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.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Guilty Until Proven Innocent!


My thanks to a loyal reader who has posted a comment that lifts the lid on what is really happening in HMRC, specifically staff in Compliance are being told to treat all errors on tax returns as "deliberate" unless proven otherwise!

That does not square with HMRC's Charter, that pretends taxpayers are to be treated as "honest".

Guilty until proven innocent is a disgusting approach, and reveals the mindset of those "running" HMRC.

The loyal reader also makes a very good point that those who send in tax returns are most likely doing their best to pay their taxes, it's those who evade taxes that HMRC should be chasing:
"Treat you as honest" How does that square with the fact that staff in Compliance are being told that the default setting for errors in returns is "deliberate" unless the taxpayer or agent can prove otherwise. Deliberate is the most serious misdemeanour below the top "deliberate and concealed" carrying heavier financial penalties than "careless error".

Senior managers are analysing settlements and if some teams are showing fewer/ lesser penalties than others they want to know why. In primary compliance a lot of errors in self assessment returns are down to the difficulty of the return itself and Income Tax in general. 


In many cases the people who try to be compliant [ after all they are making returns and paying tax]are being punished whilst ghosts and moonlighters are paying nothing [ helped by the removal of most local Tax offices.]"
I have a challenge for our "respected" politicians, given that the complexity of our tax system (which causes people to make errors when submitting tax returns) is a direct result of your legislation, complete your tax returns yourselves (and interact with HMRC) without using the services of tax advisers, agents or lawyers.

Let's see how well you fare with the system that you created, without the aid of paid professionals!
 
Please tweet this, and spread the word, if you feel that politicians should complete their own tax returns.

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, 29 October 2014

HMRC Staff Survey


My thanks to a loyal reader for this insightful comment about HMRC's staff survey (the deadline for which has just passed):
"Lin Homer refers to sustainable cost savings. 

That remains to be seen. 

As HMRC shrinks and staff are obliged to do their own jobs and fill in for those that have taken early retirement, got out in disgust, or been "invited" to hit the road, we shall see. 

Morale is rock bottom, and it will be interesting to see what the People Survey (an internal survey of staff) has to say about engagement, trust, morale, etc. The deadline for completion was last night. 

Since senior management complacently follows the line that everything improves all the time (and beware if each member of staff does not do the same) no doubt the results will be massaged to fit their view. 

As we head for another round of staff assessments where 10% MUST be marked as falling in the bottom category, morale is bound to sink further. Any positive results are a tribute to what HMRC can do despite its senior management."
Would anyone care to predict what the results of this year's survey will show, and be spun to show?

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, 28 October 2014

HMRC's Charter Annual Report

Loyal readers with long memories may recall that way back in November 2009 HMRC introduced a taxpayers' (HMRC uses the word "customers'") charter.

Moving forward to the present day, on 23 October HMRC published Your Charter Annual Report: April 2013 - March 2014 which analyses HMRC's performance against a series of KPI's.

In summary the Charter lays out rights and obligations:

Your rights — what you can expect from us:
• Respect you
• Help and support you to get things right
• Treat you as honest
• Treat you even-handedly
• Be professional and act with integrity
• Tackle people who deliberately break the rules and challenge those who bend the rules
• Protect your information and respect your privacy
• Accept that someone else can represent you
• Do all we can to keep the cost of dealing with us as low as possible.

Your obligations — what we expect from you:
• Be honest
• Respect our staff
• Take care to get things right

Lin Homer is quoted in the foreword:
"We achieved our best ever performance during 2013-14, exceeding tax and compliance revenues compared to the previous year, while continuing to improve customer service levels and make sustainable cost savings."
She seems very proud, yet further on in her foreword she says that HMRC answered 79% of "customer" calls.

Hardly an outstanding success rate is it?

Ian Young (ICAEW) and Chair of the Charter Advisory Committee then has his say in the document, and is less upbeat:
"..although the performance in five out of the eight rights has improved compared with the previous year, in four of these the scores remain below the equivalent scores from March 2011. This is a cause for concern and the committee will continue to probe the reasons for this and challenge HMRC over their plans for improvement. measures in a process which began in 2009."
He notes in particular that only 41% of agents feel that HMRC does all it can to keep the cost of dealing with it as low as possible, and only 48% of agents feels that HMRC treats them as honest.

I personally feel that the latter is particularly appalling, as it makes it all but impossible for agents to deal with HMRC other than in a defensive or confrontational way.

Young goes on to issue a "prayer" of hope:
"I hope that all the measures that HMRC are putting in place, which are set out in this report, will begin to make a real difference to the results of future surveys."
He doesn't sound very confident that this will come to pass!

Anyhoo, enjoy reading the document and feel free to comment.

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, 27 October 2014

War and Remembrance


My thanks to a loyal reader who posted the following comment regarding the HMRC London Remembrance Service (in honour of those who gave their lives for their country):
"Now we have to contend with applying for tickets to the London Remembrance Service as "she" is attending as are TV cameras. Bet I won't get allocated a ticket.
Also the hall is being repainted whilst essential maintenance on the building is left (like till falling off of high walls). Who ordered that to be done? It all smells of "Look at me" again......."
Please could someone provide me with more details about this?

Thank you.

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, 24 October 2014

LDF Set To Fall Short of Target


Unsurprisingly, despite the hype at the time that it was created, the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility (LDF) is to fall well short of the £3BN yield promised by HMRC in 2012.

AccountancyAge reports that it has generated £833M, and has only 18 months left to run.

Irwin Mitchell is quoted: 
"I suspect that the eventual yield will fall woefully short of that target, and, based on figures to date, is likely to be in the region of £1.2bn. Further changes to the scheme are likely to make this figure worse rather than better."

HMRC disagree:
"Our experience from previous opportunities such as the Offshore Disclosure Facility and New Disclosure Opportunity is that the majority of disclosures come forward close the end date - 5 April 2016 in the case of the LDF."
Time will tell!


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, 23 October 2014

HMRC To Send Out 33,000 Letters

HMRC will be sending approximately 33,000 letters out to taxpayers by 2016, demanding a tax payment of on average £155K.

The tax demand is as a result of the new powers granted to HMRC in the 2014 Finance Act, enabling it to crackdown on tax avoidance schemes.

Simon Newsham tax partner in Winckworth Sherwood is quoted in the International Business Times:

"This is the most significant of the many clampdowns by HMRC on those taxpayers that have engaged in tax avoidance schemes and practices.

HMRC is looking to recoup £5.1BN over the current tax year and by the end of 2015/16.

Individuals will be naturally concerned when they receive these demands and it is entirely possible that they will not be able to afford to pay straightaway.

Their first call should be to the scheme promoter, presuming they are still in existence, who will be able to advise on whether they continue to challenge HMRC's interpretation of the scheme.

If the promoter accepts HMRC's interpretation, investors should then seek advice from a tax professional before engaging with HMRC."

Accelerated Payment Notices are issued where a taxpayer has entered into a tax avoidance arrangement that has been notified to HMRC under the disclosure of tax avoidance scheme rules (DOTAS) or where a counteraction has taken place under the general anti-avoidance rules (GAAR).

Taxpayers who receive an Accelerated Payment Notice will have to pay the tax due to HMRC within 90 days.

By January 2015, HMRC will be issuing 2,500 Accelerated Payment notices per month and it is on track to deliver notices to 43,000 tax avoidance scheme users, covering £7.1BN of disputed tax, by the end of March 2016.

Jennie Granger, Director General of Enforcement and Compliance, HMRC, said:
"HMRC is making good progress in tackling marketed avoidance as today's figures illustrate. If anyone is concerned about being able to pay the notice they should contact us as soon as possible to discuss their options."

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"