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.

Monday, 4 April 2011

HMRC's Double Standards


Accountancy Age reports that HMRC lost a tribunal, brought against them by Philip and Tracey Ithell (who run a construction firm), because HMRC failed to produce evidence that it sent a computer-generated letter to the appellants.

The appellants claimed that they did not receive a letter from HMRC giving them notice that their gross payment status was being cancelled. HMRC had no evidence that the letter had been sent, other than a screenshot of a note that a letter had been sent.

HMRC lost the case because they could not establish with certainty that the appellants had been given notice of cancellation.

The ruling highlights the double standard (ie hypocrisy) in HMRC's "mindset" wrt letters and postal delays.

Send HMRC a payment (or letter advising them of a material change in tax circumstances) which arrives late or is lost, and HMRC will not accept/listen to evidence wrt the delay/loss.

Yet, in this case (with the boot very much on the other foot), they were attempting to argue that because "they knew" and could "prove" (proof which was not accepted by the tribunal as being sufficient) that they had sent the letter it must have arrived at the intended destination on time.

HMRC can't have it both ways!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Probably the only way you can finish them off is at Tribunal.
    Apart from the mail fiasco in and out, toothcomb ANY decisions from them.
    In VAT (Customs and Excise) there was a rush for the door once the merger happened. Experienced Officers with years on the ground looking to get out.
    So you have younger officers submitting VAT assessments on a wing and a prayer and the next thing the Accountant is on the phone and months later everyone round to the Tribunal Court.
    Throw into the mix a HMRC manager who hasnt a clue about VAT and Its a mess.

  2. 04/06/11 12:59

    "Probably the only way you can finish them off is at Tribunal."

    This statement indicates that you have not been to the tribunal. The tribunal is only interested in taking into account what an uphill struggle it is for HMRC and how to quickly dispose of the case in order to bump up the stats.

    How can they claim to be dealing with any case justly when HMRC have effectively unlimited legal funds and the taxpayer does not.

    The first tier tribunal is an utter waste of time and money. It would be fairer if you could just flip a coin.

  3. to the poster @ 12.59,

    I'm managed by an ex VAT Officer and a more incompetant idiot you wouldn't want to meet. He has no will to learn the new Department's rules and regs, just struts about thinking he is superior to the rest of us.

    If he is an example of ex C&E all I can say is demerge us asap - ex VAT staff seem to think they're superior in every respect.

    They're not God on earth and it's about time someone told them.

    As an ex IR person, I would say there were good IR staff and poor IR staff and there were good VAT staff and poor VAT staff.

    And I don't imagine that it was only in VAT that the rush occurred!

  4. Ref 15:22 comment...
    Spot on, HMRC does have an endless stream of money when it comes to legal issues.
    The interesting question is what chamber's do they have barister's & Lawyers briefed from?
    Would it, surely not!
    As for 16:44, please reel your neck in, the only people to benefit from your moaning are the management and the press.

  5. 17:12

    Please clarify what you mean regarding the chambers remark!

    Are you intimating that Barristers are briefed from the same chambers that Judges used to belong to?

    I understand that there are also ex HMRC officers that are Tribunal Judges. That sounds fair doesn't it?

  6. Try researching via a combination of Ken's site and Private Eye.
    Failing that an FOI request may open Pandora's Box.
    The answers are there, just ask the right questions, unlike IPCC, Commons Select or HMIC...
    Collusion amongst the legal brotherhood, surely not, that would be undue ....... influence?
    nudge nudge

  7. 4 April 2011 16:44

    Are you on drugs?

    Where in my comment does it say that VAT Staff are in any way superior to former Revenue staff or that there was a rush to leave becuase of the Inland Revenue involvement?

    Read the comments, take a deep breath and then read them again slowly.

    Have a cup of tea and a biscuit. Your out of the office now.

  8. I am one of these older experienced VAT officers still around -though mercifully semi retired now- and I fear for the standards of VAT compliance work once we have all gone. In my team of 12, two of us are ex C and E and in this last year have identified additional VAT of around £3.5million and the other 10 direct tax staff around £1million in their taxes between them - enough said ?

  9. 4 April 2011 20:47

    That is because VAT is so much easier to fiddle. Everyone does it.

  10. There is a huge and hidden tax gap relating to former IR taxes that the former IR desk jockeys would not recognise even if the fraudsters wrote it out in capital letters for them.
    IR was similar to ostich with head in sand.
    As for former HMC&E....well look at the mess that UKBA is for the answer!
    Privatise the lot and be done with this nonsense once and for all.