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, 9 November 2011

Scant Regard



The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) is less than impressed with HMRC's apparent "Digital by Default" strategy.

CIOT is of the view that HMRC are going beyond Cabinet Office guidelines, which specify that every single government service must be available to everyone (irrespective as to whether they are online or not).

CIOT state:

"HMRC do seem to be heading for 100% on line with scant regard for those unable to use online systems, or unable to use them practically because of poor broadband.

Whilst encouraging those that can to use digital channels, HMRC must not hide the existence of a continued paper option, nor force people to accept assistance or to use an intermediary service which is more onerous than the online service."

The scant regard HMRC has for the taxpayer is rather surprising, given that HMRC refer to the taxpayers as "customers" (implying that there is a degree of "choice" in the relationship, whereby the "customer" can specify how he/she wants to be "served2).

Give HMRC an inch, and it will take a mile.



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16 comments:

  1. I was made redundant, I'm registered as deaf and I receive state benefits (£65 a week) – BT have cut me off after every quarter because I cannot afford to pay the bill. Can someone tell me how I'm supposed to telephone HMRC and use their online internet service when I don't have a telephone?
    Thank You.
    This is an honest and real set of circumstances

    The fact that 40% of people are not online at home and of course anyone over 60 generally doesn't have access to a computer – National Office of Statistics). (Apparently the North East has the worst web access percentages, nearly 50% ).

    So apart from the deaf, the old, HMRC dsicriminates against anyone without home internet access – spot on again with Customer service lads.

    ReplyDelete
  2. There are those who feel they are 'penalised' for having a shorter filing period for paper returns.

    Consider this:

    Your start time at work is 9:30 and you work on the top floor of a 100-storey building with a high speed lift that arrived on your floor within a minute. It costs £1 to use it if you are on the ground floor at 9:29 and wish to reach floor 100, or free if you wish to wait your turn. There is also a set of stairs available if you are against the idea of lifts purely based on a fear of technology. The stair climb takes 15 minutes.

    You can guarantee there will always be a group of people who will arrive at 9:29 and choose to take the stairs but arrive at work at 9:44 but claim they should not be penalised for the fact they do not wish to adapt to the idea of using a modern convenience.

    With regards to someone being deaf. HMRC has members of staff who are profoundly deaf yet are still able to do their job of assessing tax at the same level as their hearing-capable peers.

    Also I note how your inability to access the online service of HMRC due to 'BT cutting you off' doesn't seem to extend to your inability to access this site. Osmosis much? Give me a break.

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  3. and if you wish to counter this, don't start some nonsense about being in an internet café or round a friends when you wrote this.... surely you would have something more productive to spend your time on?

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  4. With regards to someone being deaf. HMRC has members of staff who are profoundly deaf yet are still able to do their job of assessing tax at the same level as their hearing-capable peers.

    BUT THEY DOEN'T WORK IN CALL CENTRES ANSWERING THE F•CKING PHONES DO THEY – YOU MORONS.

    HMRC staff– HELPFUL AS EVER.

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  5. What have call centres got to do with it? No one suggested expecting a profoundly deaf person outside or inside of HMRC to make a telephone call.

    This comment says more about you as a person than it does about people who work for HMRC. I imagine the deaf community within HMRC would be very disappointed in your attitude. You have stated HMRC staff are not being helpful. Perhaps look in the mirror. HMRC can only go some way to help someone who keeps placing perceived obstacles in the way.

    Without this sounding too much like a PR exercise, there is the typetalk service where all you need to do is put 18001 as stated on nearly all letters sent out by HMRC.

    I realise this may be difficult where BT are cutting you off (whilst still allowing your on-line service apparently, even though a working phoneline is a pre-requisite of being online on bt-style services) in which case, get a friend to make an appointment at a local enquiry centre on your behalf and request that a BSL interpreter is provided.

    I work for HMRC and have an unseen disability but if I used this as an excuse to cry 'discrimination' and whine to them that they haven't made my life perfect in each and every way, I'd either be A. out of a job or B. So depressed that I would have resigned several years ago!

    Oh and by the way: discrimination means deliberately putting someone at a disadvantage. The early deadline of October is simply because HMRC cannot guarantee to calculate tax on behalf of someone who doesn't wish to do this by 31st January if their return is sent in say.... 31st January. If we used your definition to the extreme - HMRC could be accused of not providing each and every individual who completes an HMRC form with a pen and table and chair to write and the person who sent a paper return in on 31st January expecting it to be calculated by 31st January could be accused by HMRC of discriminating against the department.

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  6. Looking at some of the posts here... I'd say we've got HMRCs Customer Centric Business Strategy Team posting!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I often wonder abut the mentality of those who have a base accusation of ‘management toadyism’ or not being customer centric whenever a commenter on this site comes out in support of HMRC. Being customer centric isn't the same as bending over and agreeing with every customer demand as no business does that. I've been in tesco's and demanded that I'm right and Tesco's were actually right as I hadn't understood their yellow sticker policy.

    Each HMRC poster on here leaves a footprint of their individual behaviour, whether they like it or not. If that person was a management toady they would have been identified long ago because they are few and far between.

    It doesn’t seem to occur to some readers of this site - that people who work for the department may still have pride in the work they legitimately do for the department even if this is unpopular in the public eye due to supposed ‘blunders’ by staff, wholly invented by the right-wing propaganda press.

    On the back of this, you have some nitwits claiming ‘discrimination’ because of decisions they have made in their personal life. There is a difference between an actual inability to use a computer and a personal decision not to invest time in learning how to use a computer.

    The filing date of October for paper forms is not discriminatory against those who do not have a computer – it is simply that the paper forms take longer to process, the decision not to file online is a personal choice in most cases – HMRC cannot be found guilty of excluding a group of people who deliberately exclude themselves. The payment date for your tax is still the same (31 January). In fact a very unpopular argument could be made that those who file by paper are at an advantage due to the fact the calculation of tax is done by HMRC on their behalf.

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  8. The first poster states some statistics in support of their argument against HMRC but fails to have the correct name of the government agency who allegedly provided the statistics.

    It gives a real legitimacy to it all, don't you think?

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  9. Me thinks posters #1,#4 and #6 are from that stupid newspaper that caters to the people who like to live in London Suburbs in what estate agents term as a 'cottage' in Marketing material - desperately looking for an HMRC staff member to cock up so they can get a story out of it.

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  10. Without this sounding too much like a PR exercise, there is the typetalk service where all you need to do is put 18001 as stated on nearly all letters sent out by HMRC.

    I think you will Typetalk is only available to those who have a Textphone set. It is not available on normal telephones.

    I don't think any online services are available on a telephone or a textphone set.

    ReplyDelete
  11. HMRC off the subject again – see the original post!

    "HMRC do seem to be heading for 100% on line with scant regard for those unable to use online systems, or unable to use them practically because of poor broadband.

    Whilst encouraging those that can to use digital channels, HMRC must not hide the existence of a continued paper option, nor force people to accept assistance or to use an intermediary service which is more onerous than the online service."

    The scant regard HMRC has for the taxpayer is rather surprising, given that HMRC refer to the taxpayers as "customers" (implying that there is a degree of "choice" in the relationship, whereby the "customer" can specify how he/she wants to be "served2).

    But somehow HMRC have turned this to October deadlines, discrimination and belittlement of the customer.

    Sounds about right.

    Neurotic or wot?

    ReplyDelete
  12. @12 November 2011 12:02

    As a person who is apparently

    *Deaf

    *Unable to access a computer.

    *Able to access a computer when it suits them



    Can you please identify where the equality issue is? You brought it up.?

    The HMRC online service is available to both the hearing and deaf community. The textphone service is available to those that have a textphone service. RNID will help those who need it to have a textphone service?

    Sorry, HMRC is the department that assesses taxes, it cannot organise the provision of these services on your behalf. It is up to you as the individual to identify what services may be need that are outside the scope of normal provision.

    What more do you actually want/need/require from HMRC? Most of the people on this site are in favour of reduced government but with that, inherited responsibility from individuals is increased.

    The belittlement of the customer is as a result of private-sector practices being applied. That is what you wanted from the public sector wasn't it? To emulate private sector practices? Game on......

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  13. I am amazed at some of these comments when clearly those responsible have limited knowledge of the subject(s) and assume all the comments are from the same person/people and make it personal.

    ReplyDelete
  14. @12 November 2011 12:59

    You are entitled to your opinion, unfortunately it offers nothing to the debate. HMRC is not hiding the paper option. Page 1 of the paper return says:

    Deadlines
    We must receive your tax return by these dates:
    • if you are using a paper return – by 31 October 2011,
    (or 3 months after the date of this notice if that’s later), or
    • if you are filing a return online – by 31 January 2012,
    (or 3 months after the date of this notice if that’s later).
    If your return is late you will be charged a £100 penalty. If
    your return is more than 3 months late, you will be charged
    daily penalties of £10 a day.
    If you pay late you will be charged interest and a late
    payment penalty

    How is this hiding the paper option?

    This has become more about the mechanics of the debate itself.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Also I'm confused as to how this can be personal. Either several anonymous people are debating the same thing amongst themselves or this has in fact been a two-way conversation.

    As to not having full knowledge of the facts, you are probably right, however the first poster and the article itself make several assumptions that it asks the reader to automatically accept.

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  16. I have had a deaf person claim discrimination for not providing written documentation in BSL.

    BSL is not a written language. How on earth could I have answered that person? Should I have made a request that documentation should be in spoken English for the non-hearing impaired?

    Don't claim I have limited knowledge of the deaf community and stop turning this in to a 'poor little me' scenario, because it isn't - I have a hidden disability and my life aint perfect either, but In this case it's you who have the attitude problem not HMRC.

    ReplyDelete