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.

Monday, 11 February 2008

HMRC Talks Bollocks

HMRC Talks BollocksYou will doubtless all recall the recent furore over the news that certain "special" people (eg MPs and celebs) are forbidden from filing their tax returns online, because HMRC believe that they deserve greater security?

In other words, HMRC don't believe that their online filing system is secure.

Needless to say, HMRC don't quite agree with that interpretation (as it totally undermines the credibility - not that it has any - of their online filing system).

As such, they recently issued the following announcement

"HMRC Online Services - secure and safe to use

Some newspapers and broadcast media have claimed that that HMRC's online filing systems are not secure because Members of Parliament and a small number of other taxpayers cannot use the Self Assessment service.

This is completely untrue. A small minority of taxpayers, including MPs, cannot currently use online services because the additional internal safeguards on their records mean that their taxpayer reference numbers are not recognised on the authentication system.

This therefore has nothing to do with the security of our online services. HMRC online services use the highest levels of encryption generally available and authentication processes similar to online banks.

HMRC is continuing to explore ways to extend online filing to all taxpayers.

Almost 3 million Self Assessment taxpayers have used SA online to file their return safely and securely
."

So that's alright then, isn't it?

Errrmmmm...no, not quite!

When they say "HMRC online services use the highest levels of encryption generally available and authentication processes similar to online banks" they are talking bollocks.

As we all know, banks (eg Barclays) are in fact rolling out authentication terminals to be used at home for all of their online account customers.

For why?

Banks know that simple password/username security systems are not actually that secure; and can be/have been breached.

Meanwhile, the good old boys in the HMRC bunker continue to insist that a username/password system (not even random character password) is safe. They have no stated intention of upgrading it.

Complete bollocks!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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