Yesterday's list of certain HMRC email addresses caused a degree of consternation amongst some readers, who expressed concern that "bulk emailing" people would produce no tangible beneficial result.
Were HMRC a well run organisation, with only the occasional blip wrt "customer care", which had effective and efficient means of communication to/from the taxpayer then I would be inclined to agree.
However, it doesn't:
-There is a postal backlog of at least 8 weeks.
-Call centres are overloaded.
-There are no email addresses (or indeed web contact forms) published on the HMRC.
The taxpayer has little option left than to make a "protest", and to show how dissatisfied they are with how their tax communications/problems are being handled.
Bulk mailing that, in effect, "jams up the works" will force those responsible for the mess that HMRC has become to focus their minds a little more on the problems that taxpayers (and indeed HMRC staff) are having.
Sorry folks, the traditional means of communication are failing, the taxpayer needs another method to make his/her voice heard.
On that subject I see that the National Audit Office (NAO) reports that because of the problems with HMRC's new computer system, which combined National Insurance and PAYE payments for the first time, there is a backlog of overpaid taxes of £3BN going back two years.
HMRC are also owed around £1.4BN in unpaid tax.
These problems, according to the NAO, affect around 15 million people.
For good measure the NAO noted that the problems with the new system cost HMRC (or rather cost the taxpayer) an additional £33M.
It seems to me some bulk emailing (polite, not abusive), nothing else has worked, is just what HMRC needs to help focus its attention and to "unbung" its internal blockages.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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