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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.
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Hanging On The Telephone
Those of you who enjoy talking to HMRC call centres will doubtless be filled with joy in your hearts to learn that HMRC want to conduct a telephone survey of tax agents and advisers.
Are your hearts filled with joy?
"Tax agents and advisers - will you help us with our telephone survey?
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) considers its relationship with tax agents and advisers to be vitally important.
We want to know more about our agent customers and their specific needs and behaviours. We are therefore investing in a programme of research over the next few months and will be asking some of you, as part of a representative sample of agents, if you would be willing to be involved in this work.
The research will involve a telephone discussion about the experiences you have had with us and how you felt about them. We'll share the findings with you once they're available (probably late 2008). As the research is designed to guide our future improvements we hope that, if approached, as many of you as possible will take the time to help us with this important project.
You represent a significant number of our customers and we value the contribution you make in helping us to deliver our services and design our processes – so
we really do want to know what you think."
OK, off the top of my head, here are a few thoughts:
1 "Investing" is Gordon Brown speak for "spending money". Precisely how much is this survey going to cost the taxpayer?
2 Will it be conducted by a professional research agency, or in house amateurs?
3 Will the results really be published in their full and gory detail?
4 Will HMRC actually listen to what people tell them?
5 Publication of results "probably late 2008", why is HMRC unable to give a precise date? Survey results are relatively straightforward to collate and summarise, if they are managed by professionals.
6 Given that HMRC is in turmoil wrt its botched restructuring, and that basic procedures (eg opening letters, repaying overpaid tax etc) are grinding to a halt; is this the best use of HMRC's limited resources?
Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comment box, and make sure that you make your opinion known in this survey (if it ever happens).
Tax does have to be taxing.
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