Wot No Email?
The ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales) are scratching their collective heads at just why HMRC won’t start using email. We are – after all – in the 21st century aren’t we? They’ve carried out a survey and report which basically says, communication with HMRC is crap and with further cutbacks on the horizon it’s just going to get crapper.
So why not use email? Well HMRC flag up security issues but I’d suggest there are other reasons: email is very difficult to ‘lose’ which is something that happens a great deal at HMRC also HMRC would much rather have a ‘chat’ on the phone than send a email, you can see the reason for this here under “They invite you to call”
Here is what ICAEW has to say:
- Communicating with HMRC is one of the biggest problems for agents. It is difficult to get through on the telephone, the people answering the phones have insufficient knowledge to be able to resolve queries, promised call backs do not happen and letters remain unanswered.
- We have asked our members each year how they would prefer to be able to communicate with HMRC given a choice between telephone, post, email and online. In this year’s survey, email is once again the most popular choice. This is not surprising since in the past 10 years email has become the standard tool used by businesses to communicate. In addition to speed and ease of use, it provides an audit trail and the ability for automatic acknowledgement by the recipient.
- There have been discussions between HMRC and the professional bodies to explore using email but there are still significant problems to overcome. We urge HMRC to speed up this project and make a start in email communication as we believe it is essential step in effecting improvements in service standards. HMRC needs to make available email tools such as structured email and to at least accept inbound email as an alternative to post wherever possible.