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.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


Too Much Tax?Several weeks ago I wrote that Panorama were looking for people who have had problems with HMRC.

Following this weekend's "10 million issue" (which, according to some comments on my site, is "old news" and ""happens every year") I was contacted by the Producer of Panorama who asks that I repeat the request for people to come forward.

The programme will look at how and why so many incorrect tax codes were sent out in January, meet people who were affected, and try and identify groups who might be in for a surprise when correct codes are finally correctly calculated and demands for payments are sent out.

Panorama are particularly keen to identify any of the following case studies:

-Incorrect personal allowance/wrong tax code/dual codes
-Cases where an extra 1 (or other numeral) has appeared in front of some one’s salary
-Records of one-off payments being lost
-Any examples of entire companies’ workforce being affected
-Errors arising from people moving jobs
-Problems pensioners have had including wrong or missing married couples allowance, full tax allowances sent to different employers, tax allowances given to the wrong pension, etc
-Problems arising for graduates with employers being told to carry on deducting repayments even when loans have been repaid
-Ex-servicemen and women – (particularly recent veterans) being incorrectly taxed

As well as typical cases of people affected by the tax code errors, Panorama are also interested in hearing of other more unusual or extreme cases of lives being affected by HMRC errors.

Here is the original "casting call" from August:

"I have been contacted by Claire Judge, of Nine Lives Media, wrt a Panorama programme that she is doing research for. In brief, she is looking for people to contact her wrt issues/problems that they have experienced concerning HMRC.

Here is her request unedited:

"After last week’s report from the National Audit Office on HM Revenue 2009 – 2010 accounts, Nine Lives Media have been commissioned by BBC Panorama to make a programme: Are You Paying the Right Tax? The report highlighted the 18.2 million backlog of cases revealing that around half these cases are likely to involve an over or underpayment of tax and that these may lead to repayments and recoveries in the order of £3 and £1.4 billion. That’s a lot of people paying the wrong tax.

The programme will look at how and why so many incorrect tax codes were sent out in January, meet people who were affected, and try identify groups who might be in for a surprise when correct codes are finally calculated and demands for payments are sent out.

Claire, researcher at Nine Lives Media, says: “We thought one interesting approach might be to look at different sorts of common errors that have come to light following the tax code fiasco and look for examples of people who have already been affected.”

“We understand the importance of confidentiality, but if you have been affected by this, or know of anyone who might illustrate this problem we’d love to hear from you or have you pass on our interest. We would only ever broadcast details of a particular case if we had full consent of the people involved.”

If you wish to share your tax issues with Nine Lives, and potentially be involved in the programme, please call Claire on 0161 832 2007 or email
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  1. I remember reading fairly recently about a guy whose business went bust because HMRC cocked up and would not pay some money due back to his company. A quite substantial amount as I recall.

    I remember thinking how that would affect the poor guy, his wife, his kids, possibly his parents, possibly any brothers and sisters, any employees he had, and all their families too.

    Could HMRC give a toss. Of course not - they just gave some bland statement about mistakes "sometimes" happening.

  2. The part of the program about why the errors occured will be quite short. The problem was that the new system was not tested fully.

    The part about the effect the problem has had on people and how HMRC are dealing with it will be very interesting.

    The best bit will be if anyone from HMRC has the guts to appear and give yes and no answers.

  3. I do not understand what all the fuss is about. The fact is the vast majority of HMRC's customers are delighted with the quality of service received. If you do not believe me, just ask Dame Lesley Strathie.

  4. Did thery not get enough volunteers from the original request?

  5. What a headline for the programme...

    "An all-party group of MPs will today tell the Treasury that HMRC is “a 19th century organisation” in need of fundamental reform."

    Gives hope that that an entirely new organisation may well be created, lets just hope that the appalling HMRC management aren't allowed to infect it.

  6. In my opinion(I do not work for HMRC).

    The only way that HMRC could restore any faith with taxpayers is for a lot of the senior managers to be sacked (resigning would not be seen as good enough) and a full public apology from the government.

    There is no point in looking to create a new organisation because that is not needed. What is needed is the management style to be changed and the morale of the staff to be raised. That will result in more productivity and less reasons for staff to lie and mislead taxpayers.

    The company that supplied the new PAYE system should either fix it or be penalised financially for the sloppy work.

    The TAX Credit system needs a kick up the arse in relation to fraud or simply get rid of it altogether.

  7. 23:47, they may not need many people to come forward as most of the British public can see what a shambles HMRC has become.

  8. What 09:38 said -and I do work for HMRC.

    The last thing we need is yet another reorganisation - which will only lead to further preferment opportunities for the thuggish incompetents in management who got us into the mess in the first place.

  9. Report by Phillip Inman of The Guardian, Jobs & Money, Saturday May 10, 2003:
    This man was right all along
    Patrick Cullinane has fought a running battle with the Inland Revenue since the day he was accused of not paying income tax. And the taxman fought dirty - so dirty he lost his home and nearly lost his sanity. Now, a batch of confidential documents reveal fatal weaknesses in the Revenue's case. Phillip Inman reports,,952455,00.html

    Report by Phillip Inman of The Guardian, Jobs & Money, Saturday May 10, 2003:
    Like the building contractor, Mr Cullinane claimed to be the victim of a conspiracy. This conspiracy was orchestrated by inspectors at the Inland Revenue who pushed ahead with a bankruptcy order against him for many reasons, though the main one he believed centred on his Irish background.,,952457,00.html

    Report by Phillip Inman of The Guardian, Financial Section, Monday 25 August 2008
    “Evidence put to the high court shows that Cullinane, far from owing tax, was due a rebate.”:

    Patrick Cullinane's address in the House of Commons on 23 April 2009
    “This is a short video of the corruption at the Inland Revenue; who conspired with High Court 'Judges' and the Police to pervert the course of Justice. Trial by Jury is the ONLY answer to this Government’s Tyranny.”

    The video below exposes TWO Police Constables abusing Public Office and breaking the law in unison having shown them evidence of a criminal conspiracy against me; Patrick Cullinane by 13 High Court Gangster ‘Judges’ who ROBBED me of my home and possessions. Watch how these TWO Constables lie through their teeth and tell me that the ROBBERY of my HOME and POSSESSIONS is a CIVIL (sic) matter: -

    Patrick Cullinane talks to Police Constables outside the Royal ‘Law’ Courts, London on 4th October 2010

  10. I work for HMRC and it is a shambles. Outdated computer systems that can't link taxpayers details. Insufficient IT "user licences" so that even those who are doing the work can't access most details. Too many "Senior Leaders" attempting to get involved in day-to-day work and obsessed with "visual engagement" whilst staff just want to get on with their work and service our customers PROPERLY. Leaders should keep to strategy and policy. Due to current structures there's duplication of work (and backlogs) everywhere. The ex-Inland Revenue Senior Leaders are the worst with spin, diatribes of messages. At least Senior Management in HMC&E were action-orientated and got results. Most staff hate the organisation it has become and majority are no longer proud to work there either. Shocking as it was only a few years ago when we were proud of the organisation and our jobs. HR Management of the organisation is a joke with some areas lacking staff and others with too many staff but there's no communication or HR swaps allowed between different teams. Staff are demoralised and fed up.