The heads of ten leading UK professional bodies have signed an open letter urging the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, to prioritise investment in HMRC’s service levels in his upcoming Budget statement on 15 March 2023.

The group of professional bodies represent hundreds of thousands of professional accountants and tax advisers working across the UK, from small and microbusinesses to multinational organisations.

The letter notes the Public Accounts Committee’s recent claims that £42bn in taxes have not been collected at a time when HMRC customer service staff numbers have been cut by 24% in the past five years. It also argues that the delays and business disruption faced by their members has become “a regular occurrence when dealing with HMRC” with some businesses waiting upwards of six months for repayment and relief claims.

The signatories of the letter commented: “Our members are increasingly facing severe delays, business disruption and frustration when dealing with HMRC which is having significant ramifications for taxpayers, business owners and their agents. If the government wants to meet its economic objectives and boost productivity, it must invest in improving customer service and effectiveness at HMRC. We urge the Chancellor to treat this as a top priority in his upcoming Budget.”

The signatories of the letter included the following:

  • AAT chief executive officer, Sarah Beale
  • ACCA UK director, Abdul Goffar
  • ATT chief executive, Jane Ashton
  • CIMA secretary general, Andrew Harding
  • CIPP chief executive officer, Ken Pullar
  • CIT chief executive, Helen Whiteman
  • ICAEW chief executive, Michael Izza
  • ICAS chief executive, Bruce Cartwright
  • ICB chief executive officer, Ami Copeland
  • STEP chief executive, Mark Walley

The full letter can be found here.