HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is awarding £5.5 million to organisations within the voluntary and community sector to support customers who may need extra help with their tax affairs.
HMRC is inviting eligible organisations to bid for the funding, worth £1.8m a year from 2024 until 2027, through HMRC’s Voluntary and Community Sector Grant Funding programme. Bids can be submitted between 24 July and 21 August 2023 with successful organisations being announced in October ready for the new funding to start from 1 April 2024.
This is the 12th round of funding HMRC is awarding as part of its commitment to help everyone get their tax right. The programme builds on more than a decade of partnership funding, worth in excess of £20m.
Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Deputy Chief Executive and Second Permanent Secretary, said:
“We know that customers really value the trusted tax advice they receive from our voluntary and community sector partners. The funding programme is an important part in our commitment to support our hardest to reach customers and builds on the current support HMRC offers to those who may need extra help with their tax affairs.”
David Newbold, Director of Sight Loss Advice Service, from RNIB, one of 12 organisations previously awarded under the grant programme said:
“RNIB is extremely grateful to HMRC for its generous support, ensuring blind and partially sighted people can access the advice, information and practical help they need to deal with their tax affairs and HMRC. We’re proud to have HMRC as a partner, its contribution is vital to continue our important work in supporting vulnerable individuals.”
In the last year alone, funded organisations have supported 39,000 customers over the phone, with face-to-face meetings and via email.
Successful organisations will receive funding to provide free advice and support to customers who:
- may face barriers in understanding their tax obligations and claiming their entitlements
- are digitally excluded from accessing HMRC services
- have any other difficulty in interacting directly with HMRC.
As well as providing support to customers who may need extra help, organisations will provide valuable insight to improve HMRC’s understanding of customers in vulnerable circumstances. This will allow HMRC to reduce barriers and improve the customer experience when dealing with the department.
HMRC’s Voluntary and Community Sector Grant Funding Programme complements the work of HMRC’s Extra Support Team, who are on hand to help customers whose health conditions or personal circumstances make contacting HMRC difficult.
More information on eligibility and how to apply can be found online at GOV.UK.