Tax Credits: HMRC Charter

HMRC publish a range of their responsibilities in relation to tax credits in the Code of Practice 26 which is considered in detail in other parts of this website.

However, in relation to more general responsibilities these are set out in HMRC’s Your Charter. The Charter was introduced in 2009 and has statutory backing in the Finance Act 2009. Although it does not replace existing rights and remedies, it is a useful addition especially during the complaints process. The Charter is revised from time to time and was last updated in 2020.

HMRC’s Charter sets out HMRC’s standards which  may be quoted at HMRC and they expect to be held to account to them. There is statutory backing for Your Charter and HMRC have to report on their adherence to the provisions.

If HMRC do not adhere to their undertakings it can be used as the basis for a complaint and possibly compensation and a consolatory payment. See our section on Complaints.

 We have reproduced an extract from HMRC’s Charter showing HMRC’s standards  :

Working with you to get tax right

HMRC is here to collect the tax that pays for the UK’s public services.

We’ll help you meet your tax responsibilities and make sure you get any benefits, tax credits, refunds or other support you can claim. However, we will take firm action against the small minority who bend or break the law.

Our standards

Getting things right

We’ll give you accurate, consistent and clear information. This will help you meet your obligations, and understand your rights and what you can claim. When we ask for information, we rely on you to give us full, accurate and timely answers. If you disagree with us, we’ll tell you about options available to you and work with you to reach an appropriate outcome quickly and simply.

Making things easy

We’ll provide services that are designed around what you need to do, and are accessible, easy and quick to use, minimising the cost to you.

Being responsive

When you get in touch with us, we’ll make sure that the people you deal with have the right level of expertise. We’ll answer your questions and resolve things first time, or as quickly as we can. We’ll also explain what happens next and when you can expect a response from us. If we make a mistake, we’ll put it right as soon as possible. If you’re not satisfied with the service you’ve received, we’ll explain how you can make a complaint.

Treating you fairly

We’ll work within the law to make sure everyone pays the right amount of tax and gets their benefits and other entitlements. We’ll assume you’re telling the truth, unless we’ve good reason to think you’re not.

Being aware of your personal situation

We’ll listen to your worries and answer any questions clearly and concisely. We’ll be mindful of your wider personal situation, and will give you extra support if you need it.

Recognising that someone can represent you

We’ll respect your wish to have someone else deal with us on your behalf, such as an accountant, friend or a relative. We’ll only deal with them if you have authorised them to represent you. To protect you, HMRC works with professional bodies to set the standard expected of professional agents who support you to meet your tax obligations. We can refuse to work with professional agents who fail to adhere to this standard.

Keeping your data secure

We’ll protect information we hold about you and treat it as private and confidential. We’ll always use that information fairly and lawfully.

Mutual respect

We take any threats, intimidation or harassment very seriously and will take appropriate action against any behaviour of this type. We’ll always treat you in line with our values of respect, professionalism and integrity. Our employees are people too and we expect you to treat them in the same way.

The charter is available on the GOV.UK website.

Last reviewed/updated 12 July 2021