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, 5 August 2010

Catch 22 - Trying To Contact HMRC

Catch 22My commiserations to a loyal reader who sent me a summary about her teenage son's problems in trying to recover a tax overpayment from HMRC.

Seemingly, he has spent the last 4 months trying to reclaim his overpaid tax from last year.

He has sent in P45's & P60's only to be told that they have not been received.

As he has to spend his productive time working, he has authorised his mother to act on his behalf wrt dealing with HMRC.

He sent HMRC a signed letter giving permission for his mother to deal with his claim.

Can you guess what happened next?

Yes, that's right, his mother was told that it will not be read for 7 weeks as there is a delay in the opening of mail.

The solution?

He can, in the meantime, call HMRC and tell them that he gives permission for his mother to speak on his behalf on the phone.

The trouble is that this takes rather a long time to get through, and he is at work, which is why he gave his permission in writing in the first place.

However, there was another solution offered to his mother. A decent and helpful member of HMRC suggested that she fax the form in, and he would ring back as soon as he received it.

Fair enough!

However, that was a couple of days ago.

One small problem has since been discovered by the hapless mother, who rang to chase the fax up.

Can you guess what that is?

Yes, that's right, HMRC told her that faxes go to the post room and they will not be opened until the 15th October at the earliest.

Spiffing!!

Maybe HMRC could publish an email contact list of staff to speed things up?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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16 comments:

  1. Its just as frustrating for us labouring within the silo of HMRC - I cannot get access to important documents because they all get sent to a regional post room where they lie around for a couple of weeks before being put in the pile to be worked. The gentlemen who suggested he fax the authority was trying to be helpful - I have done this myself but you then have to gallop to wherever in the building the fax machine is (we only have one just in case we take it into our heads to try and use it for the benefit of the taxpayer) and rip the paper from the machine before it can be headed off into the bottomless pit that is a postroom. Frusttating is not the word. Bloody incompetant stupidity now those are the words! We are trying folks but its difficult when you have both hands tied behind your back. I had a gentleman I helped a few months ago, through dint of doing as I described above I finally managed to sort out his query. He faxed me a lovely thank you and said i should show it to my manager as I had been so helpful to him. I dare not - It would raise the question of why I had helped this gentleman in the way I had and I would have been hauled over the coals for it. As my manager said " You are not resourced to offer this kind of help". Still never mind, when the ConDems get thier way I probably wont have a job at all so theres that problem solved for me. We DO care. We do. Our lords and masters do not I am afraid.

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  2. No-one has ever considered it is any individuals 'fault', quite the opposite, we are on your side. The monumentous and appalling intervention of the state is at fault and we all know this... but when you have a £5 grand over-payment sat with HMRC, can't get through by telephone, can't get through by fax, can't get through by letter... and then told IT IS YOUR FAULT... is frankly beyond the realms of reality.

    The previous Government's arrogance and failure in this really needs to be resolved... of course all this incompetence is also being paid for by the taxpayer. Billions is being wasted... and it is the taxpayer's money being wasted on this re-organisational disaster, not the Governments money. Ours.

    Perhaps I'll be able to get through 'from the other side', it will probably be easier, and the way things are going I will be dead before I get my money back. Maybe that's the bigger plan!

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  3. No-one has ever considered it is any individuals 'fault', quite the opposite, we are on your side.

    Unless you start looking at senior management.

    ReplyDelete
  4. After a visit to my local enquiry office with 'an enquiry', I said I didn't want to make a formal complaint. I was told the only way 'my enquiry' would be dealt with, without waiting three months was as 'a complaint'. (HMRC owe me money too).

    I would recommend the young reader or his mother, subject of the post, writes a formal letter of complaint to HMRC to recover his over-payment, hand delivers it to the nearest local enquiry office and obtains a signed receipt. It will still take months.

    I have already made a number of formal complaints... and now I hav been told they have lost my correspondence of January and February 2010 and can I send copies... you couldn't make this up! If it was the private sector... luckily I already have a solicitor on the case!

    And yes 'senior management' at the highest level and those making the decisions want sacking... I'll do their job for half their salary... now there's an offer! Somebody needs to stand up and be counted. HMRC staff need to go on strike!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would recommend the young reader or his mother, subject of the post, writes a formal letter of complaint to HMRC to recover his over-payment, hand delivers it to the nearest local enquiry office and obtains a signed receipt. It will still take months.

    Or

    Member of Parliament - This is the sort of thing we elect them for.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "The monumentous and appalling intervention of the state is at fault..."

    Twaddle. How come "the state" managed things pretty well until the last few years then?

    The fault is with the steady ooze of "management consultants" (those latter-day witch doctors), with their "processes" and their "synergies", with their whiteboards and flipcharts, with all their arrogance and ignorance, telling people with 20-30 years experience of the job that they've been doing it wrong...

    ...all flown in from the private sector and hoovering up millions of pounds of our money for doing it.

    But then, we are (to quote our managers ad nauseam) "running a business", aren't we? And if engaging an army of evangelistic poseurs is what a "business" does, then we must do it too, in order to be more like the super-efficient private sector.

    Getting rid of those patronising, insulting twunts without compensation, and trusting the staff (and actually listening to them when they're telling you what's wrong) could get us back to being what we should be.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The shits hit the fan.

    When I read "Can you guess what happened next"?

    I thought it was gonna be "they lost the signed letter". :)

    The paper in the fax machine is true. I remember the fax machine in our office running out of paper for days.
    The nonsense involved in ordering a block of A4 Paper.
    When the paper arrived days letter the fax machine was a like a fruit machine that hit the jackpot with all the faxes coming through. Then the bullying started on the AAs to get the backlog cleared.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yet our managers tell us that using "Pacesetter tools" and adopting the "Vision" of "Continuous Improvement" are great leaps forward in delivering great customer service.
    But trying to actually give good customer service by using common sense and not always strictly following internal procedures just gets you into trouble by not "acting corporately" - I wonder what sort of fairyland they are living in.
    Never mind they will still get their performance bonuses while the rest of us get zero pay rises for two years !

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  9. I agree with 5 August 2010 20:48 and I do not even work for HMRC.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Twaddle. How come "the state" managed things pretty well until the last few years then?

    Illustrates the whole problem... public servants haven't got a clue about those of us working for a living to keep them employed.
    Yes it was appalling then... now it is even worse. No 'kin idea.

    Tell you what...try living for six months with no monthly income... this is not a joke...the reality of cash flow.
    Errrr... 'what's cash flow'?

    Get out n the REAL world.

    Anchor.

    Sorry missed a 'W'.

    How come HMRC owes me £5k but not refunded?
    Rocket science?

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  11. "Twaddle. How come "the state" managed things pretty well until the last few years then?"

    The State didn't. We did. I work for HMRC. Until a few years ago I was proud to work for the department, as was able, and encouraged to deliver a top class(world class?)service. Now I despise my employer, and the corrupt, deal making,lying,offshoring ,asset stripping bunch of bastards in charge. Thank you for listening.

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  12. "I work for HMRC. Until a few years ago I was proud to work for the department, as was able, and encouraged to deliver a top class(world class?)service. Now I despise my employer, and the corrupt, deal making,lying,offshoring ,asset stripping bunch of bastards in charge. "

    Here here, I think we all feel the same.

    ReplyDelete
  13. 17:58

    Here Here.

    ReplyDelete
  14. 17:58...

    here, here... defo!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Same here (and thats a shame for me to have to agree).

    ReplyDelete
  16. 6 August 2010 18:05

    Very succinctly put, just one thing, you forgot the bullying.

    ReplyDelete