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, 30 September 2014

God Loves a Cheerful Giver


As per Leslie Ferrar, HMRC’s non-executive director, as quoted in the Telegraph:
"God loves a cheerful giver."
Given that not everyone believes in God, and that even if God existed his/her interest in tax would be close to zero; it is hardly surprising that despite the disgrace of the Westminster Service (now renamed Westminster Secret service, as HMRC is too ashamed to discuss it with its staff) Osborne is attempting to create legislation that will force Google etc to pay some tax.

Let's see how that works then, will God give him divine guidance on drafting the perfect piece of legislation?

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, 29 September 2014

HMRC Can Now Collect £17K of Tax Debts Directly From Pay Packets

Courtesy of a measure announced in the 2013 Budget, and enacted via secondary legislation, HMRC will as from this week be able to collect up to £17,000 a year of tax debts directly from high earners’ pay packets (the current limit is £3,000).

Tim Stovold, a partner of Kingston Smith, is quoted by the FT:
This change has had much less focus than the harshly criticised rules for the direct recovery of debts from bank accounts. If HMRC is denied that ability they are more likely to use these new powers to collect the money from salaries instead.”
Apparently, according to HMRC:
Taxpayers welcome the option to have tax debt collected by instalment. This is a very longstanding feature of the payroll system but the increase in the current threshold will allow more tax debts to be paid in this way.”
Let's see how this goes 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, 26 September 2014

Don't Bother Looking At The Dashboard!


Despite the ongoing spin from HMRC that RTI is working well, reality it seems is not as rosy as the spin.

A quote attributed to an HMRC call centre employee sums up the situation in a nutshell:
"Oh don't bother looking at the dashboard, all the postings are wrong on there."
As per AccountingWEB:
"AccountingWEB member Kenny Achampong challenged this optimistic view: 

“Whenever I speak to them they tell me they can't give me clients’ PAYE income details either on the phone or by post as there is an issue with the details supplied by the employer. I try to find out what exactly the problem is and it’s normally not having the correct year end info reconciled, but have also been told they cannot give any details out as the information they have is just too unreliable now.”

Michael Harle offered a classic good news/bad news summary of the situation: “I agree this delay is of benefit to clients and accountants alike. I do fear the real reason is that HMRC finally worked out how many penalties they would have to issue, and then deal with, next month and realised they are hopelessly under resourced to cope with this.”

These observations are typical for many AccountingWEB members, who are having to wrestle with RTI’s technical and procedural details. But because of the direct link to the universal credit and welfare reform, those closely involved with the project highlight the top-level political significance of the issue. With universal credit now stalled, it’s difficult to tell what the operating parameters for RTI are supposed to be and which way HMRC and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) are likely to turn next."
The fact is that so much political capital has been invested in Universal Credit/RTI that it cannot be allowed to be seen to fail, even if it is failing!

The people who will bear the cost of the failure are both HMRC staff, who have to work around the problems, and the hapless taxpayers who have to waste time and money proving that their figures (not HMRC's) are correct.


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, 25 September 2014

The Westminster Service

Royal Charter being brought in by the Beadle

Despite all the ridicule and scorn heaped upon HMRC for its decision to hold a service in Westminster Abbey on 23 September, praising HMRC, the service went ahead.

The "great and the good" of HMRC read prayers to "give thanks for the pooling of resources and their effect in the security of the realm, in the education and health of the people, in the provision of relief, and in the promotion of prosperity."
"We honour the manner and means by which taxes are collected."
Pass the sick bag someone!


23 Sep 2014

A Service to Celebrate the Work of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs was held at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday 23rd September 2014 at Noon.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, who said in his Bidding: 'The neighbours of Westminster Abbey around Parliament Square are the Palace of Westminster, the Supreme Court, and, beside Her Majesty's Treasury, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. It is a pleasure to welcome our neighbours to the Abbey.

'We gather to worship God and to celebrate collaboration. Our focus is not on political decisions about the proportion of people's income and expenditure deployed by Her Majesty's Government. Rather, we give thanks for the pooling of resources and their effect in the security of the realm, in the education and health of the people, in the provision of relief, and in the promotion of prosperity.

'As we recall the origins of HMRC and its current formation, we shall pray for all who are employed in public service, we shall give thanks for the goods provided by the funds raised, and we shall ask the blessing of almighty God on all that is done for the good of the people.'

Judy Clements OBE, Adjudicator, the Valuation Office Agency and the Insolvency Service, read Deuteronomy 8: 7-18 and Leslie Ferrar CVO, Non-Executive Director HMRC, read 2 Corinthians 9: 6-12.

Kay Markham, Needs Enhanced Support Adviser, Personal Tax; and Paul Brown, Director of Marketing and Communications, The Prince's Trust, gave Testimonials.

The Address was given by the Dean.

During the service the Royal Charter was borne through the Abbey church by Officers led by Pat Duffy, Beadle, HMRC.

Prayers were led by The Reverend Christopher Stoltz, Minor Canon and Sacrist of Westminster, and said by: Dorothy Brown, Director, Personal Tax Operations; Colin Ford, Acting Deputy Director, Business Customer and Strategy; The Reverend David Stanton, Canon in Residence; Michael Howe, Director Business Tax Operations; William Hague, Chief People Officer; and Lin Homer CB, Chief Executive.

The service was sung by the Westminster Abbey Special Service Choir conducted by Daniel Cook, Sub-Organist. The organ was played by Martin Ford, Assistant Organist, and before the service by Jeremy Woodside, Organ Scholar.

Here is a link to the Order of Service.

Here is a link to the Sermon.

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, 24 September 2014

Another Fine Mess - Fine HMRC For Its Mistakes


Tony Margaritelli, Chair of ICPA (Independent Certified Practising Accountants), clearly exasperated at the number of erroneous penalty letters (12,000)  he has received from HMRC wrt his firm's clients has called for HMRC to pay a fine everytime it makes a mistake.

A lovely idea but sadly, in this universe, one that will never come to fruition.

Here is the text of his letter in full as published on AccountingWeb:
"Over the years, the imposition of fines for virtually every conceivable civic misdemeanour has become the norm. And as fines are introduced for previously ‘fine-free’ indiscretions they are, without fail, promoted with the line that “the fine is not about revenue gathering, it’s about changing actions”, or “the fine is being levied in the hope that the perpetrator will re-think their actions and change their ways”. So we have fines for taking children out of school in term time, fines for littering and fines for noise pollution – and every time it’s been about getting people to change their ways rather than generating revenue.

HMRC has been at the forefront of the ‘fines’ culture, which they fully support, and whenever anything changes – such as the introduction of RTI or iXBRL – details of the fines for errors or inaction follow hard on the heels of the initial announcement.

HMRC has promoted the principle that fines and penalties for failures on the part of the taxpayer are an acceptable deterrent. The result has been that for every failure on the part of the taxpayer to meet a deadline a penalty is imposed; every failure on behalf of the taxpayer to handle their affairs in a manner that is acceptable to HMRC results in a fine.

As accountants, our clients are being penalised and it is natural that they look to us for advice and help in what is perceived to be a thinly veiled attempt to close the tax gap. Our advice is, correctly, that appeals cost time and money and there is no guarantee of ultimate success. The usual result is that as accountants we suffer – we have to bear the brunt of the client’s anguish and ire. Thus the anger against such HMRC impositions grows not only in those directly penalised but also from their advisors.

One can only imagine the time spent by the client and the accountant over such issues, while HMRC simply accumulates income and urges compliance borne of better working practices.

Yet when the boot is on the other foot what happens? If HMRC is tardy in making repayments, issues coding numbers that are manifestly inaccurate or issue penalty notices when nothing is amiss are they subject to a fine? No!

Recently, we had to suffer over 12,000 – yes, that’s the correct figure – interim penalty letters for 2013/14 that were wrong. Were these letters checked before they were sent out? Was it a computer problem? Who knows. Frankly, HMRC gets it wrong for over 12,000 fully compliant taxpayers and what do they do? Well, naturally they apologise. Do they send the apology to the taxpayers concerned? No, they simply state that “HMRC is sorry for any inconvenience and concern caused” in the ‘What’s new’ section on its website. This is not the first error of this type but the question, surely, is will it be the last? Probably not, but would the likelihood of such an error reduce if HMRC was forced to pay each and every taxpayer sent the letter a £100 fine? If you follow the logic then the answer should be yes. If fines and penalties have resulted in better taxpayer behaviour, why does the same principle not apply to HMRC?

Next time your client gets a fine, try apologising – and see what happens."


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, 23 September 2014

Every Little Helps


My thanks to a loyal reader who pointed out a connection between Tesco (the company that has overstated its profit forecast by at least £250M) and HMRC.

What is that connection?

Sir Richard Broadbent, who is currently Chairman of Tesco (and is currently refusing to resign, despite intense pressure to do so).

Broadbent was Executive Chairman of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise between February 2000 and July 2003. During this time, he was responsible for a programme of change management in tax and law enforcement.

My loyal reader notes the following:
"I'm a little bit surprised that you haven't picked up on the connection between HMRC and the scandal of Tesco overstating their profits by £250 million. 

HMRC uses a concept known as *Future Revenue Benefit to grossly inflate the yield figures it reports from compliance work. 

Is it a coincidence that Sir Richard Broadbent was chairman of HMC&E when this concept was introduced and he is now chairman of Tesco? 

Somehow, I think not.
How "ironic"!

* Future Revenue Benefit

Future Revenue Benefit (FRB) is the estimated monetary amount that will accrue to the Department as a direct result of our compliance activities.

The overriding principle for claiming FRB is that it should be only recorded when you believe there will be a future impact on departmental revenues. The key to whether future revenue benefit can be claimed and to what degree, for example, the number of years, will depend on the behaviour that gave rise to the error and the action HMRC are taking to address it. Additionally, FRB is only applicable if the business is likely to continue trading and tax or other duties still remains.

(This text has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

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"