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, 8 April 2010

Hypocrisy, HMRC and Mapeley


In December 2009 I wrote about HMRC's contract with Mapeley (an offshore property company):

"The National Audit Office (NAO) have issued a report that gives HMRC a well deserved kicking for this contract.

HMRC had promised £1.2BN of savings in maintenance and other costs, as a result of signing with Mapeley. In reality the savings will be around £900M, possibly falling to £650M.

The NAO go on to state that there is now a "significant risk" that the contract will not deliver value for money over the rest of its life.

It seems that, according to the NAO, HMRC had no long-term plan regarding the sale and didn't even know that Mapeley was offshore!

The NAO is of the view that HMRC had not recognised the contract as a major strategic asset, and had not allocated the requisite commercial skills to managing it
."

The Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has now also made a few comments about the contract. It notes that HMRC lacked the "commercial skills or business acumen" to manage such a large contract effectively, while its reputation had been damaged by its involvement with an offshore firm (seemingly HMRC didn't even realise at the time that Mapeley was offshore).

HMRC signed a 20 year contract with Mapeley STEPS in 2001 to take over the ownership and management of 60% of its estate, it expected to pay £3.3BN at today's prices.

However, it has already overpaid £312M and the final cost is expected to hit £3.87BN.

PAC states that HMRC should have realised it would have to take a more proactive approach. Most especially as Mapeley was a new company, which had put in a low bid.

In fact Mapeley has already had to seek financial assistance from HMRC to deal with "serious cash flow problems", as a result of the economic downturn and falling property values.

How ironic that HMRC, a staunch and shouty opponent of tax avoidance has in fact signed a contract that involves tax avoidance through an offshore company.

Clearly a case of do as we say, rather than do as we do!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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4 comments:

  1. What makes this sort of thing worse is the fact that if a frontline HMRC operator is so much as a few minutes late back from a tea break they get all sorts of threats regarding their job. But the people at the top get away with wasting 'My' hard earned money in this way. It is a shame that the 'Commons Public Accounts Committee' hasn’t got any balls otherwise they may actually do something about this.

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  2. And Sir Nicholas of Montagu got a knight hood for his efforts running the department! You couldn't make it up!

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  3. Is that a spelling mistake?

    Is that "running" or "ruining" the department?

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  4. The inland revenue treats civilians with a disgusting degree of contempt when they try to arrange to pay taxes. On the other hand they wine and dine the corporations to agree a massive tax cut. This is a sad reflection of the state of affairs and the State.

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