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Over half of small business owners dissatisfied with HMRC services

1-minute read

Josh Hall

17 August 2016

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More than half of small business owners rate the services provided by HMRC as ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’.

This is according to a recent poll from Simply Business, which found that 35 per cent of entrepreneurs describe the Revenue’s services as ‘very bad’, and 21 per cent as ‘bad’.

The news follows a string of high profile problems at the agency. Last month it was announced that outgoing chief executive Lin Homer would walk away with a total pension of £2.4 million, plus a £20,000 bonus, despite a generally dissatisfied general public.

During her time in post, HMRC failed to answer some 18 million phone calls from taxpayers, equivalent to more than a quarter of the total calls received. And the calls that were answered often included long wait times, with HMRC phone calls costing taxpayers £97 million last year.

Meanwhile, just one prosecution was brought amongst the owners of 6,800 Swiss bank accounts investigated by the Revenue.

Late tax penalties

Now, HMRC is pressuring government to allow it to increase penalties for late payment of tax by as much as 200 per cent, with the introduction of a ‘sliding scale’ of fines that could reach 15 per cent of the total outstanding tax bill.

The Revenue has also faced criticism for its attempts to introduce a new Self Assessment regime under which self-employed taxpayers would be forced to file four times a year, rather than once.

According to the government, taxpayers would only be exempt from the new reporting requirements if their income was less than £10,000.

If you'd like to have your say, you can vote in the original poll which featured in our article on a small business owners' £40k fine over a tax mistake.

Had a bad experience with HMRC? Let us know about it in the comments below.

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