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, 30 January 2009

IT Issues

It Issues
The House of Commons Treasury Select Committee has noted that the number of "open" tax cases was "5.7 million in excess of the HMRC's own target of 10.5 million by the end of 2007–08."

It noted that HMRC has 16.2 million tax cases open, because HMRC's IT systems are unable to cope and clerical intervention is required.

Given this appalling IT situation, how is everyone getting along filing their online tax returns (deadline tomorrow)?

HMRC says it is "very confident" the system will not collapse before the midnight deadline.

No worries!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Filing online?

    I just put mine in a buff-coloured envelope earlier today and filed it at the Postal Orifice with a letter explaining "1 month + 8 emails + 12 telephone calls = quite enough effort trying to be allowed to register to file online so herewith paper..."

    When the "penalty" arrives in the post I'll load the Purdey with buckshot and invite them to come and collect in person.

    Enough is enough. C'est toute in fact. You know, I really do hate to say this but - here goes, apologies Father - I really do admire the Fre... (can hardly say it) ... the Fren... oooh deep breath - I really do admire the French for their short fuses and splendidly pragmatic approach to political mood display. There, I've said it.

    I know I'm English and I know that I would actually hate to be out on the streets rolling over government Rover 3 litre saloon cars and setting light to small Councillors and hitting quangos with a shovel but it's probably the only thing that will get through to this current crop of lily-livered thieving lying toadying little morally bankrupt tossers who have nested where our Politicians and Statesmen should be.

    It really is time for a fireworks party. May I suggest a central venue such as Westminster? Mayhap we can all dig through our suitcases and Caribbean shirts for enough dollars to buy the necessary fireworks from China or Korea or somewhere else that ends in "...east" and still has two industries to rub together.

    Or perhaps not, in the case of fireworks industries.

    Vive la guillotine!

    Sorry Dad - said it again.

  2. ...or, instead of the revolution, you (and other) taxpayers, could contact your MP and ask that HMRC is made fit for purpose immediately.
    Unfortunately from the taxpayers point of view this will mean spending more on the civil service until the IT systems catch up and can do some of the basic work automatically.
    However EVEN I.T. is not the whole answer. Individuals have individual problems and circumstances and have to be dealt with individually. This is obvious, but apparently not to the higher ups and Govt ministers who have been suckered into the snake oil that IT is the answer to a slimmed down and efficient civil service.(it won't be until we get artificial intelligence).

    The old saying "you pay peanuts, you get monkeys" is as relevant now as it has always been and until the voters and taxpayers of this country wake up and do something about it (instead of just whining) then nothing will ever change.

  3. Anonymous said ...
    ...or, instead of the revolution, you (and other) taxpayers, could contact your MP and ask that HMRC is made fit for purpose immediately. ...

    Oh please, Anonymous, don't get me wrong - as well as "whining" here I spoke to my MP last week, obviously. He agreed with my viewpoint wholeheartedly and assures me that the work to improve the HMRC will be completed some time next week. He also asked that I let him know of any other areas for potential improvement that he may have missed while he was busy washing his parrots and doing charity work on behalf of the homeless and the ginger.

    I also mentioned, en passant, that I don't regard 40% of everything I earn as the going rate for gibbons even if they do hide their own peanuts and he agreed to organise a National refund too. All I have to do is get consensus on a figure and email him and he'll do the rest. In fact, as I left him in the bar his final words were "No - let me pick up the tab, least I can do for a voter! Now, about this refund - cash or cheque, Old Darling?"

    Who knew that influencing government could be so direct, so easy and take so little time huh?

    Such a nice, approachable, tractable, constituency-centred, altruistic man. Gosh, I wish all MPs were like mine.

    p.s., Anonymous me ol' fruitbat - as an (obvious) (junior) member of the staff of HMRC should you really be happy using the "pay peanuts, get monkeys" line? Darwin's not long in his grave you know and we don't want to spark a revivial of the old cartoons, do we?

    Oh bugger! I think that the handbrake on reality has slipped again and I've rolled into Dream-on World ... Me in my jim-jams too.

  4. I agree totally with 1st commenter.

    Overtaxation, collossal state waste, destruction of any incentive to take responsibility, endemic corruption, destruction of any concept of a British culture, British sovereignty given away with no reference to the citizenry, an army of expensive state parasites administering pointlessly complex rules, endless snooping and repressive laws to supposedly rectify problems their own idiotic laws and lax controls created in the first place, MPs who obey government dictat like trained pidgeons - it really is high time the working and productive sections of the populace took to the streets.

  5. Assume you've seen this one Mr F:-

    Though I am sure you can find a posher reference than the Daily Mail.

  6. I am sorry to correct your piece but according to Bernadette Kenny a member of the execitive commitee of HMRC, we actually have TWENTY million open cases awaiting review!!!!!!

    All because we don't have the staff to review them and its more that our life is worth to actually do them in our day to day work.

    Its not LEAN you know.

  7. Further to Anon (03 February 2009 21:25)... it's a sad fact but true. In our office, the reason we don't get time to review our open cases, nor to make a dent in the horrendous roomfulls of post arrears, is because we are too busy counting the bleeding stuff and putting all the figures on to spreadsheets! God knows why 'cause the boss prints off the farking spreadsheets and sets about them with the tippex. But it's not all bad news in today's hi-tech HMRC, because at least we've moved into the computer age... just a few short years ago we played the stats game using five-bar gates on bits of paper. This is all very hush hush of course, because if "it got out" there is a danger that the tabloids would have a field day.

  8. Can you not just 'Z' all 20 million... and hey presto, problem solved? It's a non-statutory clearance and cases can easily be reopened if Mr Taxpayer can be arsed contacting us!

  9. Stop shitting me officer- gosh! me a junior member of HMRC- how did you find out!
    Glad to see that you contacted your MP. All I will say is that you do sarcasm so beautifully and dare I say it, well!

    One thing I was taught from my predecesor department to HMRC is that don't just moan, you should try and do something about it.
    However within HMRC this option seems to be steadily eroding and even with the best will in the world, yrs truly trying to make a dent on the 20 (or so) million cases is just not going to happen, without serious injection of resources and SOME leadership (which is difficult when we still dont know who is supposed to be actually running the Department!).
    As we seem to be employing all comers as Directors at the moment, have you thought of applying (oh dam, there I go again, showing my innocence for all to see!)?

    Failing my suggestions , can I suggest the only way forward?- a subscription to the Daily Mail, whose hacks, seem to think that all public services can be performed efficiently, with the minimal resources (and then expend countless column inches by whining, when this plan, unbelievably, fails).

    I look forward to seeing you on the Board..........

    Take care ;)