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, 23 December 2011

Shabby



My thanks to a loyal reader, who dropped me a note about a penalty notice that he had received from HMRC. The penalty notice prompted him to search through some case history, with some interesting results.

Read on...

"In September this year I was issued with a penalty notice for failure to file my employers end-of-year return on time. 

In my appeal I queried why I had not been informed earlier, when the amount of the penalty would have been less. 

Enough about my own troubles - except that this matter prompted me to do a little research. 

I found that in recent tax tribunal findings, scurrilous behaviour on the part of HMRC has been revealed.

In HOK Ltd and Commissioners HMRC, 22nd June 2011 it was stated in the findings:

'...Thus, HMRC deliberately waits until four months have gone by and does not issue the first interim penalty notice until, as in this case, September of the year of default. 

By that time a penalty of £400, being four times £100 per month is said to be due.....

..In our judgement there is nothing fair or reasonable about in setting a computer system so that it does not generate a penalty notice until four months have gone by..

...It is no function of the State to use the penalty system as a cash generating scheme’. 

In this case the tribunal reduced the penalty from £500 to £100. 

In HMD Response International and Commissioners HMRC, 7th July 2011 the tribunal found that:

‘Even if there had been no reasonable excuse [for late filing] the penalty would have been reduced from £500 to £100 given that HMRC deliberately desisted from sending out a penalty notice until September 2010, by which time it could demand a penalty of £500....'

This appeal was allowed in full and the penalty dismissed. 

Clearly somebody within HMRC is culpable and one wonders at what level the order to ‘set the computer system...’ was given. "

All seems a bit shabby really, doesn't it?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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93 comments:

  1. We've been told to suspend collection of penalties for late payment of PAYE as well. I suspect because of these judgements, and the fact that these penalties are applied retrospectively, ie potentially 12 penalties applied some months afer the end of the tax year.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What I don't understand is HMRC in its OWN Annual Report (ever year) accounts for 'open issues' i.e tax in dispute, the £25billion (PAC/HMRC Spat) yet when I have a dispute (which ends in HMRC owing me a refund) cahrge penalties and send in the bailiffs.

    SO do the £25billion 'open issues' get late penalty charges and visits from the bailiffs?

    Can I reclaim the penalty charges?

    HMRC –
    2. “more than £25 billion outstanding in unresolved tax bills”
    “We explained to the Committee and again in a letter to the Committee Chair in November that this figure is a ballpark estimate of maximum potential tax liabilities, before a full investigation of the specific facts has taken place, and before applying any reliefs or allowances. It is not actual tax either owed or unpaid. In many cases, when HMRC has looked at the full facts it becomes clear that there is no further liability at all. Tax under consideration is an administrative tool to help us to focus our resources on cases where potential tax liabilities appear to be greatest. It is not tax owed.”

    ReplyDelete
  3. @13.15

    Did you really just say that there was 25bn in dispute, and then cut and paste an explanation from HMRC which clearly states that this wasn't tax in dispute ??

    Can you actually read, or are you just stupid?

    What about reclaiming penalty charges?? What are you on about.Idiot.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nobody at HMRC has the faintest clue how to nobble the software, or even in what terms to couch instructions to whichever incompetent IT support is currently in place.

    It's just shite software, inexpertly specified by stupid ministers and poorly implemented by crooked IT companies whose only concern is getting hold of as much taxpayer money as possible.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Don't want penalties fill the forms in on time

    ReplyDelete
  6. 23 December 2011 20:02

    If it was actually that simple you would not have a job.

    I have always filled my tax returns in on time and paid all the tax due in good time and yet on the odd occasion I have to contact HMRC I can never get a straight answer and have to call back again in order to get another different answer.

    So sod off and have a nice Christmas. The rest of us will just hope you are one of the ones chopped in the new year.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Funny thing is I suspect if this was turned on its head and penalty notices were issued for each month where the employer had failed to declare whether or not it needed to make PAYE deductions, there would be a different discussion on here about HMRC harassment.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Merry Christmas Ken and all readers. This about sums up the new 'transparent' HMRC:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/cartoon/2011/dec/21/transparency-hmrc-tax

    ReplyDelete
  9. @21.12

    And I hope that HMRC feck up your tax for the next 50 years, causing you untold stress and annoyance.

    Merry Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @24 December 2011 08:54

    This clip might also explain it.

    Buon Natale.. and here's to another year of miscellaneous crap caused by the most ineffective executive committee to grace one of the most important part of the UK government.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Having worked on an employers section and dealt with the numerous appeals for several years, THE reason P35 penalties are issued after 4 months is to allow time for the paper P35 to be logged & captured.

    If HMRC were to issue penalties the day after the deadline, how many employers would end up writing in stating they've submitted their return? Loads... a lot more than the handful (yes, it is a handful in comparison) to the ones that appeal after 4 months!

    Now that P35s are supposed to be filed online and until such time the online system actually works properly, penalties could be issued within days of the deadline. Until then, it's a 4 month wait.

    Simple suggestion to all employers (and anyone filing SA returns on paper) - once you've submitted it, give it a few days and ring the call centre (assuming you can get through) and get them to double check it's been received.

    If you leave it to the last minute and there's something wrong with the P35/SA100, it's your error and delay not HMRC. Why leave it to the last minute?

    I do work for HMRC but I'm not a big fan of the way things are going, but to be honest some people bring problems on themselves and blame HMRC.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "I do work for HMRC but I'm not a big fan of the way things are going, but to be honest some people bring problems on themselves and blame HMRC."

    Careful, the public servants/customer service brigade will be after you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. "I do work for HMRC but I'm not a big fan of the way things are going, but to be honest some people bring problems on themselves and blame HMRC."

    A month is plenty of time. If you can't be sure if you received something 30 days later then you need to reassess why that is.

    Then there would only be a penalty of £100 with approx 21 days to pay before the penalty goes up another £100.

    If you are more than a month behind on paperwork then the problem isn't with me, its with your organisation.

    ReplyDelete
  14. @25 December 2011 12:07

    Hahaha I knew it! I knew someone would come up with some nonsense like this.

    HMRC has hundereds of thousands of P35's to get through in one month yet employers only have one and they have a month and a half to file it.

    ". If you can't be sure if you received something 30 days later then you need to reassess why that is."

    If you can't be sure you need to file something then you deserve a penalty in the first place and that's your problem, not the organisations. Oh I forgot when it's the customers obligation it's an 'oversight' isn't it and HMRC are being too hard on them. Even the people involved in the judgement accepted the reduced £100 penalty.

    ReplyDelete
  15. "HMRC has hundereds of thousands of P35's to get through in one month yet employers only have one and they have a month and a half to file it."

    You also have a lot more people to deal with them than most employers.

    ReplyDelete
  16. @25 December 2011 18:11

    If you hadn't heard, HMRC's staffing levels have been slashed by a 3rd over the last 2-3 years. There's now less 100,000 staff (which does sound a lot) dealing with ALL aspects of tax. In CustOps/Personal Tax there's less than 70,000. Bear in mind they also deal with SA and PAYE.

    Before anyone rants about that being enough staff - if British Aerospace has 70,000 does that mean they all build aircraft? The office I'm in had 12 staff to deal with approx 200,000 employers. Dealing with EOY returns is one thing but at the same time there are others that scream out for their repayments. So who takes precedence?

    We're under enough pressure from within with out "outsiders" having a pop too.

    Just as an extra - the gold plated pensions we're due to get. Their shite. I've been in for over 20 year and my pension, as it stands before the government cut it back, stands at £5500 per year. If I make to 60 it'll be a grand income of £10k py.... again, before the proposed cuts.

    ReplyDelete
  17. @25 December 2011 20:14

    Why is there always an excuse but never a solution with you guys.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anon 13.04 - I'm not saying people shouldn't get fined for being late.

    I'm saying they shouldn't get fined MORE for the fact HMRC can't be SURE they haven't already submitted it.

    If I got a letter a month in that says "you are late" and I have submitted it I am going to get a little annoyed and point out I did. If they then say "Oops...we found it! Nevermind!" then yeah I'm still annoyed but at least its done.

    If I haven't submitted it and get a letter a month in then fair enough, bad on me, pay the fee.

    If I get a letter 4 months in that I am late and because I am late paying a fee (or not 'early' paying the fee I have to pay 5 times as much I'm going to be at least 3 times as annoyed as in the first case.

    Yes, I should know when to submit my paperwork and If I need to be assessed a late fee then fair enough. But not being informed until after the set 'grace period' is over isn't fair.

    We had a situation like this at work recently: A company sent us an invoice. It didn't arrive. They didn't chase us or even send a statement once a month. Three months later we get a Court Claim for the invoice & charges. If they'd picked up the phone or sent us a statement/chaser letter we would have discovered the oversight and sorted it out. We weren't given a chance to do so. Guess which company we now think twice about dealing with again?


    Anon 12.07

    ReplyDelete
  19. @11:58

    With the time it takes HMRC to respond to letters and phone calls I think they have a bloody cheek sending out any fines for other people being late.

    P.S. I have never had a late penalty because I file my paperwork and pay my tax on time. But I reserve the right to slag the staff off based on the service I have received from them over the years.

    ReplyDelete
  20. @26 December 2011 10:22

    Please take that up with those further up the food chain who don't know their taxes from their elbows ;)

    ReplyDelete
  21. @26 December 2011 18:36

    I would do but the managers I have spoken to in the past have serious communication skill problems.

    I think it's called "talking out of their arse syndrome".

    ReplyDelete
  22. "With the time it takes HMRC to respond to letters and phone calls I think they have a bloody cheek sending out any fines for other people being late."

    Most HMRC letters are answered within a few weeks of being sent unless they are of a technical nature. HMRC doesn't charge penalties on the several hundred thousand people who write in each year because they forgot to claim an expense or forgot they had a company car last year.

    Oh no I forgot..... HMRC is just supposed to guess what everyone in the entire country is up to by implementing chaos theory.

    ReplyDelete
  23. "Yes, I should know when to submit my paperwork and If I need to be assessed a late fee then fair enough. But not being informed until after the set 'grace period' is over isn't fair."

    *Bangs Head on Table* The FRONT of P35 tells you when HMRC expects it to be sent in by (19 May). How is that telling you 'after the event'?

    The same with your invoice. Did you not expect to have to pay something at some point? I bet the company you bought the product/service off of are really upset not to have a defaulter as one of their customers.

    Unfortunately, to pervert a mantra often used on this site. HMRC doesn't have a choice in who its customers are.

    ReplyDelete
  24. "Most HMRC letters are answered within a few weeks of being sent unless they are of a technical nature. HMRC doesn't charge penalties on the several hundred thousand people who write in each year because they forgot to claim an expense or forgot they had a company car last year."

    I think you will find you are talking bollocks.

    ReplyDelete
  25. "I think you will find you are talking bollocks".

    What a come back!!!!! Throwing insults around when you've run out of sensible things to say much?

    ReplyDelete
  26. What is the point if thinking of a sensible thing to say when you are talking a load of bollocks? it would go over your head.

    ReplyDelete
  27. @27 December 2011 13:09

    If you want an on the spot answer. Go to an accountant who will charge you an an extortionate fee, rather than moan to those at HMRC who are on a wage that is probably a third or half of yours. Then you won't get an answer that'll 'clearly go over my head'

    ReplyDelete
  28. and what would I, a mere HMRC idiot bollocks talker know about post turnaround time, seeing the date the customer puts on the letter (not the datestamp) should be some kind of verification for me or am I being too simple? Maybe HMRC doctored the letter before it got to me or some stupid conspiracy theory......

    ReplyDelete
  29. In reply to the post @14:28

    I do not need an accountant to get involved as I understand how the tax system works in my instance and the only time I have ever written to HMRC is to complain about the shoddy service I received when the online system failed. You are almost right about my salary but in fairness I make a lot more because I can reduce my tax bill by understanding the tax system.

    The reason I know why most letters are not processed in the time you claim is because my partner works for HMRC and has confirmed that two weeks is very optimistic/false.

    As for the @14:31 post I do not think for one moment that there are any conspiracies within HMRC. I don't think HMRC staff are that clever.

    Please do not take this as a personal attack on yourself as it covers all HMRC staff from top to bottom (except my partner who is brilliant).

    ReplyDelete
  30. @27 December 2011 14:59

    Can I assume you have a good working knowledge of PAYE, Self Assessment, Tax Credits, Double Taxation, Residence Status, Employers (all aspects not just penalties & complaints)... I do. Unfortunately this knowledge is being eroded because we are now working what we call open cases - individual aspects that have have gone wrong on PAYE records. With more & more of us being put on this type of work, there's less staff to do the real work i.e. help taxpayers (not customers grrrr) with issues that arise.

    With all this knowledge I have, together with over 20 years service, I'm earning the princely sum of £19k py. I applied for a position with an accountancy firm and they are only interested in paying £15k - with my knowledge & experience!! Until a better offer turns up, you're stuck with knowledgeable plebs like me.

    Please remember not to shoot the messenger (those of us at the coalface) but write to your MP or the Treasury. We are also taxpayers that can & do suffer.

    ReplyDelete
  31. So to summarise:

    The one complaint you have had about HMRC's shoddy service is about something that has been completely outsourced e.g. the online service (except for the helpdesk, who don't have access to the inner workings of the online service itself).

    You partner (who I understand from other posts, works in the contact centre and went off sick recently due to bullying from management) is the same grade as the people who answer the post. It cannot be a difficult step of the imagination to take that not only are other staff of the same grade are working under similar conditions as her, but no one is going to phone up the CC and wait on the line to say (to the few staff that are still left): "Thank you for answering my letter so quickly". Note I said most letters not all.

    Never mind, you've reduced your tax bill on your own. I'll bear that in mind the next time some self-employed nincompoop shouts out to me that they are 'paying our wages' when clearly they aren't. After all you grouped everyone in HMRC under the same heading. What's good for the goose......

    ReplyDelete
  32. "Can I assume you have a good working knowledge of PAYE, Self Assessment, Tax Credits, Double Taxation, Residence Status, Employers (all aspects not just penalties & complaints)... I do."

    I have a good working knowledge of the tax system that applies to me. So although it may not be as varied as your knowledge please remember I also have to do my real work.

    "Unfortunately this knowledge is being eroded because we are now working what we call open cases - individual aspects that have have gone wrong on PAYE records. With more & more of us being put on this type of work, there's less staff to do the real work i.e. help taxpayers (not customers grrrr) with issues that arise."

    I understand you position fully.

    "With all this knowledge I have, together with over 20 years service, I'm earning the princely sum of £19k py. I applied for a position with an accountancy firm and they are only interested in paying £15k - with my knowledge & experience!! Until a better offer turns up, you're stuck with knowledgeable plebs like me."

    I am afraid you will have to accept that you are being paid well for your knowledge and experience. As you say your knowledge is being dumbed down and this is known outside HMRC.

    "Please remember not to shoot the messenger (those of us at the coalface) but write to your MP or the Treasury. We are also taxpayers that can & do suffer."

    I can assure you I have tried and will continue to do so.

    Have a happy new year and if things pick up in the private sector I hope you find an better paid position.

    ReplyDelete
  33. @26 December 2011 12:20

    As you think it's a bloody cheek, I suggest you write to your MP to table an amendment to the sections of the tax law that enables penalties to be charged by whatever the department happens to be called that administers taxes to insert your 'bloody cheek' clause.

    ReplyDelete
  34. @27 December 2011 15:54
    @27 December 2011 16:08

    Sorry, but I know have better things planned than worrying about TAX and HMRC.

    I will leave by wishing you and your families well for 2012.

    ReplyDelete
  35. "So although it may not be as varied as your knowledge please remember I also have to do my real work."

    Come on then self employed person/private sector worker, nose to the grindstone 18 hours a day - you've had your two days off and all that, get back to work and stop commenting here.

    After all, that's what the tabloids say you all do day in day out Work all day for your wife and 2.4 kids on the outskirts of Ambridge-upon-Wokinghamstead and all that. So it must be true!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. @27 December 2011 16:18

    No one asked you to worry about tax and HMRC. Frankly HMRC could do without people like you worrying about them.

    Unfortunately you have taken these things upon yourself by the contributions to this site.

    ReplyDelete
  37. @27 December 2011 16:18

    I am actually going away on holiday until the end of January and I did not even have to get permission to do so.

    Still, I am sure you will still be as angry on my return.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I'm not angry. I just think it's amusing when the muddle-class land themselves in it on these pages by tying themselves up in knots.

    ReplyDelete
  39. @27 December 2011 16:37

    Be sure to take your partner with you. Or would that take up her entire annual leave allowance?

    ReplyDelete
  40. @16:37

    I never said it was a "she" or that they are coming back to HMRC in the new year.

    Bye!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Sorry, that should have said from @16:37

    ReplyDelete
  42. @27 December 2011 17:40

    No. But in other posts throughout the past year you have confirmed this person is a she and that she still works for HMRC and your footprint matches those posts.

    Sorry HMRC staff at AO level are so stupid and gormless as to have had such things go over their heads.

    ReplyDelete
  43. @17:58

    You should be commended for your passion.

    ReplyDelete
  44. @27 December 2011 18:12

    Nope, just refuse to be labeled an idiot.

    HMRC staff including myself aren't perfect. But they are not as stupid or lazy as people on here would like to make out.

    ReplyDelete
  45. "@25 December 2011 20:14

    Why is there always an excuse but never a solution with you guys.

    26 December 2011 10:22"

    The same could be said for those who habitually fill in their returns late despite the deadlines being entered on page one of the document they have been asked to file.


    Badooooooooooyyyeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    ReplyDelete
  46. @17:58 posted:

    "No. But in other posts throughout the past year you have confirmed this person is a she and that she still works for HMRC and your footprint matches those posts."

    and then posted:

    "Nope, just refuse to be labeled an idiot."

    I will let others decide if these statements conflict.

    ReplyDelete
  47. @27 December 2011 18:37

    I find explaining things how they are makes me not out to be an idiot.

    Things aren't perfect in HMRC but the tabloid view of HMRC and the tabloid solution to HMRC do not fit well together. So stop trying to encourage it.

    ReplyDelete
  48. While we're all throwing shit

    Anonymous said...
    @13.15

    "What are you on about.Idiot."

    WHAT the fukc do you want me to explain?

    READ you moron.

    The spat is betwen Public Accounts Committee and HMRC NOT ME.

    Try reading the posts on this site and not just replying to comments.

    All you idiots do is truly identify the problem... you haven't got a fckin clue and you can't be arsed to find out what you don't understand. (Or would that be ongoing professional development and we can't have that without you having 'training days'... and see what the NAO have to say about that!)

    ReplyDelete
  49. @27 December 2011 21:15

    And how do you have ongoing professional development without training?

    Unless of course, you are encouraging AO'sn (read second rung from bottom) to seek out accountancy qualifications.

    In which case be careful what you wish for. Arming 'the enemy' with the same knowledge as you will only result in those same people being able to 'keep an eye' on suspect activity from their 'customers'.

    ReplyDelete
  50. "you haven't got a fckin clue and you can't be arsed to find out what you don't understand."

    That could be said for most of the people who comment on this site thinking that they know how HMRC should work. Unless you have a real solution STFU.

    ReplyDelete
  51. "All you idiots do is truly identify the problem... you haven't got a fckin clue and you can't be arsed to find out what you don't understand."

    It's easy to identify the problem. HMRC have for too long been soft on people who don't want to deal with their own tax affairs. It is now asking for the money.

    The solution? Behave just as they would in any other western country.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Will somebody please explain to me how HMRC has £25 billion of 'open issues' one day, but then a HMRC spokesperson then turns up and says there is no £25 billion open issues any more...

    AND NOTE 'open issues' –
    "The number of issues is a snapshot showing the number of open issues as at 31 March of each year. This includes issues that were opened in previous tax years and have not been resolved,"

    and if those 'open issues' receive penalties and late charges.... or is that just tooo diffcult?

    Or is it one set of rules for large business and one set of rules for every one else? (Cameron says not)

    (Clearly too difficult for you HMRC folk to work out, so I've spelt it out for you).

    ReplyDelete
  53. @27 December 2011 21:15

    And how do you have ongoing professional development without training?

    You boys (and girls) simply don't have a clue do you... try looking CPD up.

    But as you can't be bothered, here's a start –

    "The onus is on the learner to take responsibility for developing and directing their own career

    the responsibility of the individual learner to own and manage CPD

    because its goal is to improve personal performance and enhance career progression, which is much wider than just formal training courses."

    ReplyDelete
  54. Four months to send out a notice !!! It appears to take them that long to pick up the phone and talk to you while running up a massive phone bill for you. Is that tax deductable ??
    30 minutes this morning and still no answer or perhaps they are all still on holiday but fail to put that on their answerphone message.

    ReplyDelete
  55. For the benefit of HMRC Staff and

    "@27 December 2011 21:15
    And how do you have ongoing professional development without training? "

    "CPD is a combination of approaches, ideas and techniques that will help you manage your own learning and growth. The focus of CPD is firmly on results – the benefits that professional development can bring you in the real world. Perhaps the most important message is that one size doesn’t fit all. Wherever you are in your career now, and whatever you want to achieve, your CPD should be exactly that:
    yours.

    CPD isn't a fixed process, although there may be certain basic processes. Fundamentally, it's a question of setting yourself objectives for development and then charting your progress towards achieving them. It's about where you want to be, and how you plan to get there – based on a reflection that focuses on outcomes and results, rather than 'time spent' or 'things done'.

    CPD is not concerned with how much time you spend on training courses or how many boxes you tick on a form. CPD is about capturing useful experiences and assessing the practical benefits of what you have learned. There is one decisive question that you should ask yourself to evaluate every piece of learning: what can you do now that you couldn’t do before?"

    source
    http://www.cipd.co.uk/cpd/aboutcpd/whatiscpd.htm

    ommitment to CPD is also an acknowledgement that becoming professionally qualified is not an end in itself - it is merely the beginning.

    And maybe, perhaps maybe this may have helped just one person, afterall maybe, just maybe this is CPD in action – "what can you do now that you couldn’t do before?"

    Well maybe, just maybe I have learned to listen to other people's point of view regardless of how (deliberately) outrageous and that the HMRC management and 'bible' may not always be 100% correct, 100% of the time, sometimes a more open mind and flexible, understanding, human approach is required – rather than what paragraph sub section, clause, sentence says.

    (But of course THAT is outside HMRC's ability – not blaming anyone other than the process brought in by Government so don't take it personally... it's called lateral thinking as opposed to vertical thinking)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Do HMRC make any money out of these 'waiting times' i.e waiting for half an hour on the telephone for an answer?

    (I once spent six hours over two days trying to speak to the correct person!... and then had to make a personal appointment at an office sixteen miles away... excellent!)

    HMRC needs to try the 'mystery shopper' exeperience to see just how bad it is.

    (Wot – you exepcted somebody in the office on 28 December?)

    Good Luck

    ReplyDelete
  57. @27 December 2011 21:15
    @28 December 2011 12:30

    I don't think you understood what the point I was making was. Regardless of how this learning is achieved. Which would you rather have. Front line staff who have lots of knowledge who will be more able to share with the department when they find something suspect or those who come in, do their jobs to an adequate level then go home again?

    HMRC staff aren't robots either (although it seems certain people here expect them to be). They do understand, but unfortunately the work they do requires sometimes having to tell people as it is, no matter how belligerent that person is being.

    @28 December 2011 12:09
    @28 December 2011 12:36

    I don't really know what you expect the first day back after Christmas. There are thousands of lemmings who ring businesses on the first day back and don't think this is just a public sector issue either I've spend an hour on the phone before to an ISP before getting an answer.

    Also it's a call centre, you know..... those things that have existed in large businesses for almost three decades? it's not someone not bothering to pick up the phone, calls come through automatically in a queue for someone to answer, if the phone is busy it means some other lemming got there before you.

    And No, HMRC don't make money off the calls. It's not a revenue sharing number. How can you not know 0845 numbers don't give any money to the receiver of the call?

    Who would provide this mystery shopper service? HMRC front line staff didn't close down the enquiry centres in fact most of them would prefer they were still there!

    @28 December 2011 11:24

    What is the fixation with penalties? Penalties are charged where tax law says they should be charged. They are not charged where tax law says they shouldn't be charged. I'm sorry if that's too proscriptive for people on this site. What would you prefer? A framework where penalties/interest etc are regulated or one where HMRC can charge what it likes?

    ReplyDelete
  58. 28 December 2011 14:47

    "HMRC always deny taking a profit share from the cost of calls made to them, but some campaigners argue that the special deals which HMRC get on their 0845 numbers from suppliers means that the more (the vulnerable) spend on abortive telephone calls, the lower the costs to HMRC."

    source
    http://www.litrg.org.uk/News/2011/telephone-call-charges–time-for-hmrc-to-act

    wot not at work?

    ReplyDelete
  59. 28 December 2011 14:47
    "What is the fixation with penalties? Penalties are charged where tax law says they should be charged. They are not charged where tax law says they shouldn't be charged."

    well it is clearly too difficult for you
    (AND WHAT THIS POST WAS ACTUALLY ABOUT before degenerating into mud slinging just for a change)

    SO TELLS US

    HMRC has 'open issues' in March 2011 on £25billion... any late penalties or charges or not?

    How difficult is it to answer the original question (post 2)... 56 comments off the subject obviously... par for the course.

    ReplyDelete
  60. @28 December 2011 14:59

    HMRC and any other company who use 0845 numbers will always deny it because it's true! 0845 numbers do not profit-share and in fact in most cases the receiver of the call picks up part of the bill for each call as well.

    Look it up on google if you don't believe me, Also the 0845 numbers were put in place before the charging of 0845 numbers went stupid and is now moving to 0345 numbers? Happy?

    No I'm not at work. I have an entitlement to annual leave because I am a person and not a robot. It's none of your business anyway.

    Perhaps if your question made sense it would have been replied to. No, HMRC do not charge penalties on these open cases (most of which are caused by HMRC being given incorrect information during the year or information such as P11d benefits which people never bother to tell HMRC about during the tax year so their tax code can be altered then whine when the bill for their taxable benefit comes through - most other countries the tax department would have these people done for fraud for things like that but here in the UK HMRC holds peoples hands and asks them to pay it two or three years down the line yet people still complain about how hard done by they are by the department).

    ReplyDelete
  61. Why is it HMRC Staff spout off without knowing what they are talking about?

    @28 December 2011 14:47

    "And No, HMRC don't make money off the calls. It's not a revenue sharing number. How can you not know 0845 numbers don't give any money to the receiver of the call?"

    According to Ofcom

    HMRC are an originating communications provider (OCP)
    OCP's revenues accounted for £1.9billion
    OCP's revenues retained £900million

    0845 numbers can cost anything between 2ppm or 40ppm depending on service provider
    (2009 figures)

    "A2.85 Although we note that some OCPs do follow our policy preferences, there are still services for which the actual retail price deviates from our policy preference for a particular number range (such as HMRC who use the 0845 number range).

    A2.78 This implies that OCPs (i.e HMRC) are retaining a significant proportion of NGC revenue, even where the number range supports revenue share with the TCP/SP. This suggests OCPs are able to price at a level high enough to cover not only the transit and termination costs (which include the revenue share element), but also to retain a significant level of revenue for themselves which on average can be as high as 21ppm depending on the number range."

    source
    http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/simplifying-non-geo-numbers/summary/non-geo.pdf

    Why is why Ofcom are currently consulting on the whole issues and HMRC are in the firing line!

    What part of "(which include the revenue share element)" do you not understand?

    How can you not know what you are talking about?

    ReplyDelete
  62. @28 December 2011 15:31

    Well, thank you for your straw man argument. By adding your own emphasis you've implied HMRC make money off of the calls.

    But you've offered about as much proof as is required for me to stipulate that because Satan has a beard, all bearded men are evil. Or for a pictorial version: http://www.plig.net/things/pictures/tn/evil-women.med.jpg

    It's not in the interests of HMRC to keep people on the phones to charge them more Mr Conspiracy theorist. If that was their prime motive, then advisers would not have call time targets of about 3.5 minutes online and 3 mins offline.

    ReplyDelete
  63. What's all this crap about HMRC being an originating communications provider?

    ReplyDelete
  64. "Why is it HMRC Staff spout off without knowing what they are talking about?"

    I don't know. I only work there.....


    Stop being such a pensioner. Your apathy towards the departments decreasing provision of services and has only served as a by-product to the idealogy of privatisation.

    'Cheaper' Private sector provision of the same services that HMRC used to provide have failed to serve the people that the department served. "Sack the lot of 'em I say" is the mantra of the right-wingers who post here. Hahaha and where has privatisation got you so far? Does the 'friendly gas man' come and read your meter every year or expect you to do it for him?

    Does TNT/UKMail affect your mail service? Too right it does! They fail to deliver HMRC's outgoing mail within 7 days and guess who has to pick up the pieces? Royal Mail! Without any compensation. Privatisation has ruined this country.

    ReplyDelete
  65. @28 December 2011 16:40

    and yes that post went wildly off-topic. Something that I have no doubts the Daily Mail/Express readers who comment here would have any problems with as they should be accustomed to it by now.

    ReplyDelete
  66. you morons

    @ 28 December 2011 15:54

    I fear much HMRC Pettifogging (look it up) going on here...

    definition of revenue, direct revenue and indirect revenue????

    Gauke in Hansard

    “HMRC's Contact Centre telephony is provided through a commercial arrangement called the Telephony Managed Service. This takes account of the in-payments HMRC's telephony service provider receives from licensed operators carrying 0845 calls. The arrangement ensures that the Telephony Managed Service is provided at the lowest cost while remaining flexible enough to adapt to business and customer needs.”

    source
    http://services.parliament.uk/hansard/Commons/ByDate/20100706/writtenanswers/part015.html


    Freedom of Information request– HMRC response

    " HMRC receives no revenue through its use of 0845 numbers. HMRC Contact Centre
    telephony is provided through a commercial arrangement called the Telephony Managed
    Service. This takes account of the in-payments HMRC’s telephony service provider receives
    from licensed operators carrying these 0845 calls. The arrangement ensures that the
    Telephony Managed Service is provided at the lowest cost while remaining flexible enough
    to adapt to business and customer needs."

    Yours sincerely
    Laura MacPherson
    Freedom of Information Officer

    Customer Contact
    Contact Centres Head Office
    5th Floor
    Trinity Bridge House
    2 Dearmans Place
    Salford
    M3 5DU

    source
    http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/85180/response/208814/attach/3/Response.pdf

    Notice anything between the two – clearly HMRC Policy Directive Response (they are both the same)

    AND NOTE

    “This takes account of the in-payments HMRC's telephony service provider receives from licensed operators carrying 0845 calls.”

    SO THIS by suggestion or, what’s the word you use ‘implied’ , HMRC receives an indirect benefit but NOT direct Revenue.

    I must try that on a tax return... not a benefit honest, not revenue...

    Now anything else you don’t understand?

    Now the real question

    "how much does HMRC indirectly benefit from in-payments HMRC's telephony service provider receives from licensed operators carrying 0845 calls" ????

    ReplyDelete
  67. Gone awful quiet

    ReplyDelete
  68. Gauke –"This takes account of the in-payments HMRC's telephony service provider receives from licensed operators carrying 0845 calls. The arrangement ensures that the Telephony Managed Service is provided at the lowest cost while remaining flexible enough to adapt to business and customer needs.”

    NOW of course the REAL question and by whose definition and under what audit the following ACTUALLY means...

    "The arrangement ensures that the Telephony Managed Service is provided at the lowest cost while remaining flexible enough to adapt to business and customer needs"

    or in simple terms HMRC callers pay for the whole telephony service ta no cost to HMRC.

    Got it?

    too complicated?

    (And of course we all know HMRC will hide behind the 'contract confidentiality' clause to explainthe telephony contract and just how much HMRC telephone providers receive from
    'the in-payments HMRC's telephony service provider receives from licensed operators carrying 0845 calls.'

    but it aint 'revenue'.

    (I would hasten to add 'flexible enough to adapt to business and customer needs' is more HMRC bullshit for we got it wrong, have been found out and don't have the DECENCY to admit it... and that ultimately is what is all about... 'decency', holding ones hands up and saying, yep in this instance we got it wrong, now let's correct it and move on).

    More political correctness from civil servants and politicians... don't forget it aint revenue.

    ReplyDelete
  69. 28 December 2011 16:04

    "What's all this crap about HMRC being an originating communications provider?"

    were you born brain dead or something HMRC trained you into?

    IT"S WHAT OFCOM SAID (HMRC is an OCP, page 148 if my memory serves me well, which it doesn't) not my quote

    the source reference is there in the post
    source
    http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/simplifying-non-geo-numbers/summary/non-geo.pdf

    kick off before checking your facts... sounds familiar

    oh and if you really want to make a contribution, it is part of an Ofcom consultation process (recently extended)... I'm sure they would be delighted to hear from you, but no doubt you wont understand 'consultation' either.

    the clue is also in the source reference

    stakeholders.ofcom

    simplifying-non-geo-numbers

    consultations

    want me to wipe your arse?
    (i've some grade 800)

    ReplyDelete
  70. 28 December 2011 14:47

    "I don't think you understood what the point I was making was."

    Guess what 100% correct,

    if you don't say what you mean
    WE DON"T UNDERSTAND.

    SORRY our fault for not understanding what this really means "And how do you have ongoing professional development without training? "

    HMRC customers aren't psychic either!

    and you think the following is a serious question worthy of a sensible reply ?

    "Regardless of how this learning is achieved. Which would you rather have. Front line staff who have lots of knowledge who will be more able to share with the department when they find something suspect or those who come in, do their jobs to an adequate level then go home again?

    'do their jobs to an adequate level then go home again' says it all.. or perhaps 'adequate level' is quantifiable... not in HMRC.

    tell you what I'll vote for "Front line staff who have lots of knowledge..." regardless of how it is used. (and not using it, every day in every instance is not a sin, it is OK to know more than what the enquiry is about)

    ReplyDelete
  71. @28 December 2011 21:49

    HMRC aren't identified as an OCP in that document. You have just decided that they are. A.2.85 doesn't imply HMRC receive any revenue stream because...... guess what? they. like Doctors Sugeries (also identified in the document). aren't an OCP.

    I seem to recall a conversation here about Doctors surgeries being an example of customer service on this site not long ago in which a poster identified themselves as being able to get straight through to the GP service.

    @28 December 2011 22:03

    Well here we have some understanding... You want a super intelligent workforce who only use that knowledge when the customer perceives themselves to be right and not to use it when the customer is actually wrong.

    You want all this to happen when a cunservative government is in power, where individualism is key? *Slow Clap*.... *Slow Clap*.... *Slow Clap*.... repeat ad nauseum.

    ReplyDelete
  72. @28 December 2011 17:42

    How much does HMRC receive?

    NOTHING!

    Because it isn't an OCP!!!!!!

    If anything HMRC pays for the calls it receives as the receiver of the calls. Nothing in the ofcom report suggests that HMRC is an OCP.

    An FOI request wasn't enough for you? You choose to beleive otherwise. HMRC can't help you there, unless you set yourself up as a self employed conspiracy theorist. In which case you can deduct the cost of tinfoil hats as an expense, but it can only be deducted against actual income... shame....

    ReplyDelete
  73. @28 December 2011 21:26

    You used to have local tax offices. But that was 'waste'.

    You used to have local enquiry centres. But that was 'waste'.

    You used to have tax officers who dealt with an allocation of taxpayers. For large companies that was an alpha split. That was 'waste'.

    From the letters that I receive, now people aren't happy that HMRC staff across the country can deal with a persons tax affairs and would prefer one person dealt with it. So which group of millions of people should HMRC pander to? The people who get an answer from a different office than the one they are accustomed to? Or should they take a step back to 10 years ago where people were dealt with on an individual basis and if the HMRC staffer who dealt with that person leaves/retires/dies the individual knowledge of the customer leaves with them?

    ReplyDelete
  74. "'do their jobs to an adequate level then go home again' says it all.. or perhaps 'adequate level' is quantifiable... not in HMRC.".

    'Adequate' means giving the right answer whether the customer likes it or not. I'm really sorry that customer service fascists on this site fail to understand this. I'm really sorry HMRC operates within the law. That makes us 'jobsworths' doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  75. @28 December 2011 21:49

    I'm really really sorry that HMRC don't have a number that starts with 01 or 02 but it's not an uncommon problem.


    I've rung two companies today who are not part of the civil service but who use 0844 which is a revenue sharing number. Both calls were to identify why they have a problem yet one provider insisted everything was ok whereas the other provider read something off a screen and said it wasn't ok.

    ReplyDelete
  76. “This takes account of the in-payments HMRC's telephony service provider receives from licensed operators carrying 0845 calls.”

    None of this suggests HMRC receive income from the calls.

    What do you people actually want? Every time you have a query about tax, HMRC staff who are paid below average wages for their knowledge should provide a dinner service with silver cutlery? In America people are expected to pay for written answers from the IRS.

    ReplyDelete
  77. @28 December 2011 21:49

    I will, I really hate it when commercial companies use actual revenue sharing numbers like 0844 just to discuss with them a mistake they have made.

    ReplyDelete
  78. By the loose definition here, you could say that having a gift voucher for 20% off of something could be considered as indirect revenue.

    What would you rather happen? HMRC went for a deal where it didn't get value for money?

    What do you actually want? Seriously. You appear to be arguing that the phone service should be provided at great expense to HMRC? Except of course the expense would be taken from elsewhere.... HMRC is moving to 0345 numbers anyway so this line of conversation is like pissing in the wind.

    ReplyDelete
  79. @28 December 2011 21:15

    Ditto

    ReplyDelete
  80. @Pettifogging

    Isn't it rather ironic that you chose this turn of phrase before launching in to a diatribe about 0845 numbers?

    ReplyDelete
  81. Going back to the subject of the thread, pay all of your taxes on time and you won't be charged a penalty - Simple. It is not the fault of HMRC or it's employees if you don't. I would imagine the angry posters here can even understand that.

    ReplyDelete
  82. @29 December 2011 12:33

    No no NO you cannot say that here! Thousands of customer service fascists who ordered the moon on a stick despite it not being in the catalogue will descend upon you.

    Then they will tell you that what they want is actually the opposite of what they want and a cat that belonged to a fellow named Erwin Schrödinger will disappear inside a box.

    ReplyDelete
  83. @29 December 2011 12:33

    It's not even about paying their taxes on time. In this case it's about reporting the fact that payments they have made are accurate to their best knowledge and belief.

    If a company had one employee under PAYE (in the case illustrated) during the year and they have been making deductions correctly, how hard can this be?

    ReplyDelete
  84. The front of the P35 even directs people who think they may not have to file a return on the front of the P35!

    "If you think that you do not need to make a return:
    • go to www.hmrc.gov.uk/paye/payroll/year-end/
    no-annual-return.htm
    • contact your HMRC office and let them know. This
    will avoid the unnecessary issue of reminders and
    penalty notices."

    How much more hand-holding do people on this site expect?

    ReplyDelete
  85. WAAAH! WAAAH! WAAAH! HMRC didn't babysit me! WAAAAAAAAAAAH!

    ReplyDelete
  86. Well it seems full transcripts of FOI requests aren't allowed on this site so I will link it instead.

    http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/60784/response/154577/attach/html/3/Response.pdf.html

    It demonstrates that what people are selectively posting here is not the same as the FOI request.

    ReplyDelete
  87. 29 December 2011 12:51

    I agree with you and 12:33 poster. In any other country you would be frowned upon by your peers for not paying your tax but here it seems to be applauded. Then they have the cheek to complain they are penalised.

    Knob heads

    ReplyDelete
  88. http://www.buyingsolutions.gov.uk/catalogue/suppliers.html?contract_name=Telecom+Networks+-+Voice+Calls+and+Lines&funnel_id=723

    Notice how HMRC and several thousand doctors surgeries aren't listed here. Which, if using the logic applied by the poster at 28 December 2011 15:31 and @28 December 2011 21:49 hey should be.

    Wot. Telephone services provided to the government are competetive? What was that about fact checking? Or is it too difficult to admit that you were obfuscating? (A common practice in the private sector if my two recent 0844 calls - a proper actual revenue sharing number - are anything to go by.)

    ReplyDelete
  89. @28 December 2011 15:31 and @28 December 2011 21:49

    Please also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_quoting_out_of_context

    ReplyDelete
  90. It was six men of Indostan
    To learning much inclined,
    Who went to see the Elephant
    (Though all of them were blind),
    That each by observation
    Might satisfy his mind

    So oft in theologic wars,
    The disputants, I ween,
    Rail on in utter ignorance
    Of what each other mean,
    And prate about an Elephant
    Not one of them has been or seen.

    ReplyDelete
  91. "yet when I have a dispute (which ends in HMRC owing me a refund) cahrge penalties and send in the bailiffs." (sic)

    Let me guess. You are/were still SA when you changed your address without telling HMRC and are 'suddenly surprised' at a point in the future when the department now has a correct address?

    You would get nowhere with a private company with that attitude so why should HMRC be any different?

    I thought HMRC were supposed to emulate private sector customer service practises based on the pure excellence that the private sector apparently turns out on a daily basis according to the customer service fascists on this site.

    ReplyDelete
  92. "or in simple terms HMRC callers pay for the whole telephony service ta no cost to HMRC"

    And how would this differ from HMRC providing a telephone service on a local number? E.g. 01 or 02? The customer would still be calling HMRC on a telephone service and HMRC still wouldn't be paying the cost of the call.

    When you ring your local garage on an 01 or 02 number, do you go in to a tirade that the cost of the phonecall you made in your enquiry is swallowing your income? Do you ask for a refund of the 'indirect benefit' of them not being charged for the call you made to them to be subtracted from your invoice?

    ReplyDelete
  93. Ooh mee so stupid! Mee HMRC public servant mee can't possibly know how outside world works!

    ReplyDelete