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.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Emulating The Banks


The Mail is venting is spleen against HMRC over the claims being sent out by HMRC for tax underpayments (estimated to affect 1.4 million people).

Whilst it is perfectly correct that HMRC reclaims underpaid tax, the issue that wrankles with the Mail is HMRC's response to appeals sent in by many on the basis of the A19 tax concession (which allows claims for underpaid tax to be abandoned under certain circumstances).

HMRC are sending out standardised computer generated rejections of appeals from one centre, stating simply that the appeal does not fall within the A19 concession.

This is a similar approach taken by banks and other financial institutions when rejecting people's claims for excess overdraft charges, mis-sold endowments etc; one that is designed to stone wall claims.

HMRC have belatedly realised that, whilst this approach may be OK for tax professionals (who can fight their corner), doing this to a large number of people who normally do not interact on a daily basis with HMRC (but who make excellent copy - eg widowed pensioners - for tabloids) is very unwise. As such the content and format of the letters is now being reviewed, and a more "personalised" rejection will be sent in the future.

Whatever the format of the rejection, the taxpayer can still appeal and if rejected again can go to the Adjudicator's Office.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. It shows how well informed The Mail is. "Normally, when someone has a complaint over their tax bill they must contact their own tax office. But in this case, we have learnt that all complaints about demands for underpayment are being dealt with by one centre for calls and one for letters."

    I guess they haven't been paying attention for the last few years.

  2. Wasn't there a bit in the DPA that said something along the line of "data must not be used for the purposes of automated decision making"?


    I expect HMRC are exempt the bit at the bottom of the page. If they are not I am sure they ignore it anyway.