Who are HMRC?

You may have heard the name before, but who actually are HMRC? HMRC stands for Her Majesties Revenues and Customs.

Tax is an unfortunate part of our day to day lives and something that as citizens of the UK, we have to pay. HMRC are the tax and customs authority in the UK and ensure that tax is collected properly from those who are required to pay it.

They’re also in charge of monitoring for money laundering, a process where organisations attempt to transfer illegally obtained money through foreign banks or legitimate companies. A little known fact is that HMRC actually has the same powers as a law enforcement agency.

HMRC came about in 2005 after a merge between Inland Revenue and HM Customs and Excise (HMCE). HMCE used to be the ones responsible for the collection of customs taxes, excise duties and other indirect taxes.

Calculating

What services do HMRC provide?

If you have any tax related questions then HMRC should always be your first port of call. Their main purpose is to ensure that taxes are properly taken from taxpayers, and then properly allocated to the public sector.

Usually, you won’t have to get in touch with them unless you’re an employer or you have any issues with the tax you’ve been charged. As an employee, tax is taken automatically off your wage and will be shown on your wage slip. Tax can change year on year, so don’t be surprised to see the amount deducted fluctuate over the years depending on how much you earn.

If you are self-employed then you are more likely to be in contact with HMRC. Self-employed individuals have to submit their own self-assessment form in order to determine exactly how much tax they have to pay based on their earnings.

Where do my taxes go?

Taxpayers often ask, where do my taxes go? HMRC are tasked with the job of ensuring that collected taxes are allocated correctly across the public services and provide financial support to those families across the UK who require it. The below chart gives you a breakdown of what your taxes contributed to across the public sector in the 2016/2017 financial year:

Tax chart

Copyright: Statista

Taxes are spread across a whole range of public service companies and organisations. 44.3% contributes to welfare and health (NHS). The rest is split out across a number of organisations in public sectors like Transport, Defence, Education, Environment and Culture. HMRC are tasked to ensure they are allocated as fairly as possible.

How do I make a complaint?

There are 3 ways you can make a complaint, you can contact them by post if you wish. The easiest way is by giving HMRC a call. Here you can speak directly to an operator who will likey be able to help you immediately with your claim. Their phone lines are incredibly busy, however, so you may need a little patience whilst you wait.

The final option is to use their online form to make a complaint. You will need a Government Gateway account to be able to fill out the form, but it’s a quick process to get this setup. In extreme circumstances, you can always fast track by speaking to your MP or contacting the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

How do I get in touch with HMRC?

HMRC can take care of matters for both consumers and for businesses of all sizes. If you believe you have been charged the wrong tax or you have a complaint to make then you can get in touch with the HMRC customer services team. They will happily deal with your enquiry, or guide you in the right direction of the people who can help you with your enquiry.