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, 29 July 2008

The Bullys From HMRC

The Bullys From HMRCYesterday one of the visitors to this site posted the following comment on two of my recent articles:

"I work for HMRC in one of their contact centres so would like to clear up a little myth surrounding overpayments relating to Tax Credits, if I may. The overpayments that are constantly mentioned are as a direct result of taxpayers not notifying HMRC of their change of circumstances, not an error by HMRC.

If a taxpayer does not inform the HMRC that they have had a pay rise or that the costs of their childcare has decreased or stopped altogether, how the hell are we meant to know?

Every single person who receives Tax Credits is sent a notice instructing them to notify HMRC if certain circumstances change.

If the claimant fails to do so, it is not HMRC's fault that they have been overpaid

I have to say I have a degree of sympathy for the HMRC staff who have to endure the "stupidity" of the general public, many of the public don't fill in the forms on time/correctly or understand even the rudimentary basics of the tax system.

However, let us not forget that were it not for the monumental arrogance and love of complexity that Brown has for all things we would never have had this monumentally complicated and unwieldy tax credit system foisted on us in the first place.

It is this system that, aside from humiliating people by making them "beg" for state handouts, has forced a whole tranche of people into direct bureaucratic contact with HMRC who have no clue about form filling or basic bureaucratic administration.

This problem (bureaucratic, cost and dignity) could be resolved at the stroke of a pen, by simply abolishing tax credits and increasing personal allowances to a more sensible level of around £10K-£12K.

Unfortunately, as long as Brown is PM, this is not going to happen. The tax credit system is a monument to his arrogance and disdain for ordinary people.

That being said there is another problem with tax credits, namely HMRC's administration of them.

Confidential tapes and internal documents have exposed bullying and bungling in the tax credit scheme that will cost us £2.8BN.

Over 1.5M people have been told that they were overpaid tax credits and should now give back the money. HMRC have spread the lie that it was their own fault (funny how the comment I referred to above was posted twice, just at the same time that this story has come to light!) and informed some victims they had no right of appeal.

The reality you see is somewhat different, using evidence from HMRC's own case files victims of HMRC bullying have proven that HMRC errors are to blame.

It would seem that HMRC offices are in disarray, random errors are infecting claimants' computer files, and HMRC officials are lying to claimants about their right of appeal.

The cost of this shambles is £2.8BN, which HMRC will write off; why not, it's only our money?

Amongst the screw ups uncovered are the following:
  • HMRC computer routinely wiped out claimants' salaries, thus triggering overpayments.

  • Duplicate rogue files caused errors and sent out multiple awards.

  • Victims were sent letters claiming they had "no right of appeal" when they were pursued for overpayments caused by official error.
The tax credit system, that Brown claims is meant to lift people out of poverty does nothing of the sort. It is designed to subjugate people, and make them dependent on the state.

It is an abomination!

It must be abolished now!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. What an utter load of rubbish.
    We told HMRC about a pay rise a week after it happened and they did nothing about.
    We now owe a little over 3k and they insist that its our fault for not telling them ?
    We've had comments back through the MP's connect line to the effect that as we were not written to we should have realised they hadn't acted on the information ! So the customers of HMRC are supposed to police them as well are we ?
    Also, when the system first launched EVERY time you called them it generated a new award notice, after a few months we had our very own paper mountain. The staff on the 'helpline' routinely told us after a point that this system had been turned off and that we would only be written to IF the information we gave them resulted in a change to payments. A little hard to see how anyone is supposed to know if they've cocked it up ?
    Maybe we were just supposed to know they were incompetent and call them every day ?

  2. Steve, you have just enabled me to understand a poster I saw years ago which read "I waited and waited and when nothing came I knew it was from you!"

  3. I am a one man plumbing & heating buisness, and I have just suffered 2 years of a tax enquiry that led HMRC to writing a threatening my customers with heavy fines if they did not vaulunteer information.
    subsequently this has all but destroyed my busness and put me in a position of near bankrupcy. the amazing thing is that I have always paid tax until now when I shall be looking at a benefit claim.
    So they waste two years of tax payers money to gain less than they were getting. Good buisness sense no wonder the country gets in debt. Its always better to get something than nothing.
    It would be great if the two inspectors concerned could be made to suffer in the same way that I have had to. With any luck they will die of some painfull and horrible disease.

  4. I gave up claiming tax credits 6 years ago because I was so fed up with them issuing me with the wrong amount and then asking for money back. It was a constant battle. I always kept them up to date with my circumstances but they never kept to their side of the bargain.
    ANYWAY, I have just received a letter (6 years on!!!) saying that I owe them £260!! How can this be right?!
    Bloody useless!