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.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Missing Data

My thanks to a loyal reader who recently sent me a copy of the response that she received from HMRC, regarding a Freedom of Information enquiry that she made concerning the number of vehicles HMRC seized that are then auctioned off.

Rather bizarrely, even though HMRC recommend that taxpayers keep good quality financial records, HMRC don't have the information to hand!

"Thank you for your e-mail of 7 September asking for the following information. 

Dear HM Revenue and Customs, you state that in the period 2008/9 that you seized 5618 vehicles.

You further state that the sale of seized vehicles for the period 2008/9 totalled £4,259K.

I therefore request under FOI the following. 

For the period 2008/9 - How many vehicles were sent to auction (l understand the auction company you use is Wilsons Auctions)? 

How many vehicles were scrapped and to which company(s)? 

How many vehicles were restored to their owners? 

I am answering under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FoIA). 

I can confirm that the company the Department uses is Wilsons Auctions and would advise you that, following a search of our records, I have established HMRC does not hold the remainder of the information you requested. 

If you are not happy with this reply you may request a review by writing to the HMRC FOI Team, Room 1C/25, 100 Parliament Street, London SWIA 2BQ or email [email address]"

Tax does have to be taxing.

UK EXPATS: Reduce tax on UK Pensions
HMRC QROPS provider. Unlock your UK pension and access a 25% lump sum today.

Quote ID code "ABC" when contacting a QROPS specialist.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

What is TAXWISE?

TAXWISE is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Taxwise

Tax Investigation for Dummies, by Nick Morgan, provides a good and easy to read guide for anyone caught up in an HMRC tax investigation. A must read for any Self Assessment taxpayer.

Click the link to read about: Tax Investigation for Dummies

HMRC Is Shite (, also available via the domain, is brought to you by "The Living Brand"


  1. Methinks a FOI request to Wilsons might be more productive.

  2. This makes perfect sense. If HMRC/ UK Govt PLC have given the job to a private company then on what planet could it be perceived that HMRC would have the answers to questions under the FOIA?

    The private company cannot be compelled to divulge such information to HMRC because it is confidential to that corporation and HMRC has no authority to request it.

    Private companies are exempt from FOIA requests. Those of you that want more privatisation in govt departments, can expect less and less accountability from the same departments.

    It's not missing data, simply because the private company can choose not to respond to HMRC's request for information (and most anti-HMRC posters cannot fail to agree with this if they want to keep their vested interest in business/corporations not being forced to open up to government willy-nilly) and it's apparently what the people of this country want to happen to HMRC and other government departments because the "private sector provides a better service".

    Well done to the CBI, TPA, IOD and other government lobbyists for all of this by the way. You have won the great prize of having your a*se handed over to you by your efforts.

  3. @ 09:59

    I'm reluctant to disagree with most of what you have said because you are right with regard to many criticisms leveled at HMRC.

    In this case though I doubt the auction company would have anything to do with the cars that are either scrapped or handed back to the owners. HMRC would have determined that those cars were not sent for auction and dealt with them in differently. I would be surprised if they don't keep records or at least be able to work it out by a process of elimination.

  4. Unfortunately a process of elimination cannot realistically form the basis of a FOIA request.

    It cannot be, because it is based on data someone has determined to be viable.

    The data provided under FOIA concentrates on facts only. I'm sorry to say that I feel HMRC complied with the FOIA request as far as it could be compelled to.

    People who do not understand the fairness of law or those who try to get answers on behalf of a right wing organisation may not understand this - but if a government department presents you with what you want within the constraints of the law, then that is all you are entitled to. Unless of course you want accountability in business to be equal in law in both the public and private sector????????

    I'm sorry but did that coin-toss land on the bevel?

  5. If you want a lesson in accountability when government services are privatised just try and claim a refund from your local train company when your service is disrupted.

    Train company response: "Wasn't me guv?"

    Network Rail response: "Wasn't me guv?"

    Office of Rail regulator response: "We only deal with safety issues - go away...."

    Any appellate court response: "This is a civil matter - why are you bringing it to us?"

    Apparent 'jobsworths' who are left in HMRC could well be welcoming things like this with open arms because it'll be the only thing that keeps them in employment.

    Lesson: Increase private sector practices in the public sector but don't be surprised when private sector 'accountability' when all is said and done appears as a result of all this nonsense.