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, 3 March 2010

Training Matters

Following the datagate scandal in 2007, when HMRC lost the personal details of around 25 million people, HMRC have launched an extensive retraining exercise for its 85,000 employees in order to avoid future such incidents.

Jeff Brooker, HMRC's man in charge of security and business continuity issues, announced details of the retraining last week at the Human Factors in Information Security Conference.

Security will now be placed at the heart of HMRC's business strategy, and in the performance objectives of every employee, via "12 golden rules".

In addition, a data security rulebook has been introduced by HRMC and workshops will be provided for staff.

Progress indeed!

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  1. Another set of rules for the management to twist/change to suit their needs as and when needed.

  2. This is not new, we have had a security handbook for almost two years now and the training to go with it. Tax Credits have also introduced new security procedures for answering telephone calls. Child Benefit did not and it was they who lost the info in the first place.The latest security measures for caller verification only include certain National Insurance numbers and if you cant pass these questions you are required to attend an enquiry centre for f2f interview. Great if you live near an EC but not so good if you live in Orkney and Shetland or Skye etc where you would have to get a ferry to the mainland. Yet one more idiotic idea that was never thought out properly but are we surprised?

  3. What about the manager muppets who ran for cover and left a junior grade to blame for the disc loss.
    He eneded banged up in a hotel like Howard Hughes.
    Thousands of others (who took data security seriously before this incident) have now to pay the penalty for this with an extended Performance Objective-which incidentally doesnt matter jack shit since hmrc are not gonna advance anyone anymore anyway!!

  4. In reply to above from April all National Insurance numbers will be verified not just 00 to 49 meaning more people into EC at a time when all coding notices will have been issued along with all P60's and tax credits renewals, if you work in an EC like i do and your staff have halved in the last year, grab hold of something secure a hurricane is on its way gonna be chaos. NOTE if you work in a contact centre PLEASE PLEASE tell the customer why they are being sent to a f2f interview, the number of people I ring back who dont know why they have to come in.

  5. The knee jerk reaction to the lost discs was the start of the ruin of HRMC. The LEAN method of working ( that does not work at all ) came about as a direct result of that, although Toyota is not to be mentioned in the training any more.

    And don't forget to close all your blinds on the second floor before you leave, just in case there is anyone out there looking for data with long ladders & a telephoto lens.

  6. The Toyota business model and LEAN... indeed!!!

    Judging from recent publicity Toyota farked up big time, and it looks like it's all coming home to roost. It's not too late HMRC senior management to change direction, that's assuming you care(not that you are renowned for admitting your mistakes).

  7. If training matters then why has the new penalties training been so utterly crap that it is worse than useless?

    Maybe if the training material was NOT written by some ivory-towered boffin who wears blinkers, and who has actually got first-hand experience of working in the real world that the rest of us have to function in, then we might actually have half a chance of succeeding.

  8. I could not agree more about the penalty training - it has taken from last September until last week to issue a penalty assessment to a company I did a VAT audit on in September - and due to "IT problems" the address on the automatically produced assessment letter is shown as being from an office that closed 18 months ago !The old C and E would never have allowed this.

  9. "The old C and E would never have allowed this."

    Er, no, they probably wouldn't. Far too busy with elite investigators lying in Court,concealing evidence from Lord Justice Butterfields judicial review, generally acting like the East Midlands Regional Crime squad in the mid seventies.Flouting the law left right and centre. Or was it not the Solicitor to C&E I saw crying on national tv a few years ago, totally destroyed by the shenannigans of Byrne & co? Old Codger the truth is simple. The two departments were merged because C&E completely out of any normal control, and IR had farked up tax credits on a multi -billion pound scale.

  10. The Venerable Mr Grace7 March 2010 at 21:45

    It is a myth that HMRC is a merger. In practice, it is a toxic takeover; with the IR having taken over C&E and imposing their dinosaur, draconian methods and bullying management style. Everyone who works for HMRC knows this, and if they are completely candid, would tell you so. Not content with farking up tax credits, they're now farking everything else in sight.

    There is and old saying: "There are only two certainties in life - death and taxes". The IR-led HMRC are now seeking to merge these two certainties into just the one - a bit like merging the treatment of tax avoidance and tax evasion.

  11. Nothing to say on C&E's culture of gangsterism and disregard for the law then, Mr Grace???

  12. "IR having taken over C&E and imposing their dinosaur, draconian methods and bullying management style"

    Anyone remember the style of C&E...600 Fags, oh dear Sir, now we get to steal your car.....Tossers, started to believe their own publicity (remember The Knock???)No,IR were always bumbling, but they did, generally obey the law...

  13. Captain Peacock8 March 2010 at 17:08

    “…IR were always bumbling, but they did, generally obey the law...”

    You say “generally” obey the law....obviously this implies that you did not always do so.....

    I cannot defend any breaking of laws by the old HMCE. I am not aware of this ever happening in my work area and so it is most unfair of you to castigate us all as gangsters. What I can definitely say is that there was a culture of “getting the job done” in HMCE – we went out and collected tax fairly and squarely, and whilst there were undoubtedly some bad apples, they quickly got sorted out.

    What has happened since the merger is that a bullying culture has been imposed which seems to value processes, procedures, authorisations and spreadsheets way above actually collecting tax. As Old Codger pointed out, it typically takes six months to get a penalty through the system, which is quite ludicrous – I am all in favour of assessments being properly authorised, but having to get the same document countersigned by the same manager five times and then by various levels on top of that is pure overkill – all sensible delegation and local discretion has been taken away, and the individual officer’s ability to do the job they have been trained for has been totally strangled.

    This new command and control culture never existed under HMCE, but I understand from my direct tax colleagues that it was commonplace in the IR. I can thus only agree with Mr Grace that it was indeed a “toxic takeover”.

  14. "...What has happened since the merger is that a bullying culture has been imposed which seems to value processes, procedures, authorisations and spreadsheets way above actually collecting tax..."


    "...having to get the same document countersigned by the same manager five times and then by various levels on top of that is pure overkill ..."

    This is no exaggeration. This surely is an area that needs to be looked at to cut out "waste" and cut costs (wasted time, resources and duplication of effort). This affects everyone in the UK and it is taxpayers' money that is being squandered here. Surely the "wonderful" LEAN and PaceSetter reviews we hear about, ad nauseum, should have picked up on this. Or is it simply that the management bullies don't trust us to do our jobs properly and accurately?

    Answers on a postcard, please to D Hartnett, L Strathie, M Clasper... (why have just the one chair when a three-piece suite is much comfier?!!)

    PS Mike who???