CIoT releases its ideal Taxpayers’ Charter

A draft of what a UK Taxpayers’ Charter could look like has been released
today by the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

The release of the CIoT version of the charter follows financial secretary
Jane Kennedy’s January announcement that government will introduce a document
outlining the rights and responsibilities of taxpayers and HM Revenue &

The CIoT has examined systems in other countries in the compilation of its
charter and is adamant that if the document is to improve the relationship
between taxpayers and HMRC then it has to go beyond standard customer service

Among the more contentious points in the CIoT’s document will be its calls
for the right of a taxpayer to minimise tax liabilities and the right not to be
subject to retrospective taxation.

The CIoT believes the taxman should commit to sticking to its prior views on
tax arrangements and should accept that there is a difference between ‘lawful
tax mitigation and unacceptable tax avoidance’. HMRC should also ‘check very
carefully’ whether a taxpayer has engaged in ‘unacceptable tax avoidance’.

The body also wants HMRC to provide companies with tax arrangements that are
affected by new legislation with time to unwind the arrangements. As a general
principle new tax law should only apply to events occurring after laws have

The Institute also wants taxpayer’s to have the right to be presumed honest
and compliant, the right to Human Rights and European Community freedoms and the
right to minimise compliance costs.

Further reading:

the CIoT’s version of the Taxpayer’s Charter here

Government to produce taxpayers’

Related reading

PwC office 2