Complaints against HMRC to go online
By Autumn 2019, taxpayers who are unhappy with the service they receive from HMRC will be able to email their complaint to the Adjudicator’s office. Currently they can only write, fax or call.
The Adjudicator’s Office is the independent watchdog whose role is to review service complaints about HMRC and the Valuation Office Agency. Their remit includes looking into complaints about mistakes and delays.
HMRC has agreed to fund the development of the secure email system that is required to handle such sensitive information, but later withdrew. The change of heart was put down to ‘competing priorities’ within HMRC.
The subsequent agreement to fund the system after all appears to have been the result of pressure from the Treasury Committee. The new system shovel be in place by Autumn 2019 at the latest.
Nicky Morgan, Chair of the Treasury Committee, is quoted as saying ‘Public-facing services simply have to be digitally accessible these days. Whilst it is astonishing in this day and age to say this, HMRC’s long-overdue commitment to provide a digital channel for the public to contact the AO is welcome.’
We will keep you up to date with developments in this area as time passes. In the meantime, please bear in mind that HMRC do NOT email taxpayers about refunds or overdue tax payments. Any such email that you receive is likely to be a scam.