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.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

HMRC Shoot First, Ask Questions Later APN Policy


HMRC has found a very nice little earner wrt its accelerated payment notices (APNs) scheme, which extracted £1.3bn from taxpayers and SMEs in 2016/17.

This is a 21% increase from the previous year, when HMRC extracted £1.07bn from APNs, according to research from accountancy firm Moore Stephens.

APN's are more than a little controversial, as they give HMRC the power to demand tax it believes it is owed before the dispute is adjudicated. Those affected have only 90 days to pay the sum, and have no right of appeal.

"Ironically" HMRC's prime targets are not large businesses but the low hanging fruit of individuals and SME's. The compliance yield from the Counter Avoidance Directorate rose significantly for individuals, whilst the amount collected from large businesses fell significantly from £943m in 2015/16 to £19m in 2016/17.

Dominic Arnold, head of tax investigations and disputes at Moore Stephens, is quoted by economia accusing HMRC of making full use of its powers to “shoot first and ask questions later”:
Its ability to demand accelerated payments remains a draconian, but clearly increasingly effective mechanism for HMRC to clamp down on what it sees as abusive tax schemes.

That’s all well and good for the Treasury. However, it’s a heavy price for taxpayers to pay before they have even had a chance to put their case. Small businesses and individuals can be put under immense strain, financially and emotionally, while the process is ongoing.

Whether they have crossed a line or not, they don’t have long to find what can often amount to thousands of pounds in disputed tax.
HMRC is more than happy with the arrangement, its spokesperson said:
"HMRC has an excellent record in supporting those in genuine difficulty, including offering more time to pay if appropriate.

APNs change where the disputed tax sits while the issue is being investigated, ensuring that those who have used avoidance schemes are in the same position as everyone else who pays their tax, up front, and on time. The regime does not change taxpayer appeal rights."

Last year HMRC was forced to withdraw 4,300 APNs issued in error out of a total of 60,000. 

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, 19 September 2017

Je Recuse - Jacky Wright's "Civic Leave"


Last week, when writing about Jacky Wright becoming the new CDIO of HMRC, I said:
"At least now, maybe, HMRC will upgrade from Windows 7!"
Sadly for HMRC staff struggling with outdated operating systems this will not be the case, for Ms Wright hasn't actually left Microsoft; she is on "civic leave". 
During this two year leave of absence she has recused herself from any Microsoft related issues, as per HMRC quoted by The Register:
"Jacky will be appointed to HMRC on a fixed two-year contract.

She must recuse herself from any discussion and decisions relating to Microsoft, both within HMRC and across Government and we will put in place the necessary governance to manage."
Okey dokey, so in summary HMRC have hired a two year manager for a five or more year job who can't actually touch anything Microsoft related, even though HMRC has around 85,000 desktops running Microsoft.

Oh yes, that will work fine and dandy!

Oh, and by happenstance, Hotmail suffered a European wide outage yesterday for several hours. Maybe the net gods were sending us a warning about this?

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, 18 September 2017

Another Sorry Tale of HMRC Institutional Incompetence and Inefficiency


HMRC have been given a sound, and well deserved kicking!
"1. Well, here we go yet again.

2. I used the phrase “Well, here we go again” with a sense of frustration, bordering on despair, to open my decision in NI v HMRC [2015] UKUT 160 (AAC), a case in which I criticised Her Majesty Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for both its decisionmaking processes and its conduct of appeals in relation to tax credits claims. That phrase has been echoed in other tribunal jurisdictions where HMRC’s conduct has come under similar critical scrutiny: see e.g. Pandey v Revenue and Customs (Income Tax/Corporation Tax: Penalty) [2017] UKFTT 216 (TC).

3. So, yes, in short this is yet another sorry tale of HMRC institutional incompetence and inefficiency which could well have led to injustice, were it not for the persistence of the Appellant.

A summary of Upper Tribunal’s decision 4. I am allowing the Appellant’s appeal to the Upper Tribunal. The First-tier Tribunal (“the FTT”)’s decision involves an error on a point of law. That Tribunal’s decision is set aside. Fortunately I can make the decision that the FTT should have made and do so. Although this is now a supported appeal, I am giving my reasons in some detail as a warning to Tribunals handling tax credit appeals as to what to look out for in other cases......

..I readily admit that the statement in the grant of permission that “regrettably on past experience the fact of the matter is I am not at all confident that all relevant evidence was presented to the Tribunal by HMRC” was ‘economical with the actuality’. The truth was I had no confidence whatsoever that HMRC had complied with its disclosure obligations under rule 24(4)(b) of the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Social Entitlement Chamber) Rules 2008 (SI 2008/2685).....

..Bitter, albeit anecdotal, experience in other appeals makes me conclude it is more likely that HMRC mislaid the documents than the Royal Mail lost them..."

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, 15 September 2017

Edward Troup To Retire 31 December



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"

Jacky Wright To Be New HMRC CDIO


Computer Weekly reports that HMRC has tasked Microsoft corporate vice-president Jacky Wright with helping the department achieve its goal of becoming one of the world's most digitally advanced tax authorities.

Jacky Wright will be HMRC's new chief digital and information officer (CDIO) as from 16 October.



At present, Wright is working as a corporate vice-president at Microsoft’s core platform division, and has previously held the position of CIO at both General Electric and Momentive Performance Materials.

Wright said :
I am passionate about the impact innovation can have in truly transforming services for people and businesses in a positive way and want to continue the great work being done within HMRC and across the Civil Service at this time.

I am proud to represent women and BAME [black, Asian and minority ethnic] in technology and will continue to promote the vital role of diversity within our industry and more broadly.
The role comes with an annual salary of up to £180,000, and is billed as an opportunity to “shape and transform the way HMRC works” as it pursues its goal to become the “one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world”.

Jon Thompson, CEO of HMRC, said:

Balancing strong operating experience with a record of driving innovation, Jacky is widely recognised for her contributions to technology and diversity.

Her influence as a technology leader and champion for the role of women and BAME in industry is a major win for this organisation.

This builds on a year of real progress and innovation under the leadership of interim CDIO Mike Potter, who has done a fantastic job of pushing digital delivery for HMRC and its customers.
Here is a biography of her, as per The Human Capital Institute:
"Jacky Wright is a transformational global leader, innovative technologist and recognized STEM advocate.

She is a senior executive whose extensive career spans multiple industries. Jacky inspires and leads teams to drive innovation, develop enterprise technology solutions, and transform business models.
As a Microsoft leader, she has created deep partnerships between IT and product engineering to drive digital transformation of customer experiences leveraging Microsoft Azure, Power BI, O365, and Skype for Business, among others.

She has been widely recognized for her many contributions in technology and diversity, including an honorary doctorate from Aston University, and inclusion on the Britain’s Powerlist 100 of Most Influential People, the Top 100 BAME Leaders in Business, and Savoy Magazine’s Top Women list. She has also been featured in numerous publications, including CIO Magazine, “Meet a tech industry pioneer who leads by example” and the Wall Street Journal – CIO Journal.

Jacky is a member of the Board of Trustees for Harvey Mudd College and Prostate Cancer UK, and serves on the Board of Year Up – Puget Sound Chapter. She also serves on various advisory boards, including the HP Women’s Innovation Council, the Demo CIO Council and the CIO Winmark Advisory Panel. She is also a member of the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF), Executive Leadership Council and CIO Executive Council."
At least now, maybe, HMRC will upgrade from Windows 7!

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, 13 September 2017

HMRC's Croydon Hub - Troup Speaks


Edward Troup, executive chair and permanent secretary at HMRC, discussing yesterday's formal opening of HMRC's Croydon hub, told CCH Daily:
"HMRC has controlled the fit-out of the building entirely. The office is open plan and has different styles of working areas which we have been piloting in existing offices in Nottingham, Birmingham and Newcastle, which has taught us how different business areas work best."
He then went on to admit that savings will not be all that HMRC had cracked them up to be:
"We had initial projection of savings overall which have been refined over the years with the current estimate definitely being lower than what was set initially, but nevertheless there is still a financial saving."
He concluded by saying that PAC hadn't understood what HMRC was doing, and why it was doing it:
"Although it does have those savings I think where the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in a sense got the wrong end of the stick is that HMRC is doing this because as a business it cannot operate with lots of small offices. Collaboration and working as a team is absolutely essential."
A cynic might suggest that if PAC has not understood what HMRC is doing then it is because HMRC has not explained itself either clearly or honestly!

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"