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, 8 March 2011

Reduced To Tears By HMRC

ScreamMy sympathies to Yokel Bear who (as per his recent posting on his site - see below) has been reduced to tears by HMRC.

Here is the unedited text:

"A few years ago I did a tiny amount of self employed work. A few days at the most. However, being a good citizen I registered with the tax office and declared it using HMRCs rather complicated online system.

I then got a job where my employer pays all my tax etc. A job I'm still in. So, I took the time to tell HMRC that I was no longer self employed. Three attempts it took. Three long calls waiting on hold before someone managed to put the right details on the computer. They confirmed that I would not have to file a tax return this year.

So you can imagine my surprise when I received a letter today saying I'd been fined £100 - for not filing a self employed tax return, despite the fact I'm not self employed.

Easy, I thought, just give them a call and get it sorted. And thus began a whole lost morning - a morning I will never get back, a morning that is lost to me forever, a morning that took me from a chipper motivated citizen to a grown man crying and quite literally wanting to not live in a country that can produce such ball-achingly nonchalance from public servants.

I'm not going to tell the whole story, but instead look at the highlights, or perhaps I should say lowlights.

1) Getting through.

It took almost 90 minutes to speak to an actual person. I understand that lines might be busy, but do you know how soul destroying 90 minutes of listening to piped music is. This was compounded by the fact I got through 3 times to an actual person - who promptly hung up before I could speak. I suspect, no...I know ...this is a blatant attempt to make it look like call times and waiting times are less than they are. But 90 minutes. 90 minutes that has been ripped from my life. 90 minutes closer to my death with nothing achieved aside from hearing the tax office's idea of perky music. I'm no theologist, but I think I have seen what hell looks like. Hell is not other people; hell is other people hanging up.

2) Contradiction much?

I understand that mistakes are made, especially in a vast organisation like HMRC. I understand that I'm a small cog in a big machine, but do you know what would make it better to cope with - if the bad news stayed the same. In other words, I don't get the first person I speak to to tell me one thing, only for it only to be contradicted by the second. For instance "Filing a return will automatically cancel a fine" ...two minutes later "Filing a return will not automatically cancel a fine". "You don't need to file a return" ...two minutes later "you do need to file one".

It leaves a person confused, angry and unsure. This should not be the end product of customer service.

3) Terminating the call.

"I'd like to speak to a supervisor"

"He'll call you back"

"I'd like to hold and be put through, if that's ok"

"No it's not. You'll either get called back or I'm terminating the call"

....I think this one speaks for itself. The motto seems to be "The customer is never right. The customer will fit around us".

4) The jargon.

I don't work for HMRC, which makes the sneering attitude from staff of "Huh, why don't you know that?" especially galling. Let's just make this clear. I did a few days self employed work a few years back. This does not make me an expert in the internal working of the tax office.

It's almost a kind of bullying isn't it? The attitude of "I know more than you". Yes, you do...but the point is to put the knowledge to use to help the customer - not to make them feel uninformed and belittled.

I don't blame the staff. No doubt they are going through hell themselves - job insecurity, understaffing and stress. Bad customers service is very rarely "a few bad apples" - it's usually has it's root in the attitude of the organisation as a whole, and the lead given from the top.

Unfortunately, the ethos of HMRC seems to be everything is too much trouble, information doesn't have to be accurate, or indeed true - it just needs to get the customer off the phone. Done, done, onto the next one. The ethos seems to be "the customer is invariably stupid and wrong, what else could explain why they are not experts in how we work?"

So the upshot is that I lost a morning, being given contradictory information and slightly belittled, to the point where after the call I sat here wracked with anger, frustration and an overwhelming sadness of what we have to endure when dealing with government departments. The keyword here is "endure". At what point did trying to get good customer service become a matter of stamina? A matter of 'the weak fall by the wayside'?

I'm not ashamed to say, as I sat here shaking a shed a couple of tears feeling impotent, browbeaten and sad.

I'm not asking for the world, but is some consistent information and a polite attitude too much to ask for? If only so a grown man won't be reduced to tears by the very people who are employed to provide a service to him?

Finally, you know the worst thing? The most depressing fact of all? That even if the head of HMRC read this, I suspect my experience would just be ignored, shrugged off. After all, the customer is never right.

Another one reduced to tears - like I said, done, done and on to the next one."


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56 comments:

  1. I used to work there. No one cares, its a mess.
    Keep your head down, and then you will be on the bus home soon type of thing.
    It wasn't always like that, (from a Customs & Excise viewpoint anyway) but there you go.
    The dickheads who merged those departments owe the tax payers of this country a very serious apology.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. im sure if the tax office was a business it would of gone bust by now .

      Delete
    2. my employer has been deducting tax and national insurance from our wages but not paying it to the government....ive rang them over 30 times ...... banging my head against the wall.....no wonder this country is in a mess....that couldnt give a shit.....if i stole a bottle of milk from a shop id be arrested .....but there just letting it happen ?????

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  2. Yet another example of the breathtaking arrogance of this not fit for purpose organisation.
    There have been so may examples of this type of appalling attitude and poor customer service that it can only lead to teh conclusion that it is endemic and comes right from the top, and operates through every level. If it were otherwise senior management would surely have taken action as in the end analysis they are responsible.
    Lets hope that 'lame duck Lamey' and 'the pantomime dame' pay the ultimate price for their total incompetence - oops, forgot that would mean retiring them on an nice fat negotiated pension package, complete with 'confidentiality clause' sweetener so they dont disclose where the skeletons lurk.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A copy of that needs to go to every media outlet in the country, an MP who cares and the Treasury sub-committee. In my opinion at least.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "so they dont disclose where the skeletons lurk"

    We know where they lurk, they are all behind the doors that say "HMRC" on them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your friend made two mistakes.

    "So you can imagine my surprise when I received a letter today saying I'd been fined £100 - for not filing a self employed tax return, despite the fact I'm not self employed."

    That's the problem. It's not self employed tax return it's self assessment tax return. Mistaking the two leads to problems in the long run.

    The second mistake your friend made was to try to resolve the problem over the phone. Don't work with the new HMRC.

    Now he is trapped in a vicious circle of getting a penalty and new returns being sent out.

    If he wants to resolve it, I recommend bypassing humans. File the returns. Both. That is the one that is outstanding and the one that will be requested come April. File them straight away (or rather april 7th) and hope that the SA IT system automatically removes him from it. It's one of the actually half decent systems in use.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The great British public get the service they pay for or rather don't want to pay for.
    Didn't hear much wailing and gnashing of teeth from Joe Public when the staff cuts were announced, who do you think will do the work now that the staff are cut to the quick?

    ReplyDelete
  7. "The great British public get the service they pay for or rather don't want to pay for."

    Let me get this straight, a budget of 3.7bn for 2010/2011 (3.8bn 2011/2012), about 50% of calls unanswered, mail taking months to be answered, rude and incompetent staff and failed IT projects that screw up peoples tax codes. And you feel that the public are getting the service they pay for.

    The source of the budget figure comes from http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/about/bus-plan-2011-15.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  8. As an Govt Dept HMRC has had budget cuts,staff losses, massive estate closures, new procedures, new IT systems, new tax and benefit rules, frequent senior managment changes,Govt meddling year on year since it's inception.there has been no periods of consolidation to any of the changes made and all you lot do is go on about is rude and incompetent staff.Try walking a mile in the staffs shoes, we try our best but if you think it's bad now wait until the next 14000 staff go over the next 4 years then you'll really have something to moan about

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I HONESTLY HOPE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU GETS THE SACK,THEN JOIN THE REST OF US YOUR INCOMPETENT DEPARTMENT HAS FORCED ONTO THE DOLE QUEUES,IVE NOT AN OUNCE OF SYMPATHY FOR THE YEARS HMRC EMPLOYEES HAVE HAD OF BELITTLING HONEST PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY,GOOD RIDDANCE TO YOU ALL!!!!

      Delete
    2. What slimy rock have you been hiding under for the best part of 3 years?

      Delete
  9. 10:19,

    If you struggle to get through on the phone already, cannot resolve anything once you get through, do not get replies to letters for month's on end and when you do get a reply from HMRC it contains the wrong details because they have taken so long to reply.

    Can you explain what will actually get worse?

    ReplyDelete
  10. 10:38

    It will become even more difficult get through or never receive replies. Those problems will affect more people? That would be worse.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You want to know how it will get worse.

    As someone mentioned a few days ago.
    HMRC will become vans which pull up outside Asda or Tescos. The administrative side will be 100 per cent call centre machines.
    No will be there to answer the phones becuase they will be two places

    (a) Hiding in the toilets from arse licking junior management.
    (b) At the doctors surgery begging their GP to write them out another sick note.
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I forgot (C)

    Not with HMRC anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The fish rots from its head The way HMRC treats the taxpaying public is a mirror image of the way the Department's senior management treats its staff. In fact the toxic blend of petty bullying, organisational chaos and gross incompetence is pretty much the 'house' culture of HMRC. It should come as no surprise that the taxpayer receives the same treatment.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I empathise.....NONE of us want to do a job that is crap (or perceived as being) but when call centre staff are judged on how quickly they get through calls (numbers), rather than the quality (helping the public) then its no wonder we see tales of woe like this.
    However to be 'fair' the senior management are merely responding to major (quite rightly) criticism over the numbers of phone calls unanswered.
    So how do you square the circle of a country that despises (oh yes it does!) its civil servants and resents paying for them, with the public's need for quick , efficient and confidential service?

    Answers on a postcard please....

    ReplyDelete
  15. It's the Daily Mail law. Moan that offices and civil servants are costing too much then act surprised when enquiry centres are cut to 2 days a week in cities with a population of over 200,000 and pensioners cannot get an appointment/redirected to phone and added to the queue of several hundred callers - then cry for more cuts because the service is so bad!

    ReplyDelete
  16. 10 March 2011 07:59, I guess now the government is looking at your pensions again I suppose the union's will not suddenly jump into action.

    Crap service - No action.
    Pensions and Pay - Action.

    Why should you get support?

    ReplyDelete
  17. And don't start your argument with "well if there was no tax there'd be no problems in the first place" that ia a strawman argument. IREC's also help with tax credits but then again that's another DM target isn't it? those low income spongers - not those on £7m bonus pots borrowed directly from HMT. Those directors of banks who can apparently just invent money out of thin air.

    ReplyDelete
  18. @10 March 2011 10:56

    ROTFL you seriously have no idea do you?

    Just read here, here, here or here.

    You may argue that the union is only fighting these causes because of the 'staff jobs on the line' but that would just demonstrate your narrow view of public servants. Anyway, regardless of whether the IREC's are open 1 day or 5 the staff who work there still turn up for work and do things for other parts of the business.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I do love the fact that any comment that staff on the shop floor or anything suggesting that the union is doing is actually effective (remember there are two Unions in HMRC = PCS and FDA/ARC.) often gets removed very quickly.

    ReplyDelete
  20. 10 March 2011 20:55, 10:56 here.

    I have a much better idea than you realise and I stand by my point. The links you posted actually back up my point. Why would I as a member of the public visit the PCS website?

    I see the PCS leader was on the daily politics show today regarding pensions. I have never seen him make such a public appearance in defense of the staff working conditions.

    ReplyDelete
  21. 10/03, 20:58,

    I'm quite surprised to hear that. For the last couple of years I've been one of Ken's most consistent critics on here, particularly on subjects related to tax policy and avoidance. (Less so on operational matters because, leaving aside - among other things - the jeuvenile tone, minimal fact-checking and frequent absence of references, I think he has actually been painting a pretty good picture of many of the failings of senior HMRC management lately.)

    In spite of the criticism I've levelled at Ken, I have never had a single one of my posts removed, which is very much to his credit.

    Stew G

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  22. "Why would I as a member of the public visit the PCS website?"

    Well, you pointed out that the union does not try to protect the public services that their members operate. I pointed towards evidence to the contrary.

    However, if you wish to have an argument with yourself and stick your fingers in your ears then be my guest, just don't cry to mummy.

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  23. "Well, you pointed out that the union does not try to protect the public services that their members operate. I pointed towards evidence to the contrary."

    I appreciate the fact that the unions maybe trying to deal with the problems but my point was (I accept I did not make it very well) they have not brought the problem to the attention of the public in the same way they do when it comes to pensions.

    "However, if you wish to have an argument with yourself and stick your fingers in your ears then be my guest, just don't cry to mummy."

    Maybe statements like that is another reason you do not get support when you need it.

    ReplyDelete
  24. As I said several days ago - you can not blame PCS for what the media does or doesn't publish. PCS try to bring these things to the public's attention but it is not well reported. As soon as the government announce a pay cut, redundancies or attack the pensions they contact PCS and ask for an interview.

    I'm still not clear what you expect PCS to do. Or how anyone can justify a statement like this:
    "I guess now the government is looking at your pensions again I suppose the union's will not suddenly jump into action.

    Crap service - No action.
    Pensions and Pay - Action.

    Why should you get support"

    Here is a copy of one of my posts from last week:

    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. [Ken explained what happended and retrieved them from the spam filter]

    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
  25. HMRC is just another failing public service led by a failing government and failing political system. There is no effective accountability within our systems anymore. Politicians and senior civil servants are mostly not honourable and will not accept responsibility and resign when something goes wrong and there is no way we can deal with it. At best after a general election there are a small number of MPs who lose their seat, and maybe the colour of our government will change but what does not change these days is the way the government behaves. Can you tell the difference between the parties anymore? I can't.

    Politics has coalesced to the middle ground meaning only a very few impact on the outcome of an election and nothing changes regardless of who wins. Av will not reform or change this in fact it will make it worse. More and more people in the UK feel that their parliament does not represent them anymore. Proportional representation would help but the politicians will not accept that and they argue it allows for extremism. That of course is very unrealistic a view.

    Nothing will change, the tax office and the rest of the public service will continue to get worse. God help us!

    ReplyDelete
  26. started self employment from the jobcentre plus 50 new deal
    they set me up with working tax credits
    now i've just been informed by HMRC after 6 years i'm not registered as being self employed with them and my tax credit were going to be stopped
    while each year on my tax credit form i've been informing them under the self employment heading on the tax credit form each year i break even, and was awarded credits on that

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm on hold now and have been for 30 mins. I already know the person I will speak to won't know the answer to my question. I am in the bureaucratic shite vortex that is the HMRC.

    ReplyDelete
  28. my refund was issued 3 weeks ago its is pendindg payment due to security checks im also due a refund for the year after will i have to wait 4 weeks for that aswell when i ring thy just say shouldnt be much longer ring after 3rd of feb any i got my lttr on 6th of january this has been on going since nov last year im on incapacity benefit due to mental health and this isnt helping my illness someone please give me some advice

    ReplyDelete
  29. I have stopped being partially self-employed Year 2009, informed them about it and have filed my last return Jan 2010. I did not file any return last year.

    This month, I have received a letter from HMRC about filing my return. Why is this so? Should I file my return ( 0 revenue, 0 income obviously as I have ceased)? I do not really want to go through the hassle again but as there is a strike, I am not able to get any advice.

    Help!
    tormented

    ReplyDelete
  30. Just received the tax code notification for 2012-2013!

    I have a "Underpayment Restriction" on my account stating that I owe £568.15 in unpaid tax. How can this be? they gave me a credit last July for £1,500!! how can I now under pay??

    Also, apparently I receive private medical insurance from my employer! What utter tosh!

    HMRC sort yourselves out you thieving con artists. Also put some people on your "not so help desk" i have been on hold listening to those stupid bells for 19 minutes now. Oh and apparently your website can help me?! so tell me, where can I opt of of being treated like this??

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  31. FUCKING SHITE!!

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  32. I'm unemployed as of 1st Jan 12 and have been waiting for a tax rebate of around £900.
    Phone call 1 (january 8th): No problem submit this form and we'll deal with it within four weeks. [GREAT]
    Phone call 2 (february 7th): Please resubmit form we haven't received original. [NO PROBLEM, POST GETS LOST, UNDERSTANDABLE]
    Phone call 3 (february 15th): Yes, we will have your rebate to you by 2nd March latest. [WOOHOO]
    Phone call 4 (february 20th): We still have not received any information and are only dealing with post from 21st-27th January, I will investigate this further and someone will call you back but only if we need more information submitting. [ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME.]

    I also note that phone call 1 got cut off after a 25 minute hold, and all subsequent calls waited around 20minutes on hold. My PB for fasted time is 17mins on call 4!

    Every year I go through the same agonising pain, as I have been a student for three years and work full time during summer/christmas and always under the no tax thresh hold. However, they always tax me for a full time wage type job and every january i go through the same pain. Last year I waited until late May to gain the money that was owed to me, 5 whole months!! This is because my employer holds my job open for me and so i don't 'quit' as HMRC always advise (?!)

    I am a student, not a fudging millionaire, i'm one of those students that has to work full time in summer and christmas breaks so I can afford my accomodation and food. For the past four years I've had the same situation and yet they STILL put me through this anguish of basically begging for my own money back!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I am currently on hold and have just hit 25 minutes which normally wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't a problem which HMRC have taken around 2 years to even address (and ive again had to be the one to make the first move).As a result of this I have been £340 out of pocket since the end of the 2009/2010 fiscal year, and will be more out of pocket depending on how much this bloody call will cost me!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Two weeks ago I was told I'm underpaid by £3000. It turns out they'd conveniently forgotten I have a personal allowance, over three financial years, when I've really paid exactly the right amount of tax I owe. So I rang up as soon as I got the letter, and was told that the issue for the last financial year was sorted, but the previous ones would take a bit more work.

    Got a statement today saying that I still owe tax on the previous financial years, so I rang up to check what's going on at about 3.30, half an hour before the office closes on a Saturday. I was asked to tap in the date I rang up last. The automated service hung up on me because I was calling too soon after my last call, they probably assumed I was chasing up the letter I received today. I ring up again, 20 minutes before closing, and was told 'We can't take your call right now, call back on Monday'.

    Long story short, it seems like they've designed the whole system just to piss people off. How could they get such a basic calculation wrong?! I'm trying to decide what's worse, being told 'Goodbye' and being hung up on by a machine when you're owed about £1500, or being told 'If the form says you're underpaid, it's because you haven't paid enough tax', again by the machine, every two minutes while you're waiting to be put through, the arrogance!

    Furthermore, I've been paying for my 'underpayments from previous years' for the first few months of this year. I wonder how long it'll take to get a rebate on that....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. in my experience mate about 8years but only if you stop paying them any tax and force them to send a human to your home because the way the sytem works they pass the buck get to meet someone face to face have there name &direct phone number they cant run from there responsibilty

      Delete
  35. yeamate im in the same boat as yourself, i worked for about 4/5 weeks back in 2009 for a electricians firm as a self employed subby.(sub-contracted electrician) I then stopped working for these fools as the pay wasn't coming through on time and i had moved to a PAYE job. TWO YEARS later, i getmy first bill from these slack jawed eejits telling me i owe a £100 late fine for not filling a self assessment tax return....
    So i paid the fine, told them that i am no longer self employed thinking it would go away.... NO IT DID NOT!
    To this day i am battling these fools over fines that i feel are unjust!i have handed over around £300 in unpaid fines as the keep sending me letters saying we will contact a debt collection agency and they will come to collect the money!!! WHAT?!?!
    SHYSTERS! ABSOLUTE SHYSTERS! SHITE INDEED!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I've never been self-employed, always PAYE. My non return fines and interest total nearly £5000.00 but i still refuse to file a return or pay a penny. They can take me to court cos i aint budging. I tried to sort it out over the phone but got nowhere. W**KERS.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Im an accountant and when my boss tells me to call HMRC, my heart drops. I feel like the dumbest person alive when on the phone to them. Stop being so rude! You still pay tax too you muppets

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  38. Can anyone help me, someone I know who is married changed from married stamp to full stamp until she retired recently. However HMRC have lost some of her paperwork from years ago when she changed over and now she is to appeal, but they have threatened her that if she appeals all they will do is say she over paid and that she is not entitled to a pension ever. Can they really do this! The fact that her stamp changed from one to the other would indicate they acted on notification. Trouble is they are a law unto themselves!

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  39. having similar issues - i've lost track of the number of times i've contacted the HMRC through various means to say i am no longer self employed - and they have confirmed it has been marked as such on my file, but i am STILL getting letters through saying to complete tax returns for after the time i ceased self employment! really beginning to regret being a law abiding citizen, barely made any money out of the venture as it was... been nothing but a massive pain in the arse! I am still filling out the forms, as i don't want fined - but it's kinda pointless when there is NOTHING to report as i am NOT WORKING!! this has been going on for well over a year now!

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  40. I am thinking of killing my self, story to long to write ,why wont they listen I ant self employed any more i ain't self employed any more ,I ain't self employed any more,I ain't self employed any more, this goes out to Cardiff ,Newcastle .

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  41. On the phone to these clowns now - after trying to tell them in a few words what my problem was and waiting a few minutes, I was told by an automated voice they couldn't take my call right now - goodbye. .

    Called back, had to do the whole describe what you want thing again. This time I shouted "because you hung up on me ffs"

    Now in the queue to speak to someone. Tax doesn't need to be taxing, but we'll make it so just to piss you off!

    ReplyDelete
  42. after 8 years of waiting ,feeling like I was going insanel 6hrs on the phone ive been told its my fault that I haven't had £34,000.00 pound repayed to me . nothing to do with the prats that work there or there total inabillty to listen .well thank god I have them in court tomorrow can not wait to wipe the smile off there faces looking for cost , damages, intrest etc post more in few days time good luck to any one whos trying to get money from them they only want to receive it and fine you

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  43. Over an hour waiting, for the second time I might add, eventually got through to notify HMRC about a change in job circumstances that affects my current tax code, to be spoken to in an extremely belittling manner by a member of HMRC staff. I politely asked him to explain what he was saying to me, as I appreciated that he works within a tax environment but I don't. I couldn't quite believe how rude this HMRC employee was. No use in complaining to HMRC...they recommend you phone them if you have a complaint about how you have been treated by a HMRC member of staff...having waiting over an hour on two occasions...I don't think so. Could try writing to them I guess...the idea doesn't fill me with hope that my complaint would make a great deal or any difference.

    ReplyDelete
  44. HMRC's powers should be limited and should be subject to reasonable challenge in the courts.
    The public interest should be served by ensuring that HMRC is accountable and not the sole arbiter of the law this should override their current powers that are abused, exceeded and delayed unnecessarily.
    The dog should be corrected, disciplined, and put on a far shorter leash.
    EXAMPLE OF UNREASONABLE DELAY, DISPROPORTIONATE ACTION AND TOTAL DISREGARD FOR EFFECT OF ACTIONS ON THE PEOPLE THAT PAY THEIR SALARIES.
    Myself and my company over 100 Days ago were put into a period of incredible uncertainty and immense pressure, and despite not having being charged with any offence to date this continues.
    I was arrested on 1st August 2014 and bailed to reappear in THREE Months, I was due to report to the Police station on 3rd November, this was postponed on the 25th October for a further THREE Months to report on the 4th February 2015. That’ll be 180 Days that H.M.R.C. have been investigating my situation, during which time ZERO evidence and ZERO charges have been forthcoming.
    At the time of arrest my Vehicle, company records, back up disks, lap top, mobile phone and other items crucial to the day to day running of my business were seized. These items are still being retained by H.M.R.C.
    I have struggled to continue the day to day running of my company since 1st August, my costs incurred have been considerable and are continuing to rise, once H.M.R.C. have finished their slow, inefficient, nazi style process, I will be seeking FULL costs AND compensation which fully reflects the inconvenience I have been subjected to by H.M.R.C.

    Management and staff at this company have cooperated 100% from the outset with H.M.R.C. we are committed to continue to offer them our full support so that they can dispense with their investigation at the earliest time, unfortunately H.M.R.C. do not seem to understand the situation I am in and they continue to demonstrate a total lack of urgency in the matter, bordering on contempt.
    H.M.R.C. are treating me as GUILTY until they cannot prove me guilty.
    NOT
    INNOCENT until proved guilty
    The company continues to trade despite all the above, and I hope this government has someone in it that has the balls to confront the H.M.R.C. and solve issues raised in this letter.

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  45. I have just had an hour of my life wasted by a HMRC gaff, or should I say one long gaff, they suspended my VAT account, I phoned them in September, no explanation why they suspended it, no apology, just suspended..... But, a promise to re install my account, phone call this morning from accountant, your accounts still suspended, after two phone calls one to a female HMRC person, who was as much use as a chocolate fire guard, and the second to a guy who actually said yes it's our fault the VAT department did not reinstate your account, but I will get them to reinstate it, phone back in 2 weeks to make sure it's been done. Why should I phone back, and ask if they have re instated my VAT account and I'm not a missing trader. No wonder this country is in such a shambles.

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  46. Hi. I just wanted to post a quick warning about Gateway. HMRC promote Gateway as a way that you can review your accounts and check whether submissions and payments have gone through okay. I have a couple of small businesses so it was a useful tool... up until today. Today I noticed an error. I rang up HMRC to challenge the data that they had 'on file' and was eventually told to ignore the discrepancy, as GATEWAY DOES NOT ACTUALLY SHOW THE SAME INFORMATION THAT HMRC HAS!! Gateway said I owed money, the chap I spoke to at HMRC checked his system and said I didn’t and what he did tell me agreed with my own accounts.

    As a footnote; this time I only had to wait 15 minutes before I spoke to a person (I have also waiting much longer in the past) and the chap I spoke to was very helpful although it would have been easier for me if he hadn’t used quite so much jargon and as many acronyms. I’m a self taught book keeper not a chartered accountant.
    .

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    Replies
    1. ANYTHING to do with the HMRC is flawed, SYSTEM, I.T, PROCESSES, most STAFF. Stay away from it or document EVERYTHING, because THEY will blame YOU!

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  47. I have stopped trading and I just want stop paying class 2 National Insurance contributions. There appears to be any simple help for this!!!

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  48. 2015......an hour to answer their calls, then cut you off, another hour, spoken to like a 3 year old....told I'd receive a call back within 3 to 5 days. I didn't.

    Thanks a bunch HMRC.......UK tax payers are treated appallingly .

    The ship has sunk

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    Replies
    1. HMRC are not very helpful.

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  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

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