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.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Debt Collection - The HMRC Way II



According to this poster on Accounting Web (scroll down the comments section), HMRC and their debt collection agency have broken the law:

"Just opened this mornings post and in it is a letter from an outfit called "CCS Collect" making all sorts of threats.

This letter breaks so many laws I don't know where to start.

It's addressed to us, not the client.

It's an ex client so there are serious issues of Data Protection by disclosing his affairs to us.

It threatens a visit to our premises - I hope they can get to the gate in 9 seconds, the dog can do it in 10 :)

It threatens bankruptcy proceedings - has no one told these cretins that you cant make someone bankrupt for debts under £750.

It contains the term "arrest" implying possible arrest - which is of course a totally illegal threat.

It threatens seizure of goods - since it is not our debt that would be theft then.
There is, of course, no court order in place so non of the threats are legally enforceable.

It clearly states that they act on behalf of HMRC - which makes HMRC jointly liable for their actions.

I am going to really enjoy this. I rather think I will be having a "little chat" with CCS & HMRC - in a court room.


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27 comments:

  1. Did you not know that HMRC make their own laws?

    Some of the other agencies listed here http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/payinghmrc/debtcollectors/ use some interesting techniques of their own. Like harassing other family members regarding debts.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hope the recipient of this letter reports HMRC to the Infomation Commissioners Office. As stated a clear breach of data protection and another Decision Notice against this bunch of cowboys (not mention the administrative inconvenience they will suffer trying to explain why this happened to the ICO)is all grist to the mill.
    It really begs a class action in the courts to stop these muppets.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You would struggle to get the ICO to investigate this as like the HSE they are very reluctant to tackle other government departments.

    The reason HMRC act in the way they do is because the top people know they have the backing of the government the staff lower down would prefer to provide a crap service than tackle the management over the problems they shout about all the time.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @ 10:28
    You would struggle to get the ICO to investigate this as like the HSE they are very reluctant to tackle other government departments.

    It's called - The Old Pals Act
    This Act reigns supreme and shhhh, its top secret, cross-protective and self-serving. Sheeple get herded around from one dept to another.

    ReplyDelete
  5. "the staff lower down would prefer to provide a crap service than tackle the management over the problems"

    How do you suggest they "tackle the management"?

    ReplyDelete
  6. How do you suggest they "tackle the management"

    I am sure if you and your unions took a stand on the apparent problems with you working conditions and publicised how they affect the service the general public get you may get some public support. Obviously you will not get public support if all you ever stand up for is pensions and pay.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "I am sure if you and your unions took a stand on the apparent problems with you working conditions and publicised how they affect the service the general public get you may get some public support."

    We and the unions have been doing this for years and get no public support. We warned you what was happening. We told you what the effects of the job cuts, the mergers, the deskilling of staff would be, closing of enquirey centres etc. We went straight to the MP's and told them but apparently we're dinosaurs standing in the way of progress.

    We get no public support because EVERY time we do tell them what is happening we get abuse from the public because of the mistaken belief we are talking about pay or pensions. I know I have stood in the street trying to tell people what was happening and been shouted at and threatened.

    People celebrated our redundancies and office closures and then complained when they have to travel miles to speak to someone only to find its only open on certain days.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The last time the national press covered anything involving the PCS union was when they went to court over the pensions.

    The fact is that if the internal problems are having an effect on the service then maybe the unions need to make a bigger splash regarding what is going on within HMRC. I am not refering to strike action or anything like that, I would not expect staff memebers to loose pay over this.

    I emphasise the if simply because I do not work for HMRC so can only go by what I read on this and other sites.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The problem is the media usually ignores anything that is said and toes the government line.

    But here are some links for you.

    http://www.pcs.org.uk/download.cfm?docid=93060F83-3563-4A7A-B69AB303CF1C7570

    http://www.lynnnews.co.uk/news/business/lynn_tax_office_hours_could_be_reduced_1_2449578

    http://www.sunderlandecho.com/news/local/cuts_are_killing_vital_services_1_3107397

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-12225322

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/somerset/8555157.stm

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-11617654

    http://road.cc/content/news/30801-cuts-could-lead-dumbed-down-driving-tests-says-union

    ReplyDelete
  10. http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/news_and_events/news_centre/archived_news.cfm/id/B8AE2025-B3D8-4316-94A93D95E6EAB1B8

    "In our submission to the 2007 Treasury select committee the union warned that HM Revenue and Customs was storing up problems for taxpayers."

    "HMRC bosses told MPs on the Treasury select committee that the new system would allow huge savings to be made without any detrimental effect on the service it provided to the public. The union strongly denied this would be the case; with the most likely result being chaos for the taxpaying public."

    http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/news_and_events/pcs_comment/index.cfm/id/1092391B-CFB0-4898-813E3A2F5459E717

    "Reports yesterday evening on ITV’s Tonight programme and BBC Radio 4’s The Report reveal the damaging effects that job cuts and office closures have had on services provided to the public and businesses."

    "PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “These reports show there is clearly a growing number of staff willing to blow the whistle on the chaotic and damaging situation in HMRC.

    “PCS recognises the risks these staff members have taken and commends their bravery in coming forward to bring what are important issues to the public’s attention.
    PCS national officer for HMRC Peter Lockhart told the programme that problems with the computer system have merely exacerbated problems that have been building up for years. He added there was a direct correlation between recent errors and the fact that 30,000 posts have gone from HMRC since it was formed in 2005.

    PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “These reports show there is clearly a growing number of staff willing to blow the whistle on the chaotic and damaging situation in HMRC.

    “PCS recognises the risks these staff members have taken and commends their bravery in coming forward to bring what are important issues to the public’s attention.

    “We believe the programmes present an incredibly accurate portrayal of the current state of the department and believe the government and senior management should act now to reverse the cuts and help staff return HMRC to being a body fit for purpose.”

    ReplyDelete
  11. 5 March 2011 13:48

    It is curious that the responses to your post showing some of the few PCS points that have made it into the national press have been removed. Unfortunately that means you will have to find them yourself.

    Look for the various demo's, strikes etc about office closures, staff cuts and working conditions. And not just in HMRC. Also the appearance before treasury committees and the appearances by PCS reps on the Tonight show about the impacts of cuts within HMRC.

    There is a big demo in London on 26/03/11 which will include PCS reps and members against the cuts in public services. It will be interesting to see how the media report on it.

    Hopefully this post won't be removed.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The point is that the general public are not linking the the internal problems with the low level of service being provided by HMRC.

    That is where the staff and unions are failing themselves. They need to be really pushing the point.

    ReplyDelete
  13. @16:42

    I understand the point you are making about people not making the link. What I am saying is that unions and staff have been making this link and trying to make the public see it for years.

    We said this would happen with the merger of HMRC and that the staff cuts would impact services. We said it with the introductions of the pacesetter scam, the use of private debt collection agencies, office closures etc. The union make regular press releases, talk to the newspapers, tv and radio.

    Just a few months ago they walked around town and city centres talking to people and handing out leaflets explaining what the cuts would mean for those communities - generally they were met with abuse.

    Union reps and ordinary staff members appeared on panorama and Tonight telling people what was happening. The problem is the media are not interested and either ignore us or put a pro government spin on it. On the odd occasion they do report it the publics response is to ignore what is being said and think we are complaining about pay or pensions. Just read the comments following any news article on the subject (or this blog).

    I posted some examples of demo's, strikes and press releases about cuts to services over the last year and even this blog removed them.

    If Cameron or the CBI give a speech talking about how good the cuts will be it is reported by the mainstream media. If union leaders appear at the TUC making a speech about the same thing they get one line at best.

    They are really pushing the point and as a result the whole thing about the tax gap has, at last, got some publicity. Even some journalists have started to print articles about the impact of cuts in HMRC. However after the 30 years of being told trade unions/public sector bad, business/private sector good there are too many people who ignore the reality and just say things like "all you ever stand up for is pensions and pay.".

    ReplyDelete
  14. 5 March 2011 17:37

    "We and the unions have been doing this for years".

    When I left HMRC there were a lot of people I worked with who questioned how HMRC between 2005-2007 totally unopposed, were able to worsen working conditions for thousands of people. Aggressive management, favoritism, bullying, etc. Ordinary junior staff on my floor were wanting to know what opposition had been presented or how had PCS agreed to these practices being introduced.
    I know a Union is only as strong as its members and I met some very effective Stewards, but a lot of people who have funded the PCS are seriously pissed off on how their situation has went from bad to worse and why a more aggressive stand up to HMRC management wasn't adopted right from the merger in 05.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Re Anonymous said...
    5 March 2011 13:48

    It is curious that the responses to your post showing some of the few PCS points that have made it into the national press have been removed. Unfortunately that means you will have to find them yourself.

    Look for the various demo's, strikes etc about office closures, staff cuts and working conditions. And not just in HMRC. Also the appearance before treasury committees and the appearances by PCS reps on the Tonight show about the impacts of cuts within HMRC.

    There is a big demo in London on 26/03/11 which will include PCS reps and members against the cuts in public services. It will be interesting to see how the media report on it.

    Hopefully this post won't be removed. "

    I can assure you that I have not removed or censored any posts. If there are "missing" posts then this is because the poster did not press the right buttons to post them.

    ReplyDelete
  16. 5 March 2011 15:34,

    The posts with the links etc have now appeared. Looking at them shows the problem really, they appear to all be tucked away and not "In your face" like a lot of other news items.

    I guess that is the problem.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Re Anonymous said...
    5 March 2011 15:34,

    The posts with the links etc have now appeared. Looking at them shows the problem really, they appear to all be tucked away and not "In your face" like a lot of other news items.

    I guess that is the problem..."

    Anom the problem with the "missing" posts on this site were that the poster published them one after the other (without leaving much of a gap of time), the system identified them as spam and held them in the spam a/c.

    Ken

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank Ken. I posted them and it did seem odd as I have never noticed any other censorship on here. I thought maybe there were some house rules that I hadn't previously been aware of.

    Thanks for putting them back.

    ReplyDelete
  19. "There is, of course, no court order in place so non of the threats are legally enforceable".

    Jesus, and this, presumably from some kind of accountant...

    So,HMRC I need a court order to carry out distraint,do they?? I suggest you familiarise yourself with Google, muppet.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Read the comments under "Publicity". Nice touch http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/dmbmanual/dmbm615040.htm

    Also: "it is vital that the checks are carried out scrupulously" - shouldn't this cover off getting the agent correct at least

    ReplyDelete
  21. "It is essential that you avoid any action that could attract public criticism or complaint."

    I doubt if there are any managers who even understand what this means.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Take them all the way…

    I am truly and thoroughly ashamed to work for this shower of self-serving shites.

    ReplyDelete
  23. 21:23, Take hart, their jobs are on line as much as yours but there is not much waiting for them outside. Having HMRC management on your CV is not going to hold much weight in the private sector.

    ReplyDelete
  24. "The point is that the general public are not linking the the internal problems with the low level of service being provided by HMRC.

    That is where the staff and unions are failing themselves. They need to be really pushing the point."

    The problem is that no matter how much a public employee criticises the workings of their department the public will associate this with a very small percentage of employees working for the department and consider the rest of the staff as "jobsworths".

    Convincing the public that the problems are more than occasional and that staff as a rule feel that the department is being mismanaged will be difficult.

    Most public seem to have an idea that public employees are all nasty carbon copied jobsworths who delight in making their own lives hell and doing very little to help the public.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous said...
    Thank Ken. I posted them and it did seem odd as I have never noticed any other censorship on here. I thought maybe there were some house rules that I hadn't previously been aware of.

    Thanks for putting them back."

    No worries:)

    However, I don't know how long a gap you need to leave between posts from the same ip address for the system not to mark it as spam.

    So, if it happens again just drop me a note and I will have a look in the spam box.

    Ken

    ReplyDelete
  26. working for these self righteous muppets i see first hand daily their free mason style oppressive management methods which dont exactly inspire all but the keenest of arse lickers to do anything with conviction.
    The mangements mis-management is the root of all the shitty shambles that surrounds the HMRC.

    ReplyDelete
  27. "The reason HMRC act in the way they do is because the top people know they have the backing of the government the staff lower down would prefer to provide a crap service than tackle the management over the problems they shout about all the time."

    How do you work this out?

    If the staff lower down (by this I assume you mean the staff that actually do the work, not the yes-men/women) provide a crap service in the hope they won't be blamed, then all it does is store problems up for later in increased work in the form of post/telephone calls etc.

    Why wouldn't a civil servant wish to be able to solve a problem in one telephone call/letter? It would make life so much easier.

    Unfortunately sometimes the public wish HMRC to provide a customer service e.g. waive this/that and the other when unfortunately the officers are bound by 40 year old legislation which is there to protect the money coming in and try to stop people from not being obligated to declare taxable income - which some people do on stupid technicalities in the law.

    ReplyDelete