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, 1 October 2009


UHY Hacker Young warn that new businesses are facing a struggle establishing themselves as a result of delays, of between three and five months, waiting for VAT numbers.

The theoretical timeframe for HMRC to complete most VAT registrations is two weeks.

UHY Hacker Young state that the delays are due to administrative backlogs, as HMRC carries out anti-fraud checks and inefficiencies in processing applications.

HMRC claims that over 70% of VAT registrations are processed in two weeks. However, UHY Hacker Young retort that this discrepancy is because HMRC only counts the time it takes to complete the actual administration, after it has received all the requested information. HMRC ignores the several months of checking and investigation beforehand, which forms part of the anti-fraud process.

Simon Newark, VAT Partner at the accountancy group, comments:

"The backlog at HMRC has never been worse, despite assurances over the last few years that the issue was being resolved. These delays are causing serious problems for small businesses trying to start up in a tough business environment and are hampering wider economic recovery.

Fraud will always be an issue, particularly during a recession, but if HMRC's own poor management and inefficiencies are to blame for delays, why should taxpayers bear the cost?

HMRC needs to streamline its processes and get a grip on its staffing issues as a matter of urgency.

The HMRC staff conducting the fraud checks routinely disregard information contained with the applications and demand the same documents, which are often completely irrelevant, again and again.

When I made a formal complaint I was told that because all taxpayers were being equally disadvantaged, no individual taxpayer had grounds to complain that he was being unfairly treated


Well now, if that is the attitude of HMRC (wrt individuals not mattering) maybe the firms who have suffered because of HMRC's delays should mount a class action; on the grounds that the entire group is being unfairly treated?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. New businesses and their advisers absolutely should not stand for this. They should not think twice about kicking up the biggest stink possible to get the point across that HMRC's delay in this important area is totally unacceptable. Perhaps if they complain often enough and big enough the penny might just drop and the Whitehall Mandarins might actually do something about it.

  2. Take this advice from someone here in HMRC - don't hold your breath

  3. Yes, HMRC needs to streamline its processes and get a grip on its staffing issues as a matter of urgency. HMRC is chronically understaffed where it matters and absurdly over-managed and micromanaged where it absolutely does not matter. The fact is that HMRC is one very sick organisation teetering on the edge of virtual collapse. HMRC is staffed by thoroughly demoralised people who are eager to do their best but are blocked, bullied, abused, harassed, frustrated, measured, micro-managed, governed and risk-assessed into submission at every turn by incompetent, jackbooted managers who waste everyone's precious time demanding totally irrelevant stats for just about everything that is unimportant with their single-minded obsession for measuring and counting anything and everything that moves. Small wonder there is little time left for the actual business of tax collecting and claims handling.

  4. My sympathies... what a miserable farking employer you have... God help the lot of you!!!

  5. HMRC employees - do yourself a favour, get that confidential waste bag, chuck all your files in there and you will be doing yourself a favour and making someone's life a lot happier ! Life is too short !

  6. Lucky to have made it out of HMRC. An insider recently told me that it is a dummys meeting now between former IR and old Customs staff housed under the one roof. The old Customs and Excise building has now been almost completely taken over by very senior Revenue managers. Comment above re
    over managed and micro managed sounds very accurate.