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, 29 November 2011

SA252 Delays - As Per Usual

HMRC have issued an update about their SA252 letters.

SA252 is sent to taxpayers who are not in self assessment (SA), but who may be paying either too little or too much tax.

The SA252 letter has been redesigned, and is now being sent both to higher rate taxpayers and to basic rate taxpayers with more complex affairs (HMRC originally planned to only send these to higher rate payers this year). However, IT changes have prompted HMRC to change its mind.

Tax agents of those in receipt of these letters will not be receiving them.

For why?

HMRC can't afford to send out copies.

Here is an extract of HMRC 's update:

"We’d also like to mention that, because this will be a bulk processing issue for us, all letters will be dated 19 November although it’s possible they won’t be received until some weeks later. 

There is nothing unusual about this. 

We post bulk output letters in stages to help our contact centres to manage any additional customer demand that the letters might provoke.

As we have explained before we’re unable to send copies of the letter to agents but it does include a request that customers show the letter to their tax adviser if they have one.”

I dare say that agents can remind HMRC that they opposed the withdrawal of their copy letters at the time it was announced, and doubtless will also have a chat with HMRC about the delays in their clients receiving the SA252; as and when they let HMRC come and visit them at the coal face.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. If you think customer service is shite now, wait until HMRC's share of the additional public sector job cuts announced today by Osborne happen:

    You asked for it guys, you voted for these ConDem twats in.

  2. Can you explain how things will get worse?

  3. How many beans make five?

  4. Hmm, given that

    * It's an advisory letter, it is not a statutory notice, it merely informs people a list of the types of income that need to be reported on a tax return, not a letter stating HMRC believes you have that type of income and

    * Most accountants will be aware if their client ought to be declaring more income....

    Isn't this rather like complaining to the readers digest company that you are receiving less junkmail than usual?

    It the old nannying vs useful information argument again isn't it? You know, horses, water and drink and all that?

    What it really comes down to is trying to treat people like grown-ups when they act like children, something that seems to escape most customer service 'experts' on this site.

  5. SA252 by the way doesn't suggest you have a self assessment record set up, just a list of reasons you might need a return, it is different to the SA250 and SA251 which actually tell people whether they have a record/no longer have a record

    (and, before anyone makes a suggestion that HMRC is expecting people to have an 'encyclopedic' knowledge of letters and their meanings, the letter itself is distinctive by its wording, most agents who deal with self assessment on a day-to-day basis will know the difference and the comment is directed at them because that is what the post was about - agents, because they fill left out for some reason, ok???)

  6. @29 November 2011 22:38

    I think what it boils down to is that agents aren't happy that HMRC yet again are failing to do the job of the accountants for them on their behalf. It's despicable that the public sector aren't providing yet another service for free that private enterprise can latch on to and charge for......