The heads of 10 leading UK professional bodies have signed an open letter urging the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, to prioritise investment in HMRC’s service levels in his upcoming Budget statement on 15 March 2023.
The group represent hundreds of thousands of professional accountants and tax advisers working across the UK, from small and microbusinesses to multinational organisations.
The letter notes the Public Accounts Committee’s recent claims that £42 billion in taxes have not been collected at a time when HMRC customer service staff numbers have been cut by 24% in the past five years. It also argues that the delays and business disruption faced by their members has become “a regular occurrence when dealing with HMRC” with some businesses waiting upwards of six months for repayment and relief claims.
The signatories of the letter commented: “Our members are increasingly facing severe delays, business disruption and frustration when dealing with HMRC which is having significant ramifications for taxpayers, business owners and their agents. If the government wants to meet its economic objectives and boost productivity, it must invest in improving customer service and effectiveness at HMRC. We urge the Chancellor to treat this as a top priority in his upcoming Budget.”
The letter was signed by:
- Sarah Beale, Chief Executive Officer, AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians)
- Abdul Goffar, Director, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants UK
- Jane Ashton, Chief Executive, Association of Taxation Technicians
- Andrew Harding, Secretary General, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
- Ken Pullar, Chief Executive Officer, Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals
- Helen Whiteman, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Taxation
- Michael Izza, Chief Executive, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
- Bruce Cartwright, Chief Executive, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland
- Ami Copeland, CEO, Institute of Certified Bookkeepers
- Mark Walley, Chief Executive, STEP