Many wealthy people would be open to a more reciprocal or co-operative relationship with HMRC, according to new research.

The research also reveals that perceptions of trust and fairness are crucial in HMRC achieving its aim of improving its relationship with the wealthy and their agents.

These findings are included in a report released this summer that explores HMRC’s relationship with the financially well-off and their agents.

HMRC and the wealthy

HMRC commissioned the research to understand more about the underlying needs, motivations and concerns of wealthy taxpayers and their agents. Through doing this, it hopes to foster greater trust and transparency, reduce the tax gap, and increase voluntary compliance.

The report focuses on people with an income of at least £200,000 per year and/or assets of over £2 million. Findings from the study, by IFF Research, will help develop HMRC’s long-term strategy for the wealthy.

What does the report reveal?

The report highlights the considerable journey HMRC faces to make sure affluent people and their agents see their working relationship with the Government department as reciprocal or co-operative.

Those taking part in the research generally reported they aspired to be as “open and transparent” as possible with HMRC. But many perceived HMRC to assume all wealthy people were avoiding or evading tax – even though this wasn’t the case.

Participants felt HMRC should focus on improving the relationship with those who want to be more transparent by communicating in a collaborative tone that recognises what they do pay in taxes. They should also acknowledge their history of compliance. This would help the taxpayers to feel more valued.

And among the other findings is the opinion that a more personalised approach could help wealthy taxpayers perceive their relationship with HMRC more positively.

Our thoughts

We welcome any efforts to improve HMRC’s relationship with the wealthy and their agents.

As qualified tax advisers, our clients include a range of affluent people with very different, complex financial situations.

We treat each client as an individual, so we agree that HMRC should also strive to follow a personalised approach. This way of working helps to foster a culture of trust, transparency, understanding, and mutual respect.

Get an agent you can trust

The tax system is complicated, so it’s crucial you have faith in the agent or tax adviser who represents you with HMRC.

As a taxpayer, you are ultimately responsible for your tax affairs and, whether fair or not, if an adviser makes a mistake, you’re deemed responsible in the eyes of the law. So, it’s vital you start by checking the credentials of the adviser you’d like to represent you.

Tax is a minefield, and many unregulated agents don’t stay up to date with the changes in the tax system and the new environment we find ourselves working in.

Professional tax advice

At Churchill Taxation, our experienced tax advisers are specialists in all areas of UK tax, including capital gains tax, inheritance tax, trust and estate tax, and offshore tax.

Work with us and you’ll benefit from professional, common-sense advice that gives you the peace of mind that your tax matters are in safe hands.

To find out more about how we can help you, get in touch with our team today on 07813 434195 or stephanie.churchill@churchilltaxation.co.uk

Steph Churchill

Stephanie Churchill

Managing director & co-owner of Churchill Taxation