HMRC trials ‘lighter touch’ approach to enquiries

HM Revenue & Customs is launching six new ‘lighter touch’ approaches to
tax enquiries at selected locations around the UK.

The approaches are aimed particularly for those likely to make mistakes in
relation to their tax rather than those who are deliberately trying to pay less
tax than is due.

The aim of these is inform an ongoing consultation process into modernising
the powers of HMRC as well as to cut down on bureaucracy for the government,
taxpayers and their agents.

The new approaches include: 

– coaching taxpayers through a self audit system, correcting common
weaknesses in the preparation of their returns; 

– discussing perceived risks and, where necessary putting things right in
relation to common errors over the telephone; and 

– providing advice on changes to record-keeping procedures, to correct any
existing errors and help avoid future problems.

Doug Tweddle, director HMRC Local Compliance, said: ‘The vast majority of the
taxes and payments HMRC administers are paid correctly and on time without the
need for additional support or compliance action. But HMRC does not take this
for granted, and compliance needs to be made as easy as possible. ‘

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