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.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

A Series of Fuck Ups

Farking Mess
Accounting Web published this summary of recent fuck ups by HMRC, as witnessed front line by real people trying to work with the mess that is HMRC.

Here is the piece in full:

"VAT – part of the overhaul?

Gavin reports that after HMRC updated the online vat registration yesterday it decided to wipe any un-submitted application as of 22/7/2008. This was confirmed by helpline staff he called this morning.

He says that he "was a bit disappointed as I will have to enter all the data again. There was no warning on the log in screen to the system so I am not sure how I was supposed to know this was happening."

Tax refunds – new system, new delays?

Following HMRC's recent announcement that no tax refunds would be paid unless full bank details are included on the SA return, accountants might have expected that the refund would be forthcoming if all the details were complete. Not so it seems...

Lee reports that if you submit a client's 2007/2008 Tax Return online that shows a refund and the taxpayer is dealt with by the Chapel Wharf Expat team, the tax refund will not automatically be paid to the client's bank account. Apparently a new policy in place for 2007/2008 means that staff are instructed to manually check/issue the tax refund into the clients bank account.

He says that having submitted a client's Tax Return online on 21 July 2008, he questioned how long his client would have to wait and was informed that they are currently up to the end of June submissions. There is already a three week delay and we have not got to the busiest time of the year!

One team member indicated this morning that agents could write to HMRC to complain and gave an address in Bristol (The Repayment Security Team, AASNIU, HMRC, 101 Victoria Street, Bristol, BS1 6BG).

Says Lee: "This quite appalling state of affairs. Agents have not been told and we have angry clients whose money is being loaned to the Chancellor."

Agent authorisation, again

Peter wrote into Any Answers pointing out a range of problems, including

The database the Tax Office uses is different to the database the Online Agent Authorisation system uses.

The letter sent to my clients which has the code doesn't get posted until after HMRC send me a letter warning me that the code is about to expire. HMRC leave post in warehouses for three weeks before sending letters.

When I complained about this to HMRC they said the system works because the client gets the code before it expires! I pointed out to them that their concept of working is different to mine. I have been unable to effectively act for my clients while HMRC leave the letters in a warehouse.

He adds: Does anyone know why HMRC spell Middlesbrough incorrectly on the website? I was told they would correct it about four years ago but it is still wrong.

IT gremlins again: Self Assessment records mixed up

Earlier in the year agents details were mixed up, latest reports indicate that it might be prudent to double check your client SA records. Various members report names and addresses being mixed up.


The National Audit Office, in its latest report on HMRC's transformation programme remains remarkably upbeat with HMRC's IT performance.

Accountingweb's IT editor John Stokdyk finds this perplexing: He writes, "Taken at face value, the NAO report makes little allowance for the risks posed to the transformation programme by the stresses and strains already facing the department's current IT systems and change managers."

Bottom line, HMRC is in a farking mess!

Given that the above problems are being experienced by trained accounting professionals, one can only wonder at the problems being experienced by non accountants who don't know/understand the rules or the way round the "system".

Our "beloved" Prime Minister, who cobbled together the Revenue and Customs into the monstrosity known as HMRC is personally responsible for this. The only way out of this mess is for him to be removed from orifice ASAP, and for a complete restructuring (not Brown's badly thought through restructuring) or indeed demerger of HMRC.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. With regards to post being left in a warehouse for 3 weeks...And the rest! Post is stockpiled for weeks on end, meaning that penalties are issued for 'late' tax returns, when the returns in question have been received by HMRC but are sat unopened in the post-room. This means irate taxpayers and employers receive wrongly-issued penalties which have to be quashed by HMRC workers who should be concentrating on processing the unopened returns!

  2. Not many people know this but HMRC are set take over national payroll by 2013, phasing in 2012. Putting thousands of people out of the job in payroll buros. HMRC will take over and pay everyones wages 'accurately' on the day you would normally be paid... Now, they can't even get my tax code right, or even realise I don't have a second job, how the flying fuck are they going to get my wages right, AND get it paid ON TIME on the right fucking day. Funny thing is, if they fuck it up, they are not to blame, your employer will be!

    What a great country we live in eh?

    What the fuck is the point of this I hear you say? Well, HMRC are unable to get their grubby hands on tax money for 12 months, all tax you pay is held by payroll (buro your company may be using) where they will pay it off Aprilish the following year etc. Instead of just incorporating a system that would enable payroll to pay the taxes every month, they decided to wipe out a whole industry so they can collect tax monthly. Those greedy fucks, did they not even think about the people they are putting out of the job that pay tax?! I swear, I cross a taxman, I'll fuck you up.

  3. I put 2 returns to hmrc on the 17th jan . i got a reply back on the 7th feb stating i did not put my ref number on and if i did not get it back by the 31st jan ? i would have to pay a penalty . I paid the money £200.00 with explanation stating they gave me no chance to correct . They have taken money with no explanation. They are a total shambles .

  4. Is it a record to still be waiting for my £75 'incentive' payment for registering our tax returns online some 2 years ago ?! I'm sure if I sat on £75 that I owed those feckers I would be hanging by my goolies in the Tower of London by now ! And what the feck is this payment in advance for the next tax year all about ?!? Why the feck can't us ordinary folk get any action or bring about any change in this complete bollocks of an arrogant and turgid outfit ?!!?

  5. For 40 years HMRC have dictated my PAYE coding without asking me personally anything about jobs, salary, etc. In 2010 they told me [wrongly-later recinded] I would be PAYE code B0 and now they're telling me I owe 2 years back tax, > £1000! Why should I pay? It's their mistake. What am I supposed to do? Ask them every year they are absolutley SURE they've got everything right? Get your own house in order HMRC!!

  6. I am being fleeced and drowned in stupidity, paperwork, codes and indifference.

    They are big, we are small - pay up and shut up. Extortion.

  7. Did you know that the tax office say and Quote " they do not have to contact you by letter or by phone that they are taken legal action against you" and they thought it was reasonable to of only tried once to contact me on a mobile phone and because i was in a no service area possibly on the tube they issued legal action.

  8. Self disclosure experience...
    I own(ed) my own house (outright valued £80,000) and I did a ltte bit of work "on the side" for a couple of years, I got made redundant (58) and I couldnt get another job. No, I didnt sign on (too proud) but I kept looking for work while working "on the side"; I claimed nothing. Pretty soon another 3 years had gone by and I was 61 and still jobless and still working "on the side". Oh I had put money away for tax and NI but had no idea what to do or how to pay it. Never even knew I was supposed to tell HMRC. I'd never evr heard from them since I was 17... So here I was, I was working for myself (I was totally clueless)... I then decided to go the route of "self disclosure"to HMRC, got a tax specialist and I was TOTALLY open with them and with HMRC. I gave them all paper work bank statements etc, and I held nothing back. I receieved 70% penalty (ouch), and every "fine" in the book. Paid £40,000 (the amount of lost tax they calculated (guessed at) by one payment from my bank)... but they wanted another £28,000 in penalties which I didn't have). So I lost all my life savngs (and wifes), lost the house and was declared bankrupt. They said I should be gratefull that I was not going to jail... Oh, I am. Would I self disclose agin - why would I? what is nothing in it for someone to self disclose, no amnesty no nothing, its not exactly the return of the prodigal son and hey, nice, thank you for saving up all that tax.... Bit late but thank you - NO! that's not how it works !