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.

Monday, 23 August 2010

The Sword of Justice

The FT reported last week that HMRC are apparently going to adopt a less "combative approach" to resolving tax disputes with businesses.

It seems that there is a "logjam" of legal cases relating to the "contentious" issue of avoidance, which are very expensive in terms of both time and money.

Even Dave Hartnett, permanent secretary for tax at HMRC, has expressed concerns that maybe HMRC have been a tad "heavy handed":

"HMRC is packed full of very intelligent people, but we are sometimes too black-and-white about the law."

He went on to comment on HMRC's litigation strategy, which was introduced in 2007:

"I think we got it a bit wrong in the way we explained it to our people. They thought it was a great sword of justice."

Oh Lord!

"Sword of Justice!?"

Dear oh dear, the thought of unelected civil servants viewing themselves as some form of super heroes, on a mission to "save the world from evil", is rather alarming.

Kudos to Hartnett for recognising, and admitting to, this problem.

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

What is TAXWISE?

TAXWISE is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Taxwise

Tax Investigation for Dummies, by Nick Morgan, provides a good and easy to read guide for anyone caught up in an HMRC tax investigation. A must read for any Self Assessment taxpayer.

Click the link to read about: Tax Investigation for Dummies

HMRC Is Shite (, also available via the domain, is brought to you by "The Living Brand"


  1. Have I understood this correctly? Hartnett is saying its not the boards fault but people lower down have misunderstood the strategy and been overzealous?

  2. This would not be linked to the recent cases they lost would it?

    If you are going to go to court, you need to make sure you have all your facts right. Even if the business is in the wrong.

  3. "Kudos for Hartnett"

    He's the man behind the litigation policy. Before he introduced it, inspectors merrily settled cases. Not always a good idea, but they settled them.

    Hartnett wants to change policy. Fine. But he doesn't want to admit he's wrong. He has a choice, admit to being wrong, or insulting his staff. So he makes out that his best staff are impractical boffins.

    And he wonders why his staff dislike him!!