HM Revenue and Customs

HM Revenue and Customs

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Helping people to provide accurate information about their tax affairs is essential if they are to pay the right amount of tax. Accurate and timely information also helps to reduce the cost to HM Revenue a Customs (HMRC) of seeking information or correcting errors. HMRC spends Ap35 million a year on producing and distributing printed forms and other guidance, and Ap55 million a year answering 12.5 million enquiries on how to complete forms through 13 telephone helplines, face to face meetings at 279 enquiry centres or via its website. It handles over 20 million telephone calls a year from taxpayers. Its performance in answering telephone calls has improved with 72 per cent of calls answered within 20 seconds in 2006-07, compared with 45 per cent in 2005-06. But it is still below the general industry benchmark of 80 per cent. HMRC is encouraging people to use the most cost-effective method of contact that meets their needs. Improving its forms and guidance, as well as its website, should reduce avoidable calls. It estimates that it could save over Ap100 million by encouraging more people to use its website and online services. It is estimated that 3.3 million taxpayers filing Income Tax Self Assessment returns understated their tax by Ap2.8 billion in the 2001-02 tax year. Of this, around Ap330 million arose from unintentional mistakes by taxpayers. HMRC provides accurate and complete advice in 95 per cent of telephone enquiries. But taxpayers sometimes receive inaccurate or incomplete advice because more complicated enquiries are not always referred to expert staff.Errors in completing the Departmenta#39;s forms may result in a taxpayer paying too much or too litde tax, or in the Department ... Despite this, the National Audit Office mystery shopping exercise identified various topics on which staff provided anbsp;...

Title:HM Revenue and Customs
Author:Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts
Publisher:The Stationery Office - 2008-05-15


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