Tax: The toothless charter
Back in 1991, what was then called the Inland Revenue issued a 'Taxpayer's Charter'. It said things like 'all taxpayers should be treated equally' and would occasionally be quoted by accountants complaining to tax inspectors about the treatment of their clients, but it never had any legal status. Like the traffic cones hotline from around the same time, it faded into obscurity.In fact, most tax advisers thought it had been withdrawn, so it was rather a surprise when the new HM Revenue & Customs (formed by the merger of the Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise) announced this June that it was being withdrawn. Even more surprising was the announcement that a new charter was to be issued, and that a consultation was to be carried out on what should be in it. The consultation closed in September, and it is hoped that an announcement about the charter will be included in the pre-Budget report.
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