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.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Tax Refund Delays II

The Dead Hand of Bureaucracy
Re yesterday's piece about tax refund delays, here is an article from SME Web that may shed a little more light on what is going on:

"HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) delays in processing paperwork are slowing down vital refund payments to businesses, says PKF Accountants & business advisers.

HMRC makes security checks on 10% of tax refund claims to ensure they are not fraudulent.

Where a claim does not pass the initial test it is transferred to a new specialist unit in Bristol to investigate further - the taxpayer is not informed.

This special unit only accepts written communications so, once a case is referred there, there is no way to speed up the process or find out why a refund has not been made.

In PKF’s experience across the country, the involvement of the new unit adds at least a month to the refund process.

Peter Harrup, tax partner at PKF says, "This two stage process can make the wait for a tax refund even longer – struggling taxpayers are having to wait months for their refunds. Clearly, HMRC have to check that claims are genuine, but officers should keep taxpayers informed of what is going on and keep delays for small businesses to an absolute minimum.”

In the Pre-Budget Report last year, that Chancellor announced a temporary extension to the loss carry back rules to allow losses to be carried back up to three years.

But the small print of the announcement said that any refunds would not be made until Budget day (22 April) at the earliest.

PKF says there is a rumour that even refunds that have already been submitted may not be paid until the Finance Bill has received Royal Assent – likely to be in July.

Peter Harrup says, “There is a sharp contrast here with the Government’s statements on ‘Prompt payment’ to suppliers: it aims to pay suppliers within 10 days and promises to pay within 30 days. The circumstances may be a little different, but the impact of a delay on a struggling business can be just the same – a cashflow crisis.

“While I doubt that HMRC is deliberately delaying tax refunds to protect the Government’s own cashflow, it must improve its performance on making refunds at this difficult time for many businesses

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Dont be surprised by delay. There is correspondence in HMRC which is over 12 months old. Staff have been advised that if a customer makes contact by telephone that they are to advise them to write again, rather than search for the initial correspondence.

  2. I have been waiting since the 3rd February 2009 for my repayment, on there system it states that a repayment was issued to my bank on the 3rd February 2009, but surpirse surprise here i am today (27th April 2009) waiting and waiting. Phone calls have been made on a week to week basis on an update but nothing! This is unacceptable waiting this period of time, when you have paid your tax at sorce (Over £10,000.00) and are only waiting on £2,400.00 of it to be repayed paid. There quick enough to take this money and yes quick enough to charge the interest and penalties if you dont meet the deadlines they set. Hard working people are the targets it seems and the rest just sail along. I'm very angry to have been fobbed off time and time again by hmrc but there is absolutely nothing you can do apart from writing to this mysterious office in bristol with yes NO PHONE NUMBER!! and wait, thus i was told this would only delay te situation as writing to these lovely people and jogging them along would only get your form to the bottom of the pile! Wheres the justice in that!!

  3. Wrote to Bristol tax office on 7th June, regarding a large rebate I'm owed... Still no reply today, 2 months on, not even an aknowledgement of reciept.
    HMRC have left my tax code at basic rate (WHY?), and since Student Finance only account for pre-tax income, my loans for my University course fall far short of my tuition and living costs... unless I get this rebate by September, I'll really struggle to feed myself!
    Attempting to chase up now, I've been on hold for 16:54. Their call centers are terrible!