HMRC claims service delivery improvements

THE TAXMAN CLAIMS it is up to speed in meeting objectives to provide a better service.

HM Revenue & Customs has made a Joint Understanding Agents Project statement, outlining its progress in improving its service delivery.

The Revenue visited practitioners to understand service delivery from their viewpoint, while practitioners and charities reviewed HMRC’s post-handling processes, the way in which bereavement cases were handled and repayment and PAYE coding issues.

Initially, objectives were set for three-, six- and nine-month increments at a meeting hosted by Mike Clasper last September in response to the Treasury Select Committee’s recommendation that HMRC should work with the professional bodies, tax charities and businesses to improve the experience of dealing with HMRC.

The Revenue reports it is currently on schedule with all its suggested improvements committed to in December 2011. Up to 31 March, it had:

– Issued clearer guidance issued for employers on P35 notices;

– Launched an e-mail pilot to 15 advisors, due to be expanded to 200. HMRC says the initial feedback has been positive.

– A single point of contact for self-assessment and PAYE aspects of bereavement cases set up in Cardiff;

– Started online initiatives aimed at better communicating HMRC changes;

– Undertaken a study of bulk mail processes and deadlines;

– Adopted improvements to the processing of form 64-8;

– Collated and analysed feedback on HMRC phone services

The improvements scheduled for the six- and nine-month deadlines include ensuring that incoming post is channelled more effectively, creating an online tool to enable agents to ascertain expected response times, improving the exchange of information on pensions between HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions and exploring options for faster repayments.

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