Tax insurance provider for the self-employed, Qdos, have commented on damning insight which shows the extent to which taxpayers do not trust HMRC.
The research, carried out by the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), found staggering dissatisfaction with HMRC service levels.
Of the 760 taxpayers and tax agents surveyed, 94% were either ‘somewhat’ or ‘extremely’ dissatisfied with HMRC’s service levels.
Around 96% were ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ confident that these will significantly improve over the next 12 months, whilst 95% said that poor service levels have a ‘moderate’ or ‘significant’ negative impact on the ability to do business.
Those surveyed also said they experienced long wait times to connect with an HMRC adviser, with 85% waiting for more than half an hour to speak with someone at the tax office.
Qdos CEO, Seb Maley said, “I can’t recall a time when trust in HMRC has been lower. I’m not naive enough to think that self-employed workers and businesses will ever sing the tax office’s praises, but this research paints a damning picture.
“The fact of the matter is that the problems at HMRC – which run very deep indeed – are having a hugely negative impact on millions of people working for themselves in the UK. Whether it’s the tax office’s scattergun approach to tax investigations or basic customer service, rather than helping people and businesses, HMRC is hindering them.
“The tax burden is at its highest for 70 years, while the tax system itself is needlessly complex. This, combined with HMRC’s nosediving service levels, is a constant thorn in the side of self-employed taxpayers and businesses.”
CIOT president Gary Ashford, added, “These results speak for themselves. Tax advisers and taxpayers have told us of their deep dissatisfaction with HMRC’s service levels. Poor service levels can have a significant impact on their ability to do business. Worryingly, they have little confidence that things will improve any time soon.”