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.

Friday, 16 May 2008

HMRC Health Warning

HMRC Health WarningA few days ago AccountingWeb reported that Baker Tilly had criticised HMRC's "new" version of the IR20 booklet IR20 "Residents and non-residents: liability to tax in the United Kingdom", published on HMRC's website on 6th May.

Seemingly the booklet is not "new".

George Bull, head of tax, is said that the "new" booklet is in fact a revised version of the 1999 edition of the booklet.

So far so good.

Unfortunately, it takes no account of the major changes that were announced in the Budget which are in the Finance Bill currently awaiting parliamentary approval.

For example this version of IR20 includes no mention of:

-the change to the day-counting rule to include any day when a person is present in the UK at midnight;

-the new £30K charge on non-domiciliaries who have been UK-resident for over seven years and who wish to claim the remittance basis; or

-the changes to the remittance basis itself.

HMRC said a few days ago that it does not intend to publish the fully revised version of IR20 until after the Finance Bill has become law.

However, as I noted earlier this week, what a difference a few days make in politics and tax!

HMRC have now issued a health warning about this booklet.

It points out that it now includes as an appendix Revenue & Customs Brief 01/07 which was issued following the recent Gaines-Cooper case, but it does not include reference to the proposals made in the 2008 Budget to change the way days of presence are counted for residence purposes, nor to changes made to the operation of the remittance basis as we are not able to publish such guidance until the 2008 Finance Act has received Royal Assent.

You can bet your bottom dollar that HMRC would not have issued this health warning had people not raised a fuss over the booklet.

Therefore, here's the very obvious question that I am sure all of you want to ask HMRC.

Why the hell did you waste our money and your time publishing a revised booklet that you knew perfectly well was out of date, and that you knew you would have to republished in the next few weeks?

Tax does have to be taxing.

The New Statesman, Britain's leading political magazine is delighted to announce that HMRC Is Shite has been nominated for a New Media Award in the category of Campaign For Change. The campaign for change award will go to the individual or organisation that has most effectively influenced opinions and behaviour through the use of new media technology. The winner of this award will champion a cause and provide information and tools to instigate change.

The full press release can be downloaded here.

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