Monday 8 July 2024

Recent Developments Re HMRC


 1. Longer Helpline Waits

   - Taxpayers are facing longer waits when calling HMRC helplines. According to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO), taxpayers waited an average of nearly 23 minutes to speak to an adviser in the first 11 months of 2023-24, up from just five minutes five years prior. 

HMRC has been trying to address this issue by promoting online options, but the move to digital services hasn't relieved pressure on traditional helplines as expected.
   
2. Unpaid Taxes

   - An NAO report highlighted an HMRC shortfall of 300 debt management staff to recover the £42 billion owed by 6.2 million taxpayers in debt as of September 2021.
   

 Tax does have to be taxing.

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Tuesday 18 June 2024

Rewarding Failure - Arise Sir Jim Harra


 

Jim Harra, chief executive and first permanent secretary at HMRC, has been knighted as he received a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, otherwise known as a KB, for public service in the King’s Birthday Honours.

This award for Harra is one of the highest honours in the land and goes to senior civil servants and members of the military ‘for exemplary service’.

Harra said: 

‘I have always been incredibly proud of the work HMRC does to support UK taxpayers and to collect the money which pays for vital public services.

This recognition is very much a result of the collective hard work of everyone at HMRC – and I am truly honoured to receive it, in what is my 40th year anniversary with the department.’

Also at HMRC, Alan Evans, director general and general counsel, legal group, who leads the litigation team, is given a Companion of the Order of the Bath honour for services to the government legal profession, to tax and to diversity.

BeeBee Rashida Giddings, higher officer at HMRC is given a medallist of the order of the British empire award for public service.

If anyone knows the reason why Harra has been knighted, given the mess that HMRC is in, please share it with us?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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A Solar Protect policy will enable your accountant (your tax return agent) to:

  • Deal with any correspondence from HMRC
  • Attend any meeting with HMRC
  • Appeal to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal
  • Having the security of knowing that fees will be met in full will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to defend your position robustly

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Wednesday 12 June 2024

HMRC Kowtows To The Cult of George Floyd - DEI Must DIE!


 

On 22 May HRMC, civil servants, for reasons best known to themselves, held an hour-long discussion about the death of serial criminal George Floyd. 

When senior HMRC officials were asked if people had become scared of the term "EDI", one replied: “don't back down, definitely don't do that”.

During the discussion one senior civil servant said

"Whether people believe that we should be anti-racist, whether people believe that we should just fight to fight racism, everyone needs to be involved in the fight to eliminate all isms like that's fascism, sexism, racism, etc.

We encourage everyone, join your [diversity] networks, whether they are the race network, the LGBT network, their faith network, etc. because in this space, at this present moment in time, where EDI is not seen as a positive thing, think about the positive way people come together that we can do.”

This has nothing to do with HMRC's role in collecting taxes. There are already equality laws in place, DEI destroys organisations and negatively impacts efficiency.

DEI has no role to play in either the public or private sector and needs to be expunged.

DEI must DIE!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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A Solar Protect policy will enable your accountant (your tax return agent) to:

  • Deal with any correspondence from HMRC
  • Attend any meeting with HMRC
  • Appeal to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal
  • Having the security of knowing that fees will be met in full will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to defend your position robustly

Please click here for details.

HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Tuesday 4 June 2024

HMRC Fucks Up 500,000 Child Benefit Payments


 

HMRC has fucked up yesterday's child benefit payments.

Statistics

Number of people affected: Approximately 500,000 families did not receive their child benefit payments as scheduled yesterday.

Percentage of delayed payments: Around 30% of the scheduled child benefit payments were not made.

Reasons for Delays

The delay in child benefit payments was due to a batch processing problem at HMRC. This technical issue prevented around 30% of the scheduled payments from going through. HMRC has apologised for the inconvenience and has been working urgently to resolve the issue.

HMRC has assured that those affected will receive their payments and anyone who has incurred a direct financial loss can apply for redress.

The delayed payments are expected to hit people's bank accounts tomorrow (5 June). That's all well and good. However, the impact of these delays cannot be overstated. A delay in receiving child benefits can mean the difference between being able to afford groceries for the week or going hungry.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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A Solar Protect policy will enable your accountant (your tax return agent) to:

  • Deal with any correspondence from HMRC
  • Attend any meeting with HMRC
  • Appeal to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal
  • Having the security of knowing that fees will be met in full will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to defend your position robustly

Please click here for details.

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Thursday 30 May 2024

Lost AML Form Cost Agent £15K - HMRC Fucks Up Again


In the world of accounting and finance, precision, accuracy, and adherence to rules are not just desirable traits - they are the very foundation upon which the industry stands. However, it seems that these principles do not always apply to the institutions that govern these industries. A recent incident involving His Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) serves as a stark reminder of this fact.

The Incident

An accounting firm recently found itself in the eye of a storm, all due to a misplaced anti-money laundering form at the HMRC headquarters. This seemingly minor oversight had major repercussions, leading to the firm's agent access being revoked. The result? A loss of a month's worth of work and the firm teetering on the brink of closure.

The Fallout

The suspension of the agent account meant that the firm was unable to carry out its regular operations, leading to significant delays and financial losses. The firm, like many others, relies on the agent account to interact with HMRC, submit forms, and carry out other necessary tasks. The suspension effectively crippled the firm, highlighting the disproportionate impact of the HMRC's error.

As per Accountingweb:

“I set up my firm five years ago and it grew during Covid. From the start, I’ve been supervised for money laundering by ICAEW. The only interaction I have with HMRC is as an agent.

In September 2021, I received a request status from HMRC asking who is supervising me for money laundering. I returned the AML 103 form in the post as requested to HMRC in October 2021.

Unfortunately, it landed at HMRC and went into the wrong workflow. It later transpired that the person who received it took 53 days to get through their workload, get to my form and realise it had nothing to do with them, at which point they gave it back to the main switchboard. 

In the meantime, I was struck off as a non-responder. This resulted in my agent status being removed, along with my ability to submit corporation tax and self assessment returns, which make up the bulk of my work. This was on 2 Dec 2021, at my firm’s busiest time.

With no agent services login, I lost the ability to trade – it was awful. I tried calling, writing and emailing but just couldn’t get an answer.

The ‘agent maintainer’ team is apparently responsible for this, but they don’t accept emails or phone calls. There’s no follow-up, you can’t speak to this team – it’s an almost mythical department. They have a ‘service level agreement’ to respond to letters within 40 days, but that’s no good when I can’t run my business.

Because I’ve previously worked on committees for ICAEW, I was fortunate to know the right people to call at the Institute. After a bit of back and forth, they had someone literally walk the corridors of HMRC to find this team and ask them. Without this, they’d have been completely unaccountable. 

I lost a whole month's business, around £15,000. It had a catastrophic impact on my firm, which was in its infancy and could have gone under. As it was, I had a terrible January with a whole pile of work and a massive cashflow hole – with all the costs of December with no income. I spent the next six to eight months just recovering.  

Naturally, I complained and got my MP involved. By March 2022, HMRC accepted my complaint and offered me £150 compensation. This was not at all acceptable and they said I had the right to approach the adjudicator’s office to make an independent complaint.

The adjudicator’s office came back and said they do not have jurisdiction because I’m technically not a taxpayer – in this instance, I’m treated as a service provider. The best they said they could do was to attempt to launch a Parliamentary inquiry – that’s obviously not what I was looking for.

I completely accept that it’s a process gone wrong, not someone at HMRC who hates me. But it’s their process and nobody dealt with it. If the ICAEW hadn’t got behind this, who knows where I’d be?

My case was very clearly an internal gaff, which HMRC admitted, but they were still unwilling to do anything or take responsibility. Agents don’t get a right of appeal when something like this happens, there’s no higher body. 

HMRC also needs to come to the realisation that accountants in practice are not the enemy.”


HMRC's Role

While mistakes happen in every organisation, the magnitude of the impact in this case raises questions about HMRC's processes and systems. 

How did a single misplaced form lead to such drastic consequences? 

Why was there no system in place to prevent such an oversight, or at least to mitigate its effects?

The Need for Change

This incident underscores the need for HMRC to review its procedures and implement safeguards to prevent such occurrences in the future. It is crucial for HMRC to remember that its actions and decisions have a far-reaching impact on businesses and individuals alike. A misplaced form should not have the power to bring a business to its knees.

In conclusion, HMRC must acknowledge its responsibility towards the entities it governs. A review of its systems and procedures is not just desirable, but necessary. After all, in the world of finance and accounting, even a small misstep can have a domino effect, leading to consequences far greater than the initial error.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  • Attend any meeting with HMRC
  • Appeal to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal
  • Having the security of knowing that fees will be met in full will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to defend your position robustly

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Tuesday 28 May 2024

HMRC Awards Capgemini £245M - A Nice Little Earner


It's time to take a hard look at the recent decision by HMRC to extend its contract with Capgemini for legacy system maintenance. The deal, worth a staggering £245.5 million, means that in just 2.5 years, taxpayers will have contributed half a billion pounds to keep the lights on at HMRC.

The Cost of Legacy Systems

Legacy systems, by their very nature, are outdated. They represent old technology, often riddled with inefficiencies and security vulnerabilities. Yet, HMRC has chosen to pour more money into maintaining these systems rather than investing in modern, efficient, and secure alternatives.

The cost of this decision is not just financial. It's a cost borne by every taxpayer in the UK, who must continue to navigate a tax system propped up by outdated technology. It's a cost to the economy, as resources that could be used to drive innovation and growth are instead sunk into maintaining the status quo.

The Role of Capgemini

Capgemini, a multinational professional services and business consulting corporation, has been tasked with keeping these legacy systems running. But at what cost? The £245.5 million contract represents a significant investment in a company tasked with maintaining, not modernising, our tax system.

While Capgemini might have the expertise to manage these systems, the question remains: is this the best use of their skills, and our money? Could these resources not be better spent on developing a tax system fit for the 21st century?

The Need for Change

It's clear that a change is needed. Rather than pouring money into legacy systems, HMRC should be investing in modern, efficient, and secure technology. This would not only save money in the long term but also provide a better service to taxpayers.

In an era of digital transformation, it's disgrasceful to see HMRC clinging to the past. It's time for them to step into the future, for the sake of every taxpayer in the UK.

In conclusion, while the decision to extend the contract with Capgemini might keep the lights on at HMRC for now, it's a short-sighted move that fails to consider the long-term implications. It's time for HMRC to stop relying on legacy systems and start investing in the future. The taxpayers deserve better.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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Having a Solar Protect Tax Investigation Insurance policy at your disposal means that should you be one of the many 1000's of businesses or individuals that are selected by HMRC each year to look into your tax affairs your own accountant (your tax return agent) can get on and defend you robustly.

You have the peace of mind knowing that your accountant's (your tax return agent) fees will be paid by the insurance without any Excess for you to find.

Tax Investigation Insurance is an insurance policy that will fully reimburse your accountant's (your tax return agent) fees up to £100,000 if you are subject to enquiry by or dispute with HMRC.

A Solar Protect policy will enable your accountant (your tax return agent) to:

  • Deal with any correspondence from HMRC
  • Attend any meeting with HMRC
  • Appeal to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal
  • Having the security of knowing that fees will be met in full will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to defend your position robustly

Please click here for details.

HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"