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, 6 April 2009

The Massive Mess That is HMRC

Fark Up
Something for your diaries for this evening, ITV's Tonight programme scheduled for 8PM tonight, lifts the lid on the chaos within HMRC.

The programme will state that HMRC staff are so overworked and under pressure to meet government targets, that taxpayers letters are routinely binned and calls are either ignored or cut-off prematurely.

A whistleblower states:

"Staff have actually been told that when someone rings in with a tax inquiry and you spot a mistake on a person's record, you have to ignore it unless they have actually asked you to look at that mistake.

It's all about the government target of answering so many calls in a day.

And if you write in, the post often goes missing. It just disappears, just gets binned... some letters simply aren't seen by anyone.

Last week we had a situation where half a million payment reminder letters were sent out late, meaning people were being threatened with surcharges and penalties they might not even owe.

It's a massive mess

I wonder if more whistleblowers came forward whether we would discover if this is but the tip of the iceberg?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Trust me, as an HMRC worker; you'd BETTER believe it.

    HMRC doesn't give a flying fuck about it's 'customers'.

    HMRC are more interested in control management by meaningless spreadsheets, jackboots and thumbscrews than people, including it's own staff who are demoralised to the hilt.

    And yet on the HMRC intranet site, Dave Half-Twat (sorry, Hartnett) said despite the mistakes, HMRC got a 'lot of things right'.

    Yeah, mainly a considerable number of fuck-ups namely....

  2. Just seen the program. I feel for those people who experienced such horrendous problems. Can't believe that they refer to us taxpayers as customers. In that case we should receive better service. I surprised that they get any letters from people praising the service they have got, especially if they binned most of the post.

  3. I didn't watch the programme because I work for HMRC and I know the only people in the department who will be in denial about it are senior managers with their heads in the sand. I could scream when I see the appalling state of HMRC, Joe Public does not know the half of what goes on. Why should staff have to argue the case to do the job for which they are paid? We have to work with both hands tied behind our backs & wearing blinkers and a gag. Please, please, please Mr Hartnett, let us do our job properly because at the moment we are neither civil nor a service. And maybe we don't throw post away, but maybe we do leave piles and piles of it untouched on the many unmanned desks because it "isn't targetted post, so doesn't count towards our figures". And that is a genuine quote from a very senior manager.

  4. "Dave Half-Twat (sorry, Hartnett) said despite the mistakes, HMRC got a 'lot of things right'.....

    .....I can only presume that he means all the freeloading lunches, dinners, nights at the opera etc that he has been busy sticking his snout in the trough at courtesy of HMRC's so called "business partners".

  5. Dave "Nearly Man" Hartnett... a typical 'Inland Revenue man' and clearly a pompous oaf with his head in the sand.

  6. Why do these idiots at HMRC persist in calling tax payers 'customers'?

  7. The managers don't care if post is binned, no, all they are interested in is bullying staff into telling them that there is 'nil' post on hand!

  8. No wonder the department is sinking in a sea of unworked post. No-one gives a toss about it, they're all to busy with the newspapers, making tea and toast and conversation. The managers don't give a shit either, so long as all their farking spreadsheets are up to date and populated with meaningless stats, including the holiday spreadsheet!!!

  9. I feel that some of the commentators are being somewhat unfair on Dave H. He is a career HMRC man and not a bussed in generic civil servant and, moreover, he is prepared to stick himself in the front line for the media, which is more than can be said for some others. As such, he makes himself an easy target, which is not the same as him being the right target.

    I do not support what he said on the programme, but one senses he has no alternative but to tow the line, and is doing the best he can of a bad job brought about by the politicians.

  10. Just made it out of HMRC after a number of years.
    No one wants to know about the tax payer.
    As a junior offical you could have saved the department hundreds of thousands in undeclared VAT but if you mentioned it to a manager at your end of year appraisal it would have been ignored and your flexi would have been brought up.
    They never had the balls to tell people after the merger-Revenue takeover that there would be no more staff development or investment. Senior managers dont give a toss. From what I saw a load of them are just hanging in until they retire.

  11. The post binning situation is nothing new. I was a team leader in an office in the south in the mid eighties, and the then DI ordered that in order to protect his bonus, that post be binned.I refused. My then line manager undertook the task. However, the dimwit put it in the normal office waste bag instead of the confidential waste sack. Over the weekend the foxes ripped the bag open and the car park was covered with the post.

    Glad to hear the sitiuation hasn't changed!

  12. A review of the programme published by Accountingweb (not particularly well know for pulling its punches when criticising HMRC):

  13. Since the takover by Inland Revenue the merged department is a shambles.
    Customs and Excise was in comparion relatively well run. What astounds me in the new Dept is the number of non productive highly paid managers who spend all their time going to meetings yet at the same time put obstacles in the way of those of the produtive staff who actually want to do a good job

  14. Andrew,

    Out of interest, what did Hartnett say on the programme that you didn't agree with?

  15. Unbelievable!!! Mr Hartnett we don't get e-mails of thanks, we can't, we don't have external e-mail and you should know because you won't spend the money on it!! 17000 jobs have been lost within HMRC, those with the experience (management allowing)to do the job well have gone, those left are without the experience to deal with the job in hand. "Its all about the customer experience" and a bloody awful at that!!

  16. The Inland Revenue opened its first 'experimental' call centre back in 1999 (for a seven-figure sum!!!) yet nearly 10 years on they still can't get it right, as Mr Hartnett admitted last night!

  17. It will only be a matter of time when the HMRC Contact Centres will be outsourced to India....

  18. As an employee of HMRC I can honestly say it is an appalingly run organisation. In an office in the South East, the latest mess is that the telephones have not worked for two weeks. The synical amongst us claim its to stop customers (we dont want to call you customers)from making contact and so enabling us to meet our telephone targets.

  19. Why have the comments dried up ? The bullying and harassment hasn't. Know-nothing "managers", many of whom got the job by talking bullshit in selection interviews to other bullshitters, will sidle up to experts kept at the lower grades with whispered threats such as "I shall be drawing up a chair", or "You'll feel a tap on your shoulder", etc., etc.. These creeps are fully backed all the way up, and decent people have to accept being insulted in this way to pay the bills. This country is heading for disaster if this keeps up, because it must be happening in all the workplaces of the nation. And, frighteningly, hardly anyone dares to say a word about it.

  20. From being an extremely happy place to work - management have made it more like a victorian workhouse.

    The stress put on the remaining staff is beyond belief.

    Staff used to be sad at leaving work when retiring etc and there used to be many tears - now the only people shedding tears are those who want to leave, but can't

    arrive at 7:50 am
    log on
    phones go live at 8am , queue immediately jumps to at least 150 callers (where it remains for the rest of the day )
    154 agents(of the approx 3000 avaiable nationwide)in my center answer approx 60 calls each having two 15 min breaks and half hour lunch!
    4:00pm go home
    so 9240 calls answered a result you think !
    barring the 30% 2772 calls that have surrendered through being on hold so long !
    so by that rationale the head count in my centre needs to be increased by 46 agents and nationally by 900 to allow us to operate efficiently .
    Instead they intend to further reduce the workforce by 25% and target us on the unscheduled breaks such as going for a wee (fairly appropriate since they take the piss out of their call staff for little over 15k a year!)
    So nationally the calls stack up like this 3000x60=180000 calls a day answered but amazingly that leaves 54000 taxpayers in the words of Debbie Harry "Hanging On The Telephone"

  22. Anonymous said

    As a front line manager for HM Revenue and Customs I agree that the system is flawed. Cut backs have resulted in the taxpayer being sold short.
    What is even more annoying is the continual waste of money brought about by such pointless initiatives like pacesetter formelry known as adding value. This is nonsense derived from kaizen practices introduced by Japanese companies.
    Unfortunately we do not have the same level of competancy in respect to senior management. Any problem is treated as something which can be resolved through time consuming practices such as problem solving sessions. Often the answer is simple and does not require this waste of resource. KPI'S are in effect also and puts pressure on staff,mid range managers to meet targets often to the detriment of the taxpayer.

  23. I am a manager who agrees that HMRC is being run by cowboys.To accept that all managers are bullies is a load of bullshit. There is no doubt that some managers once put in a position of authority do go on power trips.

    What I would point out is that many others care about what is happening and are concerned by the increasing burden being placed on staff who are being asked to produce excessive targets with reduced resource. As a teamleader I feel I take a lot of the backlash from disgruntled staff.

    Senior managers have their head in the sand and do nothing to help matters.

  24. I saw Dave Heartless i mean hartnett on working lunch a few months ago , he came across as an arrogant bag of shit!!!!

  25. Dave UselessGit is following on from his old boss Gordon Brownarse, they are both a pair of fucking shitebags!!!!

  26. This is priceless! I just got a cheque from HMRC for £499 they reckon I overpaid in 2004/5. I didn't overpay; it's student loan deductions which they have missed (yes it was on my return, I checked).

    The best bit is the company in question has ceased trading because of a large bad debt and is in the process of going bankrupt, owing HMRC several thousand pounds which they won't get!

  27. what makes you think that HMRC is on the side of its 'customers'. HMRC exists to maintain itself and to secure the positions of HM, what do you think HM in HMRC is for! You and everyone is effectively a slave. Who is you master with the whip, well its HM through HMRC.

  28. absolutely spot on WE ARE the idiots for putting up with this shite

  29. So, Ken and readers, just what has changed since > 5yrs has elapsed?
    Well one useless Tw@t has been replaced at the helm by another.
    Service has got worse.
    Many more staff have left, resigned etc.
    Tax gap has increased?
    Dept. image has got worse (if thar was possible!).
    Staff morale is at an all time low.
    Sheer ridicule expressed by staff, public and media at Homers bonus and the Westminster self-agrandisement event.
    Need there be any more listed to prove a point?
    Oh, yes, the absolutely diabolical treatment meted out to AA staff!

    Ken, perhaps you could precis this blog and morph into an up to date one ahead of publication of the staff survey results?

    Or maybe just throw the comparison with 5yrs ago at the small number of politicos that might care?

  30. no one gives a damn about YOU. You're just tools for them to fu@k with

  31. Well,l you be sure to have a good day now, and make sure you take your tablets in future.
    For those with an interest, let's have your comments to balance out Mr Troll!

  32. I have just spent two days trying to get one poxy P11D submitted for the grand total of £80 of non-taxable benefits.I have received 12 emails saying that the submission was successful interspersed with 18 saying that it wasn't. I can't find anywhere on HMRC online which confirms whether they have my submission or not, and when I tried the 'helpline' I was cut off after hanging on for ten minutes. They get worse every year, and it's getting to the point where even honest taxpayers will not be able to pay their tax - while the avoiders and evaders get away with murder. I will now have to claim my princely £80 in travel expenses as a balancing amount on my tax return or some HMRC drone will tell me I've got it wrong and fine me. The net result is people being paid to police an idiotic and bureaucratic system badly with no tax take involved at all! If that is 'work' then we can manage without it I think.

  33. Any one out there had problems with NOT electing to pay a reduced stamp but HMRC say you did. They have destroyed the forms I DID NOT elect to pay reduced stamp but they reduced my Pension anyway because there are 27 errors on my RF1 National Insurance record

  34. HMRC is absolute rubbish When i retired just under 2 years ago I phoned HMRC to say so as I knew with my pensions i would be slightly over and would pay some tax. They said don't worry your pension provider will deduct your tax. Wrong ! I contacted pension provider cant do it until the tax office inform us. So round and round we go. Hence i owed HMRC some money. But paying it has been an absolute nightmare. They wont accept debit cards on the phone. Only way is to send a cheque. Problem is I don' t have a cheque book.So had to go to bank and raise a cheque
    and send it securely through the post. Well I hope it is secure.When i phoned HMRC they the were the most unhelpful bunch i have ever had the misfortune to come across. Seems i am one of many

    1. In reply to 7/2 13:10 I can confirm that HMRC do accept debit card payments which are routinely taken over the phone. It appears HMRC lied to you, or at the very least you spoke with someone who doesn't understand the basics of collecting tax.

      None of this is surprising as many have observed they are a most unprofessional and incompetent bunch. If you make a complaint and detail the inconvenience & costs you suffered as a result (e.g. your time, phone calls/visits to bank etc) then you may be entitled to a small compensatory sum.