Can you give good tax advice in 280 characters?

The influential Low Income Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has expressed ‘serious concerns’ about the advice HMRC is giving out over Twitter.

Telephone wait times increasing and as a result, many consumers are turning to Twitter for answers to their questions. Currently, @HMRCcustomers has almost 67,500 followers.

Last year, HMRC’s average phone wait time increased by over six minutes to 17 minutes 34 seconds, far above its charter promise of five minutes. Although HMRC has Facebook and Instagram pages, it encourages people to seek guidance on Twitter rather than the other platforms. It is the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (“LITRG”) that has pointed outage dangers of giving advice in 50 words or less. This was in their response to consultation on simplifying the tax regime.

The Head of the LITRG, Victoria Todd 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.”

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Can you give good tax advice in 280 characters?