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, 29 June 2011

Morale Boosters III - Thursday Funday

HMRC Enquiry Centre
My thanks to a loyal reader who posted the following comment advising taxpayers with tax queries to raise their questions with large HMRC enquiry centres this Thursday.

For why?

Read on:


They are sending as many higher grade staff into larger enquiry centres on Thursday to keep them open, so if you have a gripe or just want to get to talk to a higher grade or you want to see how little they know about tax (and most of them have never advised in an enquiry centre in their lives) visit a large enquiry centre on Thursday or just go in an request a payment they will not have a clue.

I heard a rumour today that they have thrown their toys out of the pram and want a regular enquiry centre worker with them as they don't know what to do.

Go make their lives as miserable as possible

It certainly seems as though this will be an excellent opportunity to talk to a higher grade HMRC staff member:).

Those of you who try this, please let me know how you get on.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. I for one am not falling for this PCS scam to try and make things look worse than they really are while their members are on strike.

    Seeing as under normal circumstances the service is shit what is the point in wasting time sitting in a queue knowing it will be even worse for one day. Just hold off until the next day when normal shit service will resume.

  2. In response to the first comment I wrote that and I can assure you I am no PCS rep I think PCS are terrible and did nothing when all these changes started in 2005 and 6 years later it's far too late to be trying to look competent.

    If you think the service is shit then you are entitled to that opinion but please bare in mind the EC's are not wanted by HMRC they cost them too much money basically they are only there because the Contact Centres cannot cope with call volume and when eventually Tax Credits goes and PAYE system stabilises there is no question we will not be wanted. They make life as difficult as possible in the EC's so people will use the phone and internet.

    At the moment EC's priority is not customers it is to do PAYE work and help stabilise the system all EC staff do now are PAYE and any jobs other departments cannot or don't want to do around these we see some customers.

  3. 29 June 2011 10:14

    I'm not sure thats a good idea.

    The thing is the normal shit service the next day wont be normal.

    It will be even shittier as nothing will have been done the previous day.

    I also agree with 29 June 2011 11:13.

    PCS while I was in C&E/HMRC were hopeless.
    Wouldnt mind having my years of contributions refunded.

  4. "If you think the service is shit then you are entitled to that opinion"

    I have got a feeling more people share that opinion than don't.

  5. Tomorrow sees a new day.
    It looks as though the ConLibs will have some egg on face regarding the strike and surrounding issues.
    The teachers and others e.g. Unison will ensure the day is carried and PCS will glide along on the tails of that success.
    Serwotka is the best thing in terms of image that the PCS has got, put him up against anyone and he more than holds his own and ensures a true and balanced picture is presented despite the Murdoch media.
    The general public is beginning to see through the political spin and is able to put 2 and 2 together these days and decide for themselves the justification for the industrial action, especially as the responsibility for the fiscal mess in the UK lays with the banks (Cameron & Osborne's mates) not the public sector.
    As they say, truth will out!

  6. "The general public is beginning to see through the political spin and is able to put 2 and 2 together these days and decide for themselves the justification for the industrial action, especially as the responsibility for the fiscal mess in the UK lays with the banks (Cameron & Osborne's mates) not the public sector."

    As a member of the general public I am happy that the strike is purely about your own pockets. The reality is I care no more about your pockets than you do about mine.

    But let's remember one thing. PCS members work for the government. That's the government that screwed us up before the banks screwed us up even more. so you may just find the general public views you as no better than the bankers in the end.

  7. "If you think the service is shit then you are entitled to that opinion"

    I have got a feeling more people share that opinion than don't.

    I get the feeling that this is probably an unqualified opinion, that you have never visited an enquiry centre in your life and is just a tabloid scam designed to make to rile people on this board.

  8. @18:40, I can assure you it is a very well informed opinion and if you feel the need to defend the service provided by HMRC then that is your prerogative but will not change my opinion.

    The comment should not however be taken as an attack of the people providing the service as I am very well aware of the constraints they work under.

  9. @29 June 2011 17:54

    Oh do shut up you are becoming a terrible bore with your anti-HMRC staff sentiment and non-sequiturs about how the government ruined things so the people that work for them should be blamed.

    By your logic, Daily Mirror readers should have have started a hate campaign against the Daily Mirror staff after Robert Maxwell screwed their pensions.

  10. @18:46

    Your Daily Mirror readers point is a very good one. Did you use the same sort of logic to convince yourself loosing a days pay tomorrow is a good idea?

  11. @17:31

    I agree Serwotka can hold his own in an argument but do you think he has jumped into action because the PCS members are starting to question the worth of being in the PCS?

  12. I have to admit I did chuckle when I first saw this posting... but its true, all those posters out there who have an axe to grind, please feel free to do so tommorow! Just find your nearest open enquiry centre and you just might be lucky enough to come face to face with someone partially culpable for the state of HMRC!

  13. 29 June 2011 19:02

    Will they be the ones hiding under the desks?

  14. @18:46

    Blah Blah Blah are you still using straw men to cunstruct your arguments?

    Strikes are about withdrawal of labour in a dispute, losing what amounts to very little pay compared to what could be lost is a minor consequence.

  15. @29 June 2011 19:09

    The biggest shame is that you probably believe that bumf.

  16. @17:54, @18:46 #1 @18:59 and @19:19 you are obviously looking for some dirt to spread around,

    You are being so transparent that the concept of walking through you would probably create anti-matter.

  17. Methinks @17:54, @18:46 #1 @18:59 and @19:19's sunmailexpress copy deadline passed - what a shame.

  18. WTF, did someone manage to find a few management twats that can actually converse on the interthinghy?
    In the good old days the crap that has appeared on this blog recently might have been referred to as balderdash.
    For or against, keep it seemples stupids.
    If the private sector does not give a FF for HMRC staff so be it, whhen most of the Front Facing "customer centric experience" is privatised and based overseas you will have what you deserve.

  19. Anonymous 11.13:

    "At the moment EC's priority is not customers it is to do PAYE work and help stabilise the system all EC staff do now are PAYE and any jobs other departments cannot or don't want to do around these we see some customers."

    If you use the word "customer" then you are half-way to be being a management drone yourself.

  20. As a public sector worker what I find particularly galling...

    When senior civil servants, MPs, Ministers & the Prime Minister talk of fairness...

    Perhaps they should look at their own pensions etc. first? After all the average shop floor worker will help more people in their day to day work over a longer period of time and will receive a fraction of what the high & mighty do!

  21. If you don't use the word customer you will not be considered part of "One HMRC", won't get any sweeties, will not be welcome at the next "event" with the comedy director's and will also have to wipe the white boards clean.
    Please pause to consider the feelings of your senior management colleagues as they face retirement on their grossly inflated pensions for they are in this with you.

  22. Is it acceptable to use the term "customers" if you put quotes around it?

  23. With or without its a question of choice, and that's one thing customers/"customers" of HMRC do not have.

    To be a customer/"customer" infers an element of choice i.e. if you don't like what's on offer you can go elsewhere.

    As far as HMRC is concerned if you don't like its service, product or image tough!

  24. @08:42, careful you will be sent into exile for comments like that.

  25. Let's look to todays Dail Mail, some articles:-







  26. I'm on strike, its costing me money but its worth it.
    HMRC is a failed organisation even in the eyes of its staff.
    The management have lost the confidence and trust of the majority of its workers.
    Government wants the cake and to eat it, i.e. more taxes and less staff costings (pensions/sick leave etc) and can;t have both.
    The best things about today for me, no Pacesetter, no stats, no bullshit, no useless management, I'm free and it feels as good as swimming naked in the sea!
    All you rich pretentious bastards need a reality check, money doesn't mean everything. although its nice to have, if you don't have it you can't miss it so those of you awash in it, make the most whilst casting an eye over your shoulder at whats coming, and its not very far away.

  27. Why are you guys trying to make it look as if you are trying to do the general public a favour by striking?

    Do you really have that much contempt for us?

  28. Contempt No, Pity Yes.

    The reason, you don't know the truth, only what the politicians and Murdoch media feed you. Have a close look at the Lloyds/HSBOS fiasco, who paid for what happened in the first place, wasn't the those who caused it, who is paying for sorting it out and will continue to do so? The answers is us.

    Trouble is if the public sector doesn't get sorted out soon the far left will gain even more ground.

  29. No need to pity me. My partner works for HMRC and I work for myself so I am fully aware of what is going on around me.

    You are on strike because your pensions, pay and terms are under attack and no other reason. I just find it annoying that people are trying to spin it into something it is not.

  30. Let's take a quick look at some facts shall we?

    "Changes negotiated with the previous government reduced the value of public sector pensions by 10 per cent through a range of changes. In particular, under so-called “cap and share”, members agreed to first share – and then fully bear – the costs of any unexpected increase in longevity. This is due to add a billion pounds of extra member contributions.

    The National Audit Office closely examined this package and concluded:

    “In addition to saving significant sums of money, the changes are projected to stabilise costs in the long-term around their current level as a proportion of GDP.”

    So even before anything done by the coalition government or recommended in the Hutton Report, public sector pensions had been both reformed and made sustainable. This is not union assertion, but the hard-headed view of the National Audit Office."


    So what does this tell us? This government's decision to attack public sector pensions is purely ideological. Financially, it is completely unnecessary.

    But, you may say, we have a huge deficit and the money needs to come from somewhere. Well, how about the estimated £96 Billion annual tax gap? That'd made a sizeable dent wouldn't it? Who would be best placed to collect that? HMRC of course. The same HMRC that has to lose another 10,000 staff within the next few years.

    Many of the tax avoidance methods in use amongst big business, whilst entirely legal, are morally bankrupt. An example of this would be the Arcadia group which, in 2005, paid a dividend of £1.2 billion to Tina Green (wife of Philip Green) who lives in Monaco. In this way, the Green family avoided a tax bill of an estimated £285 million.

    But, apparently, it's much easier to tear up the terms and conditions of public servants in a bid to claw back some pennies rather than pursue the real thieves who are, daily, cheating this country out of millions in tax.

    Whether you like public servants or not, it is entirely unfair that they should shoulder the burden of a financial situation they didn't create.

    While we are right to bemoan the service provided by HMRC, a service that has undoubtedly worsened in recent years due to budgetary cuts and piss-poor management, rest assured that the service will only get worse unless something is done about it. Further demoralising the staff by raiding their pensions is not going to improve matters any time soon.

  31. All your points are correct but bugger all to do with the strike. The strike is purely about your pockets.

    Don't get me wrong I agree with the reasons behind the strike even though I disagree with the strike itself. But please don't insult me by trying to spin it because it makes you no better than the politicians.

    We will never agree on this so I will leave it at that and wish you well.

  32. The strike is not purely about our pockets, it is drawn by default to the pockets of others, in particulat the financial sector, the EU and UK Politics.
    Why, surely your memory is not that bad, its all there in the open, the EU can't get its finances certified, ongoing for over a decade and the Greek situation may well ignite the poorer EU countries in a monetary domino collapse, the financial sector took the gamble and lost and will be bailed out by our money for years to come, and the theres UK Politics, the previous lot got us into this mess and this lot are in bed with the financial sector.
    And my pocket, well 2 years witthout a pay rise is 2 years of pay cuts whichever way up you do your maths, add to that increased pension contributions of 3.5% minimum and that gives me a yearly pay cut of just under 10% depending wheteher you use RPI, CPI or your weekly shopping bill to calculate inflation.
    Us lesser mortals are all in it together and it will get worse.
    HMRC's contribution is to totally fail to collect and protect the tax, simple as that.

  33. Why is it that when the HMRC person comes a callin' for taxes/fines/penalties/interest/flesh then we really should pay up because it's allegedly for schools and hospitals but when public sector pensions or wages get cut then the money is needed to allegedly feed corrupt bankers/rich business people/politicians?

    Check the posts on this board and you will see time and again. "See how you feel when you need the police or a doctor."

    Do you not think that mustering sympathy for your cause is really going to be hard, in these circumstances?

    Surely the more public sector workers strike, the more chance they have of each service being privatised. The conservatives appear to have u-turned on some of their attempts at privatisation but as soon as the public start to lose out on what they have paid taxes for then the louder the screams will be to privatise.

  34. @Wat Tyler.

    In both of those cases, the public sector worker you are referring to was constructed purely out of straw.

  35. as apposed to the usual latex!!!!

  36. Mmmm!

    Do not treat the masses with such contempt, the one thing that the internet has done is open up communication to the masses, this frightens the fuck out of the so called power holders as they cannot control the net only observe it, lies become transparent and the truth gets spread.
    Joe Public is a wee bit more savvy these days and can work out for his/her self who is lying and using smoke and mirrors. Too much of the spin of the recent decade has been shown to be absolute lies to go unnoticed or unheeded, e.g. Iraq/Al Qaeda, Dr Kelly, M.P.'s expenses, the banking fiasco, BSE, Toyota, New Labour, Blair/Brown, Mandelson/Mendacity, Immigration, Secure Borders, The Tax Gap and worst of all The frigging olympics!

    Take your pick and disprove it, you can't and you know it.

    HMRCISSHITE unless someone in power does a full clean up of a failed entity.

    Vote for who you like, say what you like it won't chamge. I'm off to Dubai anyway so I don't care anymore.

  37. When I joined the Civil Service, that was what it was.
    You didn't join it for the salary tou joined it because of the other benefits it offerred, stability, security, pension and good but hard working conditions, you just got on with it and were proud to be a civil servant.
    Compare that to the current day and you may just begin to understand why the worm has finally turned.
    The general public don't have a clue what's going on, although as has been said on other blogs a greater understanding of the truth is emerging courtesy of the internet.
    Ho Hum!

  38. @30 June 2011 20:17

    Are you trying to imply that BSE is a direct result of HMRC pacesetter principles?

    I'm sorry, I believe HMRCIsShite but next you'll be blaming HMRC for your current belief in the 9/11 'no planes' theory ('do your research' I hear you scream) and your childhood belief in the non-existent tooth-fairy (which was an indirect tax on parenthood invented by HMRC).

  39. @30 June 20ysli11 08:42

    Yes, you can go elsewhere - another country.

    People on the right wing frequently like to remind public sector workers that they can put up or shut up.

    The 'dubai' comments on this board are simply offering those right wingers the same choice.