HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Beware Copycat Websites


Beware the ongoing scam perpetrated by "copycat" tax return websites that charge people money for ordering tax documents that can be obtained for free from the official HMRC site.

People who have, rather unwisely, parted with cash have now attempted to reclaim their money from sites such as Taxreturngateway.com.
 
The Telegraph has heard from 100 victims, each of whom believed, wrongly, that Taxreturngateway was linked to the Government.

It was similar in design to the government, website hmrc.gov.uk, but merely enabled users to order official documents for a "service fee" of up to £1,000.

Some people have managed to get their money back, others haven't.

These people have been duped because they were naive, not net savvy and had little understanding of the tax system (the latter being something that applies to most of the UK's population).

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



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"

Monday, 28 July 2014

73% of HMRC Visits Fruitless


It seems that HMRC's visits to SME's, in order to carry out detailed checks of records etc, are not particularly popular, nor fruitful.

The number of firms forced to undergo a ‘business record check’ has increased by 62% since they were introduced in 2011, yet 73% of these visits have achieved nothing.

This is Money reports that over 5,500 companies underwent the checks in the year to April 2014 (up from 3,431 in the ten months between April 2011 and February 2012). However, 73% were found to have no significant errors (an increase from the 64% in the previous year).

HMRC say that things will now improve, as the checking system had been subject to revisions aimed at filtering out low-risk companies and preventing them from being exposed to the process.
"From November 2013, the BRC programme was scaled back to better target those at risk of having inadequate records. It will allow us to concentrate on those who need our help and reduce the burden on those customers who are keeping adequate records."
See, nothing to complain about then!


Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



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"

Friday, 25 July 2014

Tax Credits Deadline - Almost 1 Million Might Lose Benefit Through Inaction

HMRC has warned that nearly 1 million tax credits claimants stand to lose the benefit if they don't take action by the 31 July deadline.

The text of the HMRC press release is reproduced below:
"With the tax credits renewal deadline just one week away, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding claimants to renew or face losing their payments. 

More than 865,000 claimants have still not renewed their tax credits. They have until 31 July to do so, or their payments might end. Last year more than 650,000 people failed to renew on time.

This year, for the first time, claimants can renew online at GOV.UK, as well as being able to renew by post and phone. 

HMRC recently published a list of reasons given for missing the deadline, including “I didn’t need the money because I’d met a rich bloke, but he dumped me”, “my dog ate the form” and “the form was locked in the boot of my car, and then my car caught fire”. 

Nick Lodge, Director General of Benefits and Credits, HMRC, said:

“Time is running out for people to renew their tax credits, or they risk losing their money. 

“The majority of people can renew online this year, which is quick, easy and can be done at a time of day to suit them.

“However they choose to renew, the most important thing is to do it before 31 July.” 

HMRC asks all claimants to check the accuracy of the information in their renewals pack, and to tell the department about any changes to their circumstances that they haven’t already reported, such as to working hours, childcare costs or pay.

Notes for editors
1.  Over 5.8 million tax credits renewal packs were sent to claimants between April and June.
2.  Claimants can get help and information on tax credits renewals from: gov.uk/browse/benefits/tax-credits and the Tax Credits helpline – 0345 300 3900"
However, it should also be noted that during next week's busy period for HMRC, some HMRC staff may be on strike and/or not working overtime.

As per PCS:
"The action will be rolled over three days (see above) with different regions involved on different days around the peak in work anticipated on Tax Credits and Self Assessment."
Don't delay to make your claim.
 
Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



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"

Thursday, 24 July 2014

HMRC Moving With The Times


Despite HMRC's management of the Aspire project being "unacceptably poor", I am pleased to see that not everything in the HMRC IT garden is withering on the vine.

A loyal reader writes:
"We're getting up to date, moving on to the "new windows" - yes, that's the windows 7 that was released in 2009!!!"
That's the spirit!

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



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"

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

HMRC's £10BN Aspire Contract - Unacceptably Poor


As loyal readers know, I have on occasions written about HMRC's Aspire contract; eg in August 2013 I wrote:
"HMRC has spent over £3.7BN with Capgemini over the last five years on the Aspire contract. The contract was originally valued at £2.8BN.

As per Computing the spend was:

-2008/09:  £777.1m
-2009/10:  £728.9m
-2010/11:  £757.8m
-2011/12:  £735.5m
-2012/13:  £773.5m

HMRC won't reveal a more detailed breakdown of its costs:

"It is considered that disclosure of details about cost breakdown of payments made by HMRC to Capgemini would prejudice the commercial interests of HMRC as a contracting authority and our ability to deliver best value.
It is also considered that release of such information would weaken our supplier's position in a competitive environment by revealing market-sensitive information or information of potential usefulness to its competitors."
Does this spend represent value for money?"
Fast forward almost a year, and we see Aspire in the headlines yet again.

The National Audit Office (NAO) says, in a report entitled Managing and Replacing The Aspire Contract, that the Aspire contract cost £7.9BN between July 2004 and March 2014, and estimates that, by the time it ends in June 2017, HMRC will have spent £10.4BN.

Note that the original contract was valued at £2.8BN.

How on earth has the spend so skyrocketed out of control?

Very simple, additional projects and services have been added. Unfortunately these have not been market tested; ie HMRC has happily allowed the new work to be done by Capgemini without checking to see if it could be done better or more cheaply by others.
"Both Capgemini and its subcontractor, Fujitsu, have achieved considerably more profit than was modelled in 2004. "
Well done lads!

The NAO report also notes that HMRC was overly dependent on the technical capability of the Aspire suppliers between 2004 and 2012, which limited its ability to manage the contract commercially.

"There are serious risks to HMRC’s business if the programme to replace the Aspire contract fails to meet its objectives by June 2017, when the contract ends."
Amyas Morse, NAO head, said:
"HMRC faced complex, long term technology challenges, and Aspire provided an appropriate means of working through them and limiting risk. However, there has been a lack of rigour in HMRC's commercial management of the contract. 

It is essential in any contract that the client retains the independent expertise to challenge the supplier. We welcome HMRC’s recognition of this part way through the Aspire contract and its efforts now to rebuild its capability. 

HMRC now faces a considerable challenge in a limited amount of time to negotiate reform to the contract while at the same time defining its technology strategy for post-Aspire."
Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) described HMRC’s management of Aspire as ‘unacceptably poor’.

Quite so!

She went on to say:
"Its own lack of capability meant HMRC was over-reliant on providers’ technical expertise, undermining its ability to act as an intelligent customer on behalf of the taxpayer. All of this gives me little confidence that HMRC’s senior team has the capability to manage large and complex contracts."
I agree, as I have noted many times before government departments do not manage large IT projects well.

This is indeed UNACCEPTABLY POOR!

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



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, 22 July 2014

Where's Dotty?


My thanks to a loyal reader who posted this comment the other day in response to my article about Dorthy Brown:
"Dorothy Brown is now the PT ops director and has nothing to do with the chief people officer role Ken"
It seems there is some confusion (in my mind at least) as to what Brown's role actually is now.

For you see, according to Gov.UK she is still "Interim Chief People Officer":
"Biography
Dorothy joined HMRC as the HR Director for Personal Tax Group in January 2008 and becomes the Interim Chief People Officer following her role as the Director Workforce Management for HMRC and HR Director for Enforcement & Compliance.

Between June 2009 and March 2012 Dorothy was Director of HR Operations for HMRC, responsible for HR Shared Services, Employee Relations and Advice, Reward and Policy, Security and Information, Occupational Health and Safety and Employee Engagement. Dorothy joined HR in the Court Service in 1991 and was the HMCS HR Director prior to joining HMRC. Before that she worked in different business areas of the Lord Chancellor’s Department, including Finance, Audit and the Crown Court."
Additionally, according to LinkedIn she is HR Director.

Please can someone send me a link or document that shows her current title?

Thanks.

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



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"