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.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Tax Investigation for Dummies

Tax Investigation for Dummies

Tax Investigation for Dummies provides a good and easy to read guide for anyone caught up in an HMRC tax investigation. A must read for any Self Assessment taxpayer.

Click the link to find out more: Tax Investigation for Dummies

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

17 comments:

  1. I read a post somewhere in which one of the editorial team of Accountancy magazine offered to do a cold review of Nick Morgan's case in order to give an impartial view on the extent to which HMRC had acted inappropriately. Does anyone know if that went anywhere?

    In the meantime, I'd be a bit worried about taking tax advice from somebody who appears to confuse a blogger with a company director...

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  2. As has been said by others elsewhere, demonising Moira Stewart is cheap and nasty. Such childish actions taint anyone associated with it. But, if it were Gordon Brown or certain politicised puppets in the Revenue ….

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  3. The inspectors at Sapphire Plaza in Reading were nearly all over-promoted keystone kops, estimating figures for settlements, and not having the foggiest about trades. The risk teams supplied them with cases, based on an absurd profiling system which estimated the net turnover for a painter and decorator to be £12k. Nowadays, if HMRC cannot locate a trader they bankrupt them, which creates more hassle for the Offcial Receiver. I have known enquiries to be closed by Aspect Inspectors if an opening letter is not replied to. I have also known enquires commence as a result of profiles of sub contractors with certain accountants in the Reading area: almost a victimisation policy: like most things, an HMRC enquiry is one rule for one and another for someone else.

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  4. Tom,

    How much of your comments are based on FACTS and how much based on your biased & bitter view of things ?.

    I am a PROUD HMRC employee of 21 years !

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  5. They are based on FACTS. Cases have been estimated at due to profiling, and lists of estimated turnovers. There was a whole intranet database telling RISK staff what to expect with regards turnover, and figures for various trades.
    One Aspect Inspector wanted an easy life, and would close an enquiry if a letter was not responded to.
    One accountancy firm was also targeted due to errors made by the accountant, and due to a high proliferation of sub-contractors on this accountants books

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  6. "I am a PROUD HMRC employee of 21 years !"

    You MUST be joking, surely!?

    I have been employed by this gangster organisation for longer than you and I am thoroughly ashamed of having any connection with them - but you have to pay the mortgage somehow. In the days of HMC&E it wasn't too bad but the jackbooted Inland Revenue senior management have trashed the place.

    Did you know that the last Staff Survey placed HMRC 32nd out of 32 organisations surveyed? I think they did pretty well to get to 32...

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  7. Always with the jackboots...

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  8. So, Tom. Profiling clearly isn't to your liking. What's your magic solution to case selection in Local Compliance?

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  9. Local knowledge was the best way of getting cases. Profiling makes it sound like CSI, which it wasn't. Local knowledge yielded me a case worth £128,000 in my first year on RISK, and a brothel owner of over £500,000 in my final year. Profiling may obtain target-generated cases, but local knowledge obtained serious nuggets !

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  10. Looking on the bright side, 32nd out of 32 isn't too bad as the only way now is up... (but don't hold your breath, Mr Anonymous!!!)

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  11. The magic solution in our office is the business balanced scorecard... which is "the mother of all spreadsheets". The trouble is, it never balances and there are always errors in the data shown. The managers say the same thing each month: "We are looking into the errors and we'll have them sorted for next month". They've been saying that for the last 14 months!!!

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  12. "Profiling makes it sound like CSI, which it wasn't"... more like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest methinks.

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  13. I actually did 19 years in the Inland Revenue before switching to Customs & Excise and I am proud of who I work for, it must be because I have interesting job as a debt pursuit officer.

    But your right the job keeps me in beer and football !.

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  14. From reading these comments, its quite obvious that HMRC suck. An organisation that is so fantastically shit, I'm actually lost for words (for once)

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  15. Tom,

    There's been a bit of a delay in my responding to your “local knowledge” post, partly because I felt it actually warranted a bit of thought.

    I think you're right up to a point. Local knowledge can be a good source of enquiries. However, it generally only applies to full enquiries. Resisting the obvious joke about local knowledge of brothels, your half million pound case certainly sounds like a full, for example. And a big one.

    For aspects, however, local knowledge generally doesn't help all that much. You might find something like a capital gain because you see that a local business or a property has been sold, but there are databases available these days that mean you can do a quick search to find sales (in fact there are databases showing home sales that are freely available to the public!).

    So local knowledge can be very helpful for fulls, but full enquiries just don't bring in nearly as much money as aspects. Full enquiries are, at the end of the day, primarily deterrents! They actually bring in a very small amount of money, but the amount of tax that would be lost if nobody was afraid of being enquired into would be enormous! Meanwhile, like it or not, the government has decided that HMRC has to save a whole lot of money (criticise the government for that if you like, but I for one rather resent the implication that such decisions mean that I as an HMRC employee am part of something “shite”!), and local knowledge doesn't come cheap, so if you're not getting value for money from it then it's got to be looked at!

    Now I accept that talking about the relative amounts of money brought in by aspects and fulls sounds like I'm in support of targets. I do happen to believe that targets are not quite as bad a thing as many of the tabloids make out. Certainly it's true that far too many targets are badly-designed and can lead to unintended consequences (from what I've heard about targets in call centres they can be problematic, to say the least), but it's utterly ridiculous that all targets are a bad thing. They happen to be quite a good way of measuring performance. In any case, by pointing out the yield from the cases you were involved in you're clearly acknowledging that the amount of money brought in by an enquiry is an important thing!

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  16. "I'd be a bit worried about taking tax advice from somebody who appears to confuse a blogger with a company director..."

    Well, it's good to see that Nick seems to have reworded his endorsements page since I wrote this.

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  17. So anyone else having an Underpaid TAX nightmare? - these people want to tax me, 4 YEARS later, for a job I hadn't been doing for 5 years?! Their proof, 'computer says so'!

    Apparently I was to have recieved info every year on my tax codes and what to do with them - got one.....last year...FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!

    Anyway; another call to make as they failed to send me the p45 information I requested; resending me information I already had and did not ask for and.......ohh, 'We can't take your call at the moment etc'.

    I am shocked - this is appalling.

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