HMRC has released its latest report showing how it has performed against the HMRC Charter during 2021. In all areas reviewed there have been no improvements since 2020.

The report sets out how HMRC has performed against a number of charter standards compared to 2020, and also includes some performance updates for 2021-22. The latter shows a 2% increase in complaints about HMRC performance between 2020-21 and 2021-22 and a 3.2% decrease in customer satisfaction with phone, webchat and digital services.

The worst areas identified by the report in terms of a decline in performance between 2020 and 2021 were:

HMRC ensures all customers pay/receive the correct amounts

  • 29% of individuals agree (41% in 2020)
  • 52% of small businesses agree (58% in 2020)
  • 69% of mid-sized businesses agree (new question for 2021)
  • 54% of agents agree (54% in 2020)

HMRC applies penalties and sanctions equally

  • 23% of individuals agree (37% in 2020)
  • 39% of small businesses agree (41% in 2020)
  • 44% of mid-sized businesses agree (44% in 2020)
  • 39% of large businesses agree (52% in 2020)
  • 53% of agents agree (48% in 2020)

The most positive overall response came for the standard ‘HMRC treats customers/your business fairly’ where:

  • 71% of individuals agree (73% in 2020)
  • 80% of small businesses agree (85% in 2020)
  • 71% of mid-sized businesses agree (73% in 2020)
  • 90% of large businesses agree (91% in 2020)
  • 71% of agents agree (76% in 2020)

It would seem that large businesses are broadly happy with their Customer Compliance Managers (CCM) with 81% agreeing that responses were received with agreed timeframes, (though this was a 7% drop on the previous year) and 69% agreeing that their CCM kept them informed on the progress of issues raised. In contrast, however, there has been a 16% drop in large business trust in HMRC following their interactions during 2021.

The biggest decline in standards for agents came in respect of:

  • Ease in dealing with tax issues (55% down to 43%).
  • Whether HMRC systems prevent mistakes (39% of agents thought they did in 2021 compared to 51% in 2020).
  • Response times (41% of times were acceptable in 2020, down to 31% in 2021).

With no formal performance targets being set for 2021-22 due to uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and, presumably, increasing pressure on government departments to cut costs, it will be interesting to see what these figures look like in another year's time.

Useful guides on this topic

HMRC's Customer Charter
This is a freeview 'At a glance' guide to HMRC's Customer Charter. HMRC's Charter sets out what taxpayers can expect from HMRC and what HMRC expect from taxpayers. The latest version was issued in November 2020. 

Statutory Review (by HMRC)
What is a Statutory Review? Is it automatic? What happens in a Statutory Review? Can you challenge a Statutory Review's findings? Can you influence a Statutory Review? 

Writing to HMRC? Address and links
HM Revenue & Customs have different addresses for Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE), Self Assessment (SA) and Capital Gains Tax (CGT) customers to use. Deciding which address to use is the fun part.


External links

Corporate report: HMRC Charter performance indicators

The HMRC Charter

HMRC’s principles of support for customers who need extra help

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