THE TAXMAN HAS refuted claims that upheld complaints from taxpayers have increased three-fold.
UHY Hacker Young said it had obtained data from the Adjudicator’s Office showing that 446 complaints were substantially or totally upheld against HM Revenue & Customs, a rise from 229 in 2009 and 108 in 2008.
But HMRC said that these figures were slanted. Its own figures showed that there was a rise from 747 upheld complaints in 2008/2009 to 804 in 2009/2010. A spokesman added that this data is in the public domain on the Adjudicator’s Office website.
However, UHY Hacker Young said that the Revenue’s figures included partially upheld claims, which its own figures did not.
The spokesman added: “HMRC serves millions of taxpayers every year and a fraction of a per cent of those customers find it necessary to go to the adjudicator… We take all complaints very seriously and apologise to those customers to whom we have not provided the standard of service to which they are entitled”.
Roy Maugham, tax partner at UHY Hacker Young, said spending cuts could lead to an increase in complaints.
“There have been big cuts in staffing levels since the merger between the Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise in 2005. A further 10,000 job losses at HMRC were announced in the Spending Review. HMRC is struggling for manpower as it is, so these cutbacks will put further pressure on performance levels,” he said.
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