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.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

HMRC Overtaxes Traders

The Oxford Mail reports that HMRC have allegedly been overtaxing some small businesses, in order to boost their performance related pay.

Alun Curtis, an HMRC tax inspector, claims that HMRC unfairly charged traders too much tax to make it look as if they had successfully solved cases and deserved performance-related pay.

Mr Curtis made his claims at an employment tribunal in Reading, and said that he had taken his concerns to bosses in the HMRC, but believed his speaking out led to him being vilified since he first made the allegations in 2008 and 2009.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. "Performance related pay"? Don't you believe it. This year exceptional performers - not related to tax collected, note - get 250 quid, taxable, non-consolidated, non-pensionable. Stop peddling urban myths about bonuses based on tax yield!

  2. Absolutely zero relation between tax collected/tax yield and performance pay, sorry Ken. Doubt some of the bitter and twisted readers of this blog will accept that though.

  3. Prats, look at the dates of the allegations, "first made in 2008 and 2009"!
    Let us hope other whistle blowing is reported upon, the truth is seeping out, maybe, just maybe.
    Do keep up the good works Ken.

  4. What do we know from the case reported so far?
    Its in front of a Judge, its scheduled for 4 days.
    If the allegations are true then its dynamite.
    However, to be fair to HMRC, they are innocent unless proved guilty, beyond reasonable doubt (criminal) unlike the standard of proof for the "customer centric experience" when the shoe is on the other foot.
    This could be an interesting case and will hopefully blow the lid off this and many other systemic and nefarious practices by HMRC.
    I detect a growing displeasure amongst the public re malfeasance in public office which is a common law offence.

  5. "performance pay" & "HMRC"

    I don't get the link.

  6. Sorry to pour cold water on this but in my experience of HMRC enquiry workas an Inspector, this simply didn't happen. We didn't even have individual yield targets. There was a pitiful performance pay scheme, which most people couldn't be arsed with and most receipients got their extra £250 for going on training courses and general brown-nosing. There's always the possibility that a rogue manager was at work here and if this was the case, it needs to be exposed, but don't start thinking this was a general policy because it simply wasn't. And yes, @17.25, this was the case in 2008 and 2009 and indeed going back to the 1980's.

  7. Have a read of the first days report peeps, its not all to do with direct performance pay, extra money comes from promotion as well.
    And don't believe that management would not have set their own targets at easily attainable levels in order to get the markings and comments to get the promotion!
    Get the auditors in, oh no, look who they are! Ah well, carry on as normal eh?

  8. Re the first two comments,

    To be fair to Ken (*), Curtis and the Oxford Mail, while official HMRC policy is indeed to not base performance markings on yield, it is not inconceivable that a local line manager could use it as a shortcut to determine which of their team members get 'top' markings, in contravention of that policy.

    I find it fairly unlikely that this will have led to deliberate over-assessment, though: the downside risk for the individuals involved would massively outweigh the token top performance payments. I also suspect that, even if it's true, Curtis will find it tricky to prove wrongdoing ... but then that's what he's been doing for a living for 30 years, so let's see!


    I'm not quite sure what point you're making in your first sentence. In 2008 and 2009, broadly the same policy was in place for performance markings and the performance-related pay was comparable to what 15:48 describes for this year.

    Stew G

    * - can't believe I found myself typing that! :)

  9. I don't think it was capped in those days to the extent to which it is now.
    If I am wrong, I stand corrected.
    However, Self Assessment isn't just a taxation method, it is the basis for the HMRC staff reporting system?

  10. Surely this is nothing more than "misinterpreted" guidance on all parties behalves?!

  11. Yeah, whatever!

  12. Ain't over till the fat diva sings.

    Let's see what the Judges closing speech says.

  13. Let's face it Ken your postings are becoming more and more idiotic. There are lots of things wrong with HMRC but you haven't a clue what they are. You might want to start reading Private Eye.

  14. "Let's face it Ken your postings are becoming more and more idiotic."

    Could this be a reflection of the goings of with HMRC?

  15. Complete and utter nonsense. I've done countless investigations/enquirys/compliance checks and even when it's blatant the business is not declaring the right level of income, director's income from all sources less than £6k a year but living like a king, it is extremely difficult to get agreement that there is anything wrong. Once you can prove the business records are not robust you can look to arrive at an alternative taxable figure. Obviously there is a right of appeal and the inspector has to back up his or her figures. Plucking a figure out of fresh air is a way to NOT a way to get promoted!