The Taxpayers Charter sets out your rights as a taxpayer and you should never be afraid to use it against HMRC, when the need arises. For example, where a Status Inspector attempts to ride roughshod over a contractor during an IR35 investigation. The charter is part of a freelancer’s weaponry.
In return for being honest, diligent and respecting the Revenue’s staff, HMRC promise nine things:
(1) To respect you by:
(2) Help and support you to get things right by:
(3) Treat you as honest by:
(4) Treat you even-handedly by:
(5) Be professional and act with integrity by:
I would care to suggest that, in an IR35 enquiry, this is the section of the charter that a contractor may have cause to refer to more often than not.
(6) Tackle people who deliberately break the rules and challenge those who bend the rules:
Guess we are all in agreement with these principles?
(7) Protect your information and respect your privacy by:
(8) Accepting that someone else can represent you:
No matter what the issue is, if you prefer a tax adviser to take up the reins then HMRC must respect that.
(9) Do all we can to keep the cost of dealing with us as low as possible:
Coming in a close second to (5) this may be the other section you will need to quote to HMRC. If you feel an officer is dragging out an enquiry unnecessarily then complain.
The Taxpayers Charter is both a shield and a sword, so make sure you take it into battle with you!