The influential Low Income Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has expressed ‘serious concerns’ about the advice HMRC is giving out over Twitter.
@HMRCcustomers has more than 67,500 followers, and with telephone waiting times going up many people are now using Twitter to get answers to their queries.
The average phone waiting time for HMRC jumped last year by over six minutes to 17 minutes 34 seconds – some way off its charter promise of five minutes. HMRC has Facebook and Instagram pages, but it pushes people to Twitter if they are looking for advice.
However, in its recent response to the consultation on tax simplification, the LITRG has pointed to the dangers to giving advice in just 50 words.
Victoria Todd, Head of the LITRG, said: “Accurate and comprehensive guidance is critical in terms of helping people ensure they pay the right amount of tax and building trust in the tax system.
“We have long held serious concerns about the standard of GOV.UK guidance and the extent to which taxpayers can rely on it and other channels of guidance and advice now provided by HMRC such as Twitter and community forums.”