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, 28 January 2009

It's Official - HMRC Is Shite

The Treasury - First Report

Administration and expenditure of the Chancellor's departments, 2007-08

Published January 2009

Indicates that Parliament also believes that HMRC is shite:

"We are disappointed that HRMC took 12 months to replace its Chief Executive, thereby deepening the uncertainty felt by staff members already part way through a far reaching review of HMRC's operations. We recommend that the Government ensure a full permanent senior management team is in place in HMRC as soon as possible..

We believe that having a 'Permanent Secretary for Tax' alongside the Chief Executive and Chairman of HMRC may obscure clear lines of accountability. We recommend that HMRC publish and widely circulate clear information on the respective responsibilities of its senior management team, including responsibility for data management...

It is our view that HMRC's explanation of the basis for the payment to Stuart Cruickshank is wholly inadequate. We are further unconvinced that the £88,125 received by Stuart Cruickshank represents good value for the taxpayer. We recommend that the Government ensure that all departments are adhering to best practice regarding ex-gratia payments...

We note the National Audit Office's assertion that, in order to maximise the benefits of its Transformation Programme, HMRC must convince staff of its benefits. The low levels of morale within the Department are startling with profound potential impacts on both the Transformation Programme and core service delivery. We will continue to monitor the efforts made by senior management to improve matters. We seek an explanation of how Ministers will monitor and report progress...

We are concerned that individuals without access to the internet, notably less well off or elderly taxpayers, may face increased levels of non-filing penalty charges following the revision to the paper filing deadline. We recommend that the Government should publish any analysis available to it of the demographic profile of those facing non-filing fees following the 31 October paper filing deadline. If such evidence is not available to the Government then it should be commissioned as a matter of urgency...

We recommend that HMRC disclose information regarding the financial case for individual office closures in order to allow better public scrutiny of these decisions...

We ask the Government to update the latest progress made by HMRC against Kieran Poynter's recommendations regarding information security...

We are extremely concerned by the level of fraud within HMRC. We will continue to monitor the steps taken to improve controls...

We recommend that the Government ensure the performance against agreed targets by PFI contractors is published within Departmental Annual Reports in order to enable clearer scrutiny of these recipients of public funds...

We recommend that HMRC reviews the contracts with its IT provider in the light of the very serious errors which have recently occurred and seeks financial compensation where appropriate. We regard it as wholly unsatisfactory that people entitled to Child Trust Fund payments should not have received them owing to the poor performance of an IT contractor. We seek assurances that the contracts drawn up with the PFI companies adequately allow for appropriate compensation to the taxpayer in the event of serious performance shortcomings...

We note that the introduction of HMRC's new IT system has been delayed by a year. We accept that postponing the 'go live' date until testing is complete is prudent. HMRC should publish the performance targets for the new system in terms of reduced open cases and other measures so that we may better monitor its effectiveness.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Oh surely not?

    I'm almost tempted to say that I'd be quite prepared to put up with the crap inrastructure, dodgy leadership and pure, raw, incompetence if only they'd change that bloody institutional arrogance.

    The whole department behaves as though every taxpayer is a toothless crone dressed in sackcloth and trying to hide a squealing pig or six bushels of straw from them. It's been my experience over a number of lifetimes that the attitude hasn't changed one iota since the first tax collector kicked down the first barn door and started digging in with an over-sized, Baron-supplied, shovel.

    The Revenoo is like the NHS, I don't really expect it to be a lean, green, mean, healing or collecting machine - but neither should they be allowed to treat taxpayers as though they are peasantry.

    Every change made to the IR has been to do with dumbing down and nothing to do with the introduction of common sense or genuine service.

    Snazzy politically correct but utterly useless scripts read over an internet phone connection on an 0845 number without reference to the needs of the caller do not constitute "service".

    p.s., I'm just a bit miffed because, having started to "register" on the IR website on the 3rd of January (and tried three times since, called "helpdesks" six times since and contacted "online help" on eight occasions) it's now the 28th and I still haven't been "allowed" access. The fine, the delicate little school-leaverish voice told me, is automatic and they can't do anything about it.

    Reaches into the cutlery drawer for his Fawkes ...

  2. Surely YES!!! HMRC is in complete disarray and instead of admitting that it has got things wrong it carries on regardless due to institutional arrogance and the 360-degree blinkers that ExCom members are wearing.

    An excellent post from Stop Hitting Me Officer... please keep the criticism coming!

  3. I spent 8 minutes listening to the infantile MENU and cretinous blurb on the HMRC helpline on Monday to be given totally the wrong information by the idiot on the end of the phone.

    Remember - HMRC can will and do get everything wrong and its all your fault for not wiping HMRC's ar$e.

    Ultimately the Law is on thier side - don't they know it. Their own complaints procedure is in house and is inherently biased towards their own bonus schemes.

    Remember - you get it wrong its your fault, HMRC get it wrong its your fault.

    Toodle Pip!

  4. The gummint wants to collect tax from us to pay for the bail outs and other mismanagement and ineptitude, and has practically dismantled the revenue collecting department so that it is bound to fail in collecting said revenue.

    About par for the course I'd say

    When are they nationalising the bailiffs and debt collectors?