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, 27 November 2014

The Demise of Purdah II - Hartley Not Guilty



Yesterday I wrote about Jonathan Hall, a senior information officer at HMRC, who had received bungs from Sun journalist Clodagh Hartley in exchange for leaking stories to the paper.

Whilst Hall had admitted wrongdoing, Hartley stood trial. The verdict is now in, and she has been found not guilty.

As per economia:
"Clodagh Hartley has been cleared of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, two and a half years after being granted bail, as part of Operation Elveden.

The prosecution alleged that Jonathan Hall, a senior information officer at the Revenue, was paid over £4,000 by News International, a further £13,000 was paid into the account of his girlfriend Marta Bukarewicz – the majority of which was then transferred into his account, for leaks. Bukarewicz was also found not guilty.

Stories leaked to the Sun included details of an advertising campaign for the government website DirectGov, funded by £1.3m of taxpayers money.

On the morning of Budget Day 2010, the Sun also published a “leaked” announcement that there would be a rise in fuel duty.

It was revealed during Hartley’s trial that Hall has already pleaded guilty to misconduct in public office, according to the Guardian."
As I noted yesterday, doubtless Hall is but a single bad apple in HMRC's barrel. I wonder though whether he declared the income to HMRC, and whether HMRC will now cross check to see that he has done so?

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.

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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, 26 November 2014

The Demise of Purdah


As loyal readers may recall, I have on occasions bemoaned the fact that Budget Purdah is now a thing of the past.

It seems that one of the reasons (aside from flabby mouthed politicians) for the demise of Purdah, is the fact that an HMRC press officer was supplying The Sun with inside information in exchange for bungs. As per the Guardian:
"A reporter on the Sun newspaper allegedly paid £17,000 to an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) press officer for confidential information including leaked details of the 2010 budget, an Old Bailey jury heard.

Clodagh Hartley, 40, Whitehall editor of the Sun at the time, was “motivated by acquiring the next big scoop”, while her source, Jonathan Hall, a senior information officer at HMRC, was “motivated by greed”, the court was told.

Stories included details of the 2010 budget, published on budget day, “so readers of the Sun were reading details of the budget before the chancellor had got to his feet in the House of Commons”, said Zoe Johnson QC, prosecuting. Most of the payments were paid into the account of Hall’s live-in girlfriend, Marta Bukarewicz, “to cover his tracks”, it was alleged. Bukarewicz then transferred the money to Hall’s account “deceptively labelled as rent” and kept some money herself as “commission” for “her unlawful efforts”, it was alleged.""
Hall has accepted that he supplied stories to Hartley for which he was paid.

Let us trust that this is a one off, and that Hall is the only bad apple in HMRC!

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, 25 November 2014

OTS Employment Status Survey


In July the government commissioned the OTS in July to examine the dividing line between employment and self-employment and “whether it is drawn in the right place and in the right way”.

The Office of Tax Simplification is now seeking views on where the complexities lie in determining someone’s employment status for tax purposes. As such it has published a questionnaire, the deadline for which is 31 December 2014.

The OTS aims to publish its report at the end of February 2015, in time for Budget 2015.

It would be nice to think that this exercise will help simplify our massively complex tax system. However, I won't be holding my breath.

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, 24 November 2014

DRD Plans Watered Down - Seemingly

The Treasury's Direct Recovery of Debts (DRD) plans have, seemingly, been watered down. The plans now come with a number of safeguards; eg taxpayers will be afforded the right of appeal at court before any funds can be emptied from their bank accounts.

There will be a guaranteed face-to-face contact with an HMRC officer and the creation of a specialist unit to deal with cases involving vulnerable members of society, as well as the provision of a dedicated DRD team and helpline.

Additionally, action will only be taken against those with over £1,000 of tax or tax credits debt, a minimum of £5,000 will be left across debtors' accounts, a lien will only be placed on the funds in the affected account up to the value of the debt and the recalcitrant taxpayers will have 30 days (twice as long as originally planned) to contact HMRC and arrange repayment.

Many people are hailing this as a victory, and are expressing gratitude to the government for listening. All very well, and polite. However, I would make two observations:

1 There are perfectly adequate means, via the courts, already at the disposal of HMRC to recover tax debts. These extra powers are unnecessary.

2 The above modifications are merely "promises" made by Gauke et al. Until the proposed legislation is actually scrutinised, those offering thanks for a "listening" government may care to take their feet off the "gratitude pedal" and stop kowtowing.


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, 21 November 2014

HMRC Wins an Award


My thanks to a loyal reader who pointed out that not everything in HMRC's garden is covered in feculence.

Yesterday Suzanne Newton, HMRC's RTI Programme Director, won a civil service award under the category Dame Lesley Strathie Operational Excellence Award (sponsored by BT).

The judges were looking for examples of outstanding teams or individuals who have innovated, impressed and made a difference in their area over the past twelve months. Nominations were considered against award-specific criteria as well as the following elements:

Promotion or demonstration of the core values and behaviours set out in the Civil Service Code: Has the nominee acted (where relevant) with honesty, integrity, impartiality and objectivity?
Measurable benefits: Does the nomination provide evidence that demonstrates how the project or programme is having a tangible effect?
Working in partnership: Has the nominee introduced effective joint working arrangements that bring together colleagues from multiple teams, departments or other internal or external organisations?
Sustainability: Will the initiative/practice described leave a lasting legacy and can it be replicated across government?
Innovation: Has the nominee used innovative approaches, and made the best of technology available, which have resulted in a step up from business as usual and delivered real benefits to end users?
Impact: Has the nominee made an impact beyond their immediate team/business area/department?

Here is why the judges thought that Suzanne should win:

Suzanne Newton, Real Time Information Programme Director

HM Revenue & Customs
Suzanne Newton led the successful delivery of Real Time Information (RTI), a major digital government programme to reduce the burden on employers during payroll processing. RTI is the biggest modernisation of the PAYE system in 70 years and is a huge change for employers, the pensions industry and HMRC. PAYE is more accurate for employees and provides richer, more accurate, real-time data so that benefits can flex with earnings, helping welfare reform become a reality. In 2013-14, more than 1.8 million PAYE schemes were reporting RTI for 48m records, 99 per cent of the total, and HMRC processed more than 31m submissions, reporting over 660m payments to employees. RTI recently won two prestigious awards, with the Real IT Awards judges describing it as a "fantastic achievement”, demonstrating that government can and does deliver high-quality digital transformation that works.

As we all know, RTI is a real success story!

Cough......

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, 20 November 2014

HMRC Engagement Index Falls


My thanks to a loyal reader who has sent me the following gem posted by Lin Homer, about the 2104 staff survey results, on HMRC's intranet.

To summarise, the results are shite!

HMRC is behind other departments, the engagement index has fallen, there is a fall in satisfaction with tools to do the job (RTI perchance?) and the response rate is a pathetic 53%. I understand that many answers are between -10 to -20% worse than the civil service as a whole.

Trying to put a brave face on it, Lin is softening the blow to her regime that the engagement index (44% in 2013) has fallen to 43% in 2014 by saying that things were worse in 2012.

You couldn't make this up if you tried.

Homer and HMRC are wallowing in their own feculence!

Here is the text of her message to staff:
"The headline results of HMRC’s 2014 People Survey are now available. I’m writing to let you know what they are and about the next steps for us all.

This year, our overall engagement score – which analyses how you feel about HMRC and your work – is 43 per cent.


This is a one per cent drop from last year, although our score is still two per cent higher than in 2012. The overall score for the Civil Service went up one per cent and we remain behind other departments, particularly big departments of comparable size.


I’m disappointed that our engagement score hasn’t improved this year, but I’m grateful to every one of the 35,117 of you who took the time to fill in the survey. The ten-point increase in our response rate to 53 per cent gives us a much fuller picture of how people across the Department are thinking and feeling.


ExCom now needs to examine that picture very carefully, and work out where we need to make changes. To help us do that, each line of business will be looking in depth at what they need to do differently and I would like you to get involved in the discussion. What needs changing in your team? What can your business do to help each of you feel engaged?


Your business/team level report will be available very soon, and will be shared with you by leaders in your lines of business.


There are some clear messages just from the headlines, for instance a drop in satisfaction with pay ( down five per cent) and with tools to do your job (down 9 per cent). Whilst there are some similar messages across the Civil Service, we need to understand what this means for us.


In January, everyone will have access to the Engagement Compass, which helps teams to understand and analyse their survey results, and think about what they can change at a local level. We will let you know when that’s ready.


There are some difficult messages in the survey results – and we need to understand them – but I am really glad to see that 81 per cent of you feel positive about your teams, and nearly 80 per cent of you want to stay with HMRC for at least the next year. I hope we can build on those findings, and continue to make improvements as we work together on Building our Future.


Thank you.
"
Why is this woman still in charge?

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"