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.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Secret Address

Secret Address
Here is an interesting story sent to me by someone about HMRC changing their address, but not being very open about their new address.

My correspondent has for many years sent his VAT return by post using an enclosed brown envelope, and recorded delivery to ensure proof of sending.

Anyhoo, this quarter HMRC changed the colour of the enclosed envelope to white and the address on the envelope.

So far so good, except for one small problem...the address, whilst it did have a post code, didn't have a town.

In theory, this should still work for recorded delivery; unfortunately there was another problem.

Can you guess what that was?

Yes, that's right, the post office did not/could not recognise the post code (BX5 5AT) on the envelope.

My hapless correspondent then called HMRC, and was given a new postcode (BD98 1YY) to use.

Fair enough, except that the post office will not accept a letter for recorded delivery without a town as well.

Cue another call to HMRC, asking for the town.

Unfortunately, HMRC (for reasons best known to the lady at the call centre) wouldn't give the name of the town (it turns out from a later enquiry that it was Bradford).

Another call, to a more helpful call centre person, confirmed that the printed envelopes had a problem with the post code but that proof of postage can be obtained via a "certificate of postage".

I understand that there has been some trouble with the VAT returns in the period July/August because of this.

I wonder just how many VAT returns have been lost or delayed this quarter because of a misprinted post code on the envelope?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. The new address is Accounts Office Shipley - and if you used to fax your return to your local VAT office and them fax it onto Southend for you, that has ended because it has been sacrificed on the altar of efficiency - whatever happened to customer service ???>

  2. Not sure why people bother with recorded delivery. Only one of my VAT returns ever went missing and I found that 6 months later behind the old washing machine in the garage. I had no doubt that Customs And Excise hid it there to cover up their own incompetence.

  3. You're kidding ... you want the tax payer to pay for someone at your local vat office to forward your fax to another vat office just because you can't be a**ed to make a note of the correct number ?!?

  4. As of August 2010 this is still the same. In fact the Post Office told me today that they cannot recognise the address even when entered manually to their 'new' system. This isn't the PO's fault this is poos service from HMRC. Having called them I was politely advised that the post code with no town or anything else IS correct.

  5. I spent half an hour on the phone today to try and establish where the BX5 5AT post code we were given to send our cheque, actually is as I have never come across a BX post code in the UK. I was assured that this postcode exists but the customer service person would not confirm that it was or was not Bradford. He said that postcode has been working effectively for at least a year. I said the post office would probably not be able to find it and I would therefore not be able to send our cheque by special delivery and it needed to be there in 3 days time. We ended up having to pay by BACS as I refuse to post a letter to post code that as far as I am aware, does not exist. Very strange indeed!

  6. For all those who are very concerned about the BX5 5AT postcode; This postcode belongs to the VAT Debt Management Office in Croydon, Surrey. I believe that huge office at Southend-on-Sea will be closed at some stage and the building sold to property developers and before it is closed, HMRC wants to have an office with a new postcode in order to seperate the VAT payments from rest of the correspondence sent to Croydon Office. Royal Mail's sorting machines are programmed to accept and sort the mail with this new postcode, so there should not be any worries. Anyway, in this time and age who is sending their VAT returns and payments by post? File VAT returns on-line and make payment through internet banking. Who cares where the office is situated as long as these "shites" process the returns and payment properly!!!!

  7. Call centre guy hung up when asked to confirm the postcode for returns.

  8. Sorry, but as little respect as I have for HMRC (which if they were a private company would have been bankrupt years ago), your pitiful person could just have easily googled HMRC for the correct info - which is what I had to do!

  9. I've been fined for paying three days late - the fine has to be sent to BX5 AT.
    (All other payments are online, so I don't send cheques normally. Correspondence is never with the same address, or person...)
    This is not on the worse than useless HMRC site (constructed by someone to whom logic is a stranger, and intuition an enemy). I found it only after three attempts with different offices to get HMRC to tell me where I had to send the fine.
    They wouldn't give the town, either.

  10. Did the same and I was told the town name is not necessary. All the same I have to just send because those people aren't helpful at all. They make things difficult for their fellow citoizens.

  11. Roger Ladbrook14 August 2013 16:33

    Because on 5 occasions the 0300 200 3200 queue has been 12 to 16 minutes long, I decided to phone Debt Management & Banking (to let them know that I had done as they suggested without success. However, DM&B have similar waiting times today, so I decided to write. Royal Mail's online postage requires a town and the DMB 340 postcode BX5 5AB does not exist. The reason I use Recorded Delivery (for no reason I can think of now K/A signed for)is because I have had important letters intended for HMRC go astray (only, incidentally, in the last 10 years or, so and as a contributor to AccountingWeb once remarked, "it may be that we must always use recorded delivery when corresponding with HMRC".

  12. The reason we NEED to use recorded/signed for with the residue is because of their new FINE culture- where everything to them is FINE (it)...

  13. ...Also forgot to mention do not use a courier to this address as they cant find it. The reason being this postcode BD98 1YY is in the middle of a field! and only Royal Mail have a re-direct on it! When asked of a Residue agent; as to the full postal address, was told "we dont want to be found" !! I have later found this postcode to link to the Skipton theater of A Holes. The surface and physical address being:HMRC Shipley, Victoria Street, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD98 1YY.

    Hope this helps with dealing with H M's Rectal C'ts

  14. After Long and it would appear seemlingly fruitless conversations about a missing payment to them (2 hours of conversations with them having found the payment - done through BACS) and "don't worry about any further letters it will be OK " and "I am 95% certain the matter is now closed" I came home yesterday to another letter regarding payment and this time threatening my husband and myself with a visit from the Ballifs, I decided to write and send a letter "Recorded Delivery". It was only because I always thought that BX5 5AB looked a little strange that I decided to Google it. Glad I did otherwise it would have been "returned to sender" or more seriously just left in the chaos that is Royal Mail these days. Another 10 minutes wait on hold and then I had to endure a conversation with a young lady who insisted that BX5 5AB is a real place and then another 10 minutes on hold while she tried to find a bona fida address. This is another instance of HMRC setting people up to fail. Letters take so long to reach you (at least 10 days) that you are already in trouble for failing to reply within their 7 day time deadline, fake addresses, "Helplines" that are no such thing and people who promise to sort something out but who can't be bothered. My husband and I act as unpaid tax collectors for HMRC, and between us we send them in excess of £30,000.00 a year, and for which we are treated like criminals. I am going to be writing to my MP regarding the whole fake address thing, which I can only describe as a joke, makes you wonder if the letters send by "Helen Bilbao from BX5 5AB" is a real person as well. I am thinking about writing as "W. T. Pooh, 100 Acre Wood" and seeing what they think about that!

    1. I can confirm that Helen Bilbao IS a real person and a very nice person as well !.

  15. I wonder if BX5 5AB is not a post code but actually just an internal reference that HMRC in their infinte wisdom use for their own purposes.

  16. I received a letter a couple of months ago a photocopy of a tax credits letter saying i owed over 2,000 with the name miss b barralough. The number i was to call was 03002003800. I tried calling the number to try and talk to someone but all it was doing was saying how to pay the debt in full. It was for period 2006-2007. I did not work then as i was at home bringing up my kids.y et it took from 2007 to come to me. I assumed it was a fake letter as i was not getting anywhere. I have just received another letter again photocopy from maximising revenue saying that i failed to get intouch and needed to pay the debt in full which is a different amount infact less. Not sure what to think as the address is different on the website. Im confused and worried.

  17. BD98 1YY is in the middle of the Dales!! I don't trust any of these addresses!

  18. Thanks for the laugh!
    Yesterday I sent a letter to HMRC at BX5 5AB.
    Before posting it, I tried to find the postal town using Google. As I faile to find out within the first 3 seconds, I simply added "(Unknown Postal Town)" as one line of the address, although I failed to add "United Kingdom" as the last line.
    Just now I glanced at the tab I still had open, and the first Google result was yours. The title and URL made me smile.
    We are currently trying to fight a £130,000 robbery by HMRC, so thought I would try and share this with you.
    Our blog entry from yesterday, a copy of a letter we sent to David Cameron:

  19. Per Wikipedia

    " "

    technically " The non-geographic postcode area BX has been introduced for addresses which do not include a locality, this allows large organisations long-term flexibility as to where they receive their mail. This postcode area is used by Lloyds TSB (BX1 1LT) and the VAT Central Unit of HM Revenue and Customs (BX5 5AT)."

    That may make it easier to comprehend, and it would be a decently good idea were it not misused to front abuses of taxpayers.

  20. any one have J Glancy email address ? or the full name

  21. When I phoned our local HMRC in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne,the Male who took my call said " To Pay Today " I said no,then he put the phone straight down on me.I didnt get a chance to explain,he was very rude.

  22. HMRC
    St. Mungo's road
    G70 5TR

    And here one of their adresses.