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, 27 May 2009

Advice To Alistair Et Al

What The...
Lads and ladettes, you might want to read this:

Source PA:

A HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) spokesman said:

"It's a general principle of tax law that accountancy fees incurred in connection with the completion of a personal tax return are not deductible. This is because the costs of complying with the law are not an allowable expense against tax. This rule applies across the board."

How ironic that the Chancellor doesn't know the tax law!

In his defence, as I have noted before, tax regulations etc have become inexcusably complex and cumbersome (thanks in no small measure to his boss's ten year tenure at Number 11). It is scarcely surprising that cabinet ministers needed help with their tax returns.

Could this little "episode" provide the impetus for simplifying the tax system? doesn't do "simple"!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Oh he knows the law alright, he just doesn't abide by it. They all dont - the slimy, shameless, two-bit, worthless, scum-suckers that they are!!

    I cannot stress enough how much they deserve what they're getting at the moment and its still not enough. Pay it back, go to jail and even freeze their bastard bank accounts.

    Once they're on the streets, even then I wont be happy, until I see them suffer in the extreme. Pompous-ass-gits!

    These dictatorial MPs have had their day in the sun. Their party is over.

  2. CryBaby,

    I'm afraid the party will just move on to another venue. They'll have gold-plated pensions, seats in the House of Lords, appointed (rather than elected) positions in Europe etc etc - and they'll continue to feed from the trough one way or another.

    Look at Mandelson: shamed three times, resigned twice - got a cushy number in Europe, then into the House of Lords (making a big contribution to deciding how our lives are run), and come the next election - we can't even vote him out...

  3. They all dont - the slimy, shameless, two-bit, worthless, scum-suckers that they are!!As hard as it is to believe, they're not all like that. I'm not an MP, but I do work within a government organisation (oxymoron anyone?) and responsible for a fairly sizeable budget. I make no bones about the fact that I regularly exploit loopholes in the system for financial gain; but not for the reasons you may think.

    The so-called "best value" directive is supposed to ensure that all councils deliver services effectively and cost-efficiently.

    However, we're not allowed to show preference to any one company (without a contract)... so I regularly have to order items at a significant cost increase in order to comply with these rules.

    There are a number of ways for us to circumvent the mind numbingly idiotic rules in order to reduce the cost to the tax payer; but these loopholes are slowly being plugged.

    If a private company needs to buy stationary supplies (a box of 10 pens for instance), they're likely to scout round for the cheapest price. Not so here... we are forced to order (under the terms of a contract) from one supplier; but they only stock boxes of 100 instead of 10. So not only are we paying 10x the cost (slightly more in fact) but we're getting 90 pens we don't need.

    Give them to another department!We're not allowed... as it was purchased using our budget. What happens to the 90 surplus pens? They sit in the cupboard for 6 months, the ink sets and they're all thrown away... and so the cycle continues.

    So what, it's only a few quid for pens!Just bear in mind that both the aforementioned directives apply to all orders, not just stationary.

    Another case in point... 18 months ago, they ordered (against my advice I hasten to add) a 40" Plasma screen for a upcoming project. They didn't need it for a further 6 months, but there was money left in the budget and (I quote) "had to be spent or we lose it". 6 months later, the project was shelved and the screen lay unopened in a storage room. Just before christmas, they found a use it, so it's removed from the box and found to be faulty. It's out of warranty and completely worthless. So, you can guess what's just been ordered?

    How about the £5245 to overhaul an already fully-functional visitor trends platform just so a member of staff didn't have to walk to reception once a month to collect the stats? To make matters worse, budget constraints meant that not all the doors are covered; so visitors are able to enter/leave without being tracked.

    Think about it... what happens if someone enters through a door which isn't monitored and leaves through a door that is? So every month, the stats show that more people left than had arrived, so they are "tweaked" so they don't raise alarm bells.

    The entire system is a farce and people have a right to be disillusioned.

    What the general public fail to realise is that MP's expenses are the very tip of the iceberg. It's just sad that it takes a national newspaper to reveal information which should already be in the public domain.

    I've only seen a relatively small percentage of what goes on, but it's enough to make me realise that no party (however admirable their intentions) could even begin to sort out the current mess.

  4. Smithy, I thought that too, but I dont anymore. There's say 1000 or so of them and 60,000,000 of us. I predict at least half of those are furious - that's a lot. The public haven't even reached boiling point yet.

    We are witnessing a very important event here. For the first time, the lawmakers who preach to us have been caught doing sins of their own. There's proof. They have no authority to tell us what to do anymore. It's quite the predicament.

    To make matters worse, they "stand down" which the public recognise as another insult whist they still get paid. No bi-elections, nothing! The public are getting angry.

    I doubt this will blow over until something drastic happens. They are really are in deep shit.

  5. Eh? Aren't the costs of preparing business accounts, or doing VAT or PAYE about complying with the law? Why are those ok?

  6. Being constructive for once, Ken (c'mon - I know you've got it in you somewhere), how would you suggest the tax code/system should be simplified?

  7. Look it up on the site, I've said often enough.

    I am surprised, given the amount of your working time you seem to spend reading and commenting on this site that you don't recall.

    Come to think of it, how is it that you as an HMRC employee of 21 years standing have the time to spend all day reading and writing about this site?

    Also, given that there is meant to be a firewll blocking HMRC employee access to this site, how is it you are even able to access it?

  8. You've got the wrong person, Ken. I'm the one who posted the message at 0840 (before coming to work, incidentally), but I'm not the one with 21 years' experience! I know the whole anonymous thing is confusing, but such is life, sorry.

    I'm also sorry that you're going to have to point out where you've explained about how tax law should be simplified. Over the past few months I have been through your whole back-cataloge (using my home computer, no less!), but apart from a couple of things about flat taxes I don't recall reading anything.

    Frankly I'm surprised at your reluctance to set out your stall. After all, it's a subject you clearly feel passionately about and you don't normally hold back from expressing yourself, even where you've done so before. However, a link would be fine.

    Oh, and the last I heard the site wasn't blocked at the moment, but I'm not on an HMRC computer at the moment so I can't check.

  9. Ken,

    Is there any chance you could summarise your suggestions, or post a link to where they are. I still haven't been able to find them.