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What it means to be a customer of HMRC

Dear Inspector of Taxes
I see from your website that you now regard me as a customer. This makes you my supplier and I am therefore writing to tell you that I have decided to look for an alternative supplier. This is your last chance to improve your service.

Let me tell you why my wife and I are fed up to the back teeth with the way you have looked after us of later:
- To help even out our cashflow, when we have surplus funds, we lodge them with you as a pre-payment of part of our forthcoming tax bill. However you hardly ever send us statements that show us where we stand with you and when you do send them, they are quite impossible to check or to understand what they mean;
- You never seem to answer the telephone;
- You and your colleagues take an age to deal with the enquiries my accountant has raised with you; and
You seem happy to threaten distraint proceedings at the drop of a hat - never a good idea from a customer service point of view.

If you really were a business you'd have gone bust years ago. You seem to have no idea about how to look after your customers.

As you can see I have become a thoroughly disgruntled and miserable customer. I will never recommend your services to any friend of mine and I long to take my business elsewhere. The problem I face is that there doesn't seem to be any other suppliers of whatever it is you supply.

Yours faithfully.
The above letter was written to the Tax Office by a taxpayer who copied it to his accountant Huw Williams of HM Williams, Chartered Accountants who included it in his newsletter 'Account' 'with a heavy heart'.
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