRC’s new commitments as key building blocks in achieving that.”

Notes for editors

1. Evaluation of HMRC’s implementation of powers, obligations and safeguards introduced since 2012 (HMRC 4 February 2021)

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