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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.
Friday, 7 March 2008
Well I am pleased to say that HMRC is now openly admitting what I, and the rest of the country have been saying, namely that it is in complete chaos.
East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton was told as much by an HMRC official, when he rang to ask about a late filing penalty.
Mr Loughton told MPs about the conversation during Treasury Questions this week.
"Yesterday I had cause to ring the late-filing penalty helpline of the Inland Revenue, having filed my tax return and had the cheque cashed on 30 January.
The very helpful lady I spoke with said that she could not help me because the address she had for me was 12 years out of date, and for my wife 17 years out of date, despite our filing tax returns every year.
She ended up by saying:
'As you are an MP, perhaps you will take away from this call the complete chaos we are in.' "
Impressive isn't it?
Mr Loughton asked financial secretary to the Treasury Jane Kennedy:
"Do you share that view and, if you do, why are so many of your colleagues getting paid a bonus?"
"I am sorry to hear your report of you experience with the self-assessment process. I shall take it away and investigate, but I point out that, despite the problems on the day, HMRC dealt with a very large number of cases.
As you know, people always leave it until the last minute, and HMRC experiences a huge surge in the number of self-assessments. All I can say is that I will investigate your case and look into exactly what reports you have made to HMRC in recent years."
Ah there you have it, it's our fault for filing our tax returns at the last minute!
You see, in the world of those running HMRC, we exist to make their lives easier not the other way around. That is of course rather ironic, given the fact that our taxes pay their bonuses.
Kennedy also ignores the rather obvious problem wrt Mr loughton's case; HMRC have got records on both him, and his wife, that are years out of date. That is nothing to do with him filing his returns at the last minute.
As usual those running HMRC try to obfuscate those asking pertinent and relevant questions, by trying to blame those asking the questions.
I am afraid that things are going to get a lot worse.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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