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, 5 July 2011

Impersonating HMRC

Liar
Oh dear, it seems that at least one of the private debt collection agencies used by HMRC got a tad carried away with itself in May and "pretended" to be HMRC.

Naughty naughty!

Here is an unedited post about the incident on AccountingWeb:

"Phone call just now:

"Hello, can I speak to Mr Client please?"

Who's calling?

"HMRC"

We are his agent, this isn't his number.

"Can you get him to call us on 0845xxxx ref 123456789"

That's 9 digits - are you sure? If you're HMRC, we are his registered agent, can we help?"

"We are calling on behalf of HMRC"

So you aren't HMRC?

"No"

They were a debt collection agency. Makes me mad. Interestingly a google of their name throws up on result 3 an article called "[name] recovery - idiots". Result 2 calls them idiots also...
"

Under the Commissioners for Revenue & Customs Act 2005, section 30(1):

30(1) A person commits an offence if he pretends to be a Commissioner or an officer of Revenue and Customs with a view to obtaining–
(a) admission to premises,
(b) information, or
(c) any other benefit.

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12 comments:

  1. I took a guess at who they where and came up with the same Google result.

    I had the pleasure of dealing with them a while ago due to my unfortunate circumstances. They are one of the worst companies around and even stoop so low as too harass relatives in an attempt to force payments that cannot be made.

    Still, on a good note everything is sorted out now and I don't have to worry about them any more.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think this question may have been raised before, but anyway:-
    Is there anyone out there with working responsibility for HMRC and its DCA's?
    Does no-one in authority care about the damage this is doing to customers and hMRC's reputation?
    More answers on a pin head please.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hate to say "I told you so" but this is what happens when you bring the private sector in to do the public sectors job.

    Not only is it an offence under the act Ken mentioned, but it could also be considered an offence under S1d Official Secrets Act 1920 (this part of the legislation doesn't appear to be repealed or replaced by later similar legislation covering the same crime)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I also posted at 10:06

    "Is there anyone out there with working responsibility for HMRC and its DCA's?"

    Probably not, the company involved are used by other government departments which is when I came into contact with them. They appear to have been given a free reign in how they operate and I am afraid people such as trading standards will not touch them for some reason.

    ReplyDelete
  5. But never mind, they are just a private debt collector after all, regardless of whether they are paid directly by the state doesn't mean the general public should hold them accountable.

    It's far easier and more convenient to blame HMRC staff on the bottom rung as usual for "being incompetent and that's why your work was transferred to the private sector" instead of the truth which is the lower value debts suddenly disappeared from the HMRC collectors caseload because it was 'cheaper' to farm it off to hired goons despite the fact that they might have a lower success rate.

    After all if it disappears off the gov'ts statistics then the government will consider it all collected now won't it. Even if it isn't.

    ReplyDelete
  6. (just pre-empting the usual anti HMRC low grade staff sentiment before it arrives)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Let me get this right then:-

    HMRC, using a database that may hold corrupted/incorrect data (previously established fact)

    is attempting to enforce what may be incorrect debts (another previously established fact)via a DCA with an appaling record and now apparent/alleged use of criminal acts whilst representing HMRC (as is apparent currently)

    Despite being previously warned on this site and others about the consequences

    THE TREASURY, THE CHANCELLOR, THE PM, and someone in authority with a sense of responsibility and accountability should sort this out now.

    ReplyDelete
  8. @5 July 2011 18:24

    Yes you are probably right. Interest accrues daily on a lot of tax debt so as soon as the letter/phonecall from the DCA goes out it is probably out of date as I doubt HMRC provide them with a list of daily balances (it is unlawful for the DCA to collect the debt even if it's a penny out). Not sure how that could be verified without an FOIA request though.

    I think you may have answered your own question with the last point e.g. equating the chancellor and the PM with someone who has a sense of responsibility.

    The upper echelons of HMT won't be shouting too loud either as for the first time in years they can look at their accounts in the same way as V0daf0n3 do and say "all sorted boss!"

    ReplyDelete
  9. 'THE TREASURY, THE CHANCELLOR, THE PM, and someone in authority with a sense of responsibility and accountability should sort this out now.'

    @ 5 July 2011 18:24

    Precisely what I did (omitted PM), along with my very helpful MP... and immediately the bullies went strangely quiet.......
    Get writing everyone!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. @5 July 2011 19:36

    Its a shame all MP's don't exert their power in this way! (This is coming from an HMRC staffer)

    ReplyDelete
  11. @ 5 July 2011 18:15

    "But never mind, they are just a private debt collector after all, regardless of whether they are paid directly by the state doesn't mean the general public should hold them accountable."

    Haven't you heard? If its private sector it means the public get a choice. I presume that means they can pick a different DCA?

    Being a private sector company they also "create wealth". Publicly employed tax collectors are a drain on taxes whilst this bunch magically create wealth from nothing. Welcome to the world of right wing fantasy economics.

    ReplyDelete
  12. @5 July 2011 20:10

    I know! If only the public sector could underwrite large parts of the private sector and put them on the road to financial success (which the private sector obviously deserves withoutt question) without the PFI company in question contributing anything to anyone in existence!

    PFI? What's that? It's like a Harry Potter spell for all your profits. Just lock them in a pensive and release them at will. Preferably when you have a manufactured equitable loss to set them against!

    Whoopee! Insert somewhere in our 'mission statement' about how we contribute to the UK economy via various tax breaks and jobs a gooden! Cake consumed!

    ReplyDelete