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, 9 September 2010

The £300 Write Off and Causality

1The Press Association reports today that Exchequer secretary David Gauke has stated that taxpayers who owe HMRC less than £300 will have the amount written off.

Fair enough!

Ermmm...hang on a minute though, was this £300 write off threshold not widely commented on last week on this very site; ie isn't this old news?

Take a look at many of the comments posted last week on this site, by various loyal readers, about the £300 write off.

Is this a case of the leak causing the announcement, or the pending announcement causing the leak?

Here is the Press Association report:

"Nearly one million people who did not pay enough income tax have had their repayment demands written off, it has emerged.

An estimated 900,000 workers will not receive a letter from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) demanding extra money after the Government raised the threshold under which it writes off any tax that is owed from £50 to £300.

It is thought that 2.3 million people have underpaid income tax during the past two tax years due to errors in their Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax code, but only 1.4 million of these will be chased for the money.

Those who will have to make up the shortfall collectively owe around £2 billion, or an average of £1,428 each.

But Exchequer secretary David Gauke promised that the Government would make collecting the money people owed "as painless as possible".

People who owe less than £2,000 will be able to pay the money in monthly instalments taken from their salary during the 2011/2012 tax year.

Those who can show they are unable to afford to repay all of the money in one year will also be given the option of paying it back over three years.

Mr Gauke said: "In total, the Exchequer is owed approximately £2 billion. Being left with the worst deficit in peacetime history means we simply cannot afford to write off all of these underpayments.

"To ensure that the tax system is fair for everyone, where everyone pays their fair share, we are taking action to recoup these funds as painlessly as possible."

But those who owe more than £2,000 could be charged interest of 3% - six times higher than the Bank of England base rate - on the money they owe if they do not repay it within deadlines set by HMRC.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. We were told in hurriedly-convened team meetings late on a Thursday morning that the PAYE System was going to be altered that evening to increase the write-off to £300.

    It took senior management nearly two weeks more to issue its pathetic attempts at justifying the change on the departmental intranet.

    It has now taken a further couple of weeks for Gauke (who, in every picture I've seen of him, looks like a right thug) to come clean to the public.

  2. Strathie spoke to staff today via the intranet in an attempt to raise morale of the workforce battered by the "HMRC is Really F'in Shite" press all week as a result of these PAYE letters.

    If she wants to raise morale, it would only take two words: "I quit"

    Same goes for meddling Dave Hairnet, friend of the Govt and the private sector alike.

    Make the tax system simplier and fairer to all. Let people and companies try to innovate new way of avoidance but be open and honest when these loopholes are closed down. Show more bottle to try and close them down as well.

    Stop thinking everything is somebody else's fault those who sit at the top table and realise you are shite and not up to the job.

    Oh, and by the way, the 2010 People Survey opens on Monday 13th... won't our score be good again this year?????!!!!! Come on folks, you know what to do...

  3. Oh, and by the way, the 2010 People Survey opens on Monday 13th... won't our score be good again this year?????!!!!! Come on folks, you know what to do...

    And the wooden spoon goes to.......

  4. "Nearly one million people who did not pay enough income tax have had their repayment demands written off, it has emerged."

    Er £300 x 1,000,000 = an awful lot of money written off even before everyone writes to them to claim ESC A19 write offs.

  5. Underpayments and overpayments have been a feature of IR/HMRC since I started working there 13 years ago. What's the big story?

    Im not pretending the department's functioning well-it clearly isn't with a diminishing workforce. With people's job situation being more fluid than ever before it's never gonna be easy under the current PAYE system to keep records up to date in "real time". Something both Michael Fallon and Alistair Darling(not natural bed fellows) acknowledged on The Daily Politics this week.

    The media's hyped this out of all proportion IMHO. Of the 6 million cases involved 75% will be receiving refunds but it's the 25% who are underpaid who the press are highlighting(trumpeting refunds for three quarters of cases doesn't make for good news! )

    Im not for a minute undermining the fact there have been problems but we've had underpaid cases for years and years without it being highlighted.

    PS I'm an AO in an Enquiry Centre.

  6. Never ever ever trust or accept a decision by HMRC.
    Appeal Appeal Appeal.
    I used to work there.
    Believe me......toothcomb everything you get from them.

    They totally fucked that merger up=Customs and Excise @ Inland Revenue.

  7. I see the government are looking at selling of unwanted office equipment on the Internet. How long will be before we see HMRC’s new PAYE system on ebay?

  8. @anon at 22.57 - I do agree there are always slight adjustments to be made every year and I always know one or two who need their codes adjusted or a refund.

    However this year we, and the press, are on a alarmingly bad "blame the government for everything" kick and therefore the fact this happens every year doesn't matter if you can make a good story out of it. The BBC in particular are being very government-hating right now (almost alarmingly).

    I am worried about the people who owe over £2k though- If this was not their own fault (eg. a wrong tax code or a HR mistake) they suddenly not only have to pay the back taxes but 3% on top as well! That is going to hurt.

  9. To 10 September 2010 10:19.

    This sort of problem may well happen every year but how many extra cases exist this year? and why?

  10. This sort of problem may well happen every year but how many extra cases exist this year? and why?

    Any extra cases are because over the last 10 years staff numbers have gone down and the population has increased. This means they haven't been able to cope with the number of cases to review at the end of every year. The new computer system can issue the notices faster than thousands of staff so more notices are going out in a shorter period of time.

  11. So now the computer is doing the work everything will be OK. The human element has been removed. We can all sleep soundly.