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, 27 January 2012

Diddle Diddle Diddle

I see that Dave "Jack" Hartnett has given an interview to the Telegraph, in which he laments the damage done to the country by the "black economy" (whereby tradesmen etc get paid in cash, thus evading VAT).

Hartnett tells us that it is our duty to ensure that other people do not evade paying their share of tax.

He is quoted:

Every time someone pays cash in order not to pay VAT, the nation gets diddled.”

Jack wants people to shop their friends, neighbours and local tradesmen by phoning HMRC's whistle-blower hotline.

It is wrong for the state to encourage people to spy on one another; it is the pathway to dictatorship, as people will end up living in fear of one another and will use the state to settle personal vendettas.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. As the state gets more and more desparate for cash, so we can expect to see a rise in so called fines and grass lines.
    When the criminal justice system becomes little more than an extension of HMRC, so the criminal justice system becomes more resented and less supported by the general population.

    Note to HMRC PR dept employees;
    I shall be unable to answer replies today should you wish to abuse me again; I am too busy practicing witchcraft.

    1. Tonk. Don't get too lost in the department of muggle artefacts.

  2. The issue with Hartnett was his assumption that paying in cash is wrong because it allows someone to avoid declaring that money. His attitude introduces the idea that there is someting insideous about bank notes.

  3. "Jack wants people to shop their friends, neighbours and local tradesmen by phoning HMRC's whistle-blower hotline."

    Tell me he didn't actually say that; not after the way HMRC hounded the whistleblower that reported Jack to the Public Accounts Committee?!

    1. Quote:

      "Cash has been a problem for a long time. The people who are worried about it should use our whistle-blowing line to tell us. We are getting better and better at finding people who receive cash."

    2. Mr Taxman, psstt.... I'd like to report some tax evasion..... there are this nest of vipers known as banksters in the City see places like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan etc. They have all these swiss bank accounts and money under the mattress and lots of brown paper envelopes,They lose a lot of in the house of commons and Whitehall. Very odd - must be bad luck.

      'Ere you ain't in charge of the place that let-off Goldman Sachs paying that £10m bill for tax penalties last year ? And your dept ain't be the same one that is throwing disciplinary procedures and possible prosecution against the HMRC whistle-blower?

      Hang-on did you on a very expensive dinner date with Vodafone and then left them off some tax. Isn't that bribery?

      Also see there are these other 98 companies in the FTSE who don't pay any corporation tax see (only 2 actually pay). Then there is this

      bunch of crocks they frequent a house of ill-repute called something like House of common muck.

      PS I hear there this ever more shifty gezzer, tony his first name is. Got himself a nice little number working with all these despots.

    3. misconduct in public office?

  4. We should all call the hotline and report him. Pot and kettle spring to mind.

  5. I'd prefer that they go after this than something they've started going for: A number of companies in my area have been told to make a tax charge to employees if they provide tea and coffee supplies free of charge...

    The amount they had to go through in order to get paperwork sorted for deductions of 50p per month per employee...

    1. Somehow I doubt this is true. Rather like the stories councils who ban Christmas trees, it's an exaggeration of the truth that has been heard a million times over.

    2. Seriously. I have had to sign a bit of paper agreeing to a 50p deduction for tea and coffee supplies being available or agreeing never to use them.

      Not bullshitting here... it was blamed on HMRC classing it as a benefit and therefore requiring the company to collect the tax.

    3. Of course it's true. Free tea and biscuits is a taxable Benefit In Kind. When I used to work on Employer Compliance I would come across this a lot. Not a lot of cash in it. usually the employer would stop providing it (at least that's what they told me!).

  6. A lot of the comments you make are valid, and Hartnett is generally a tool, but in this instance he is right.

    If people are screwing the system and not paying tax, that means we will end up having to pay more.

    It's not about spying on people, it is about having integrity- something missing in society too often, unfortunately.

    Yep, HMRC have to offer better service, but don;t we all have a responsibility? Or are you all relying on the government organising and sorting your life for you?

    If you are, good luck on that one....

  7. Also Vodafone's Head of Tax, John Connors, had worked for HMRC up until 2007 hence an ex-colleague of the Hartnett character.
    Hartnett is due to retire on an gold plated pension but is likely to end up being offered directorships and such like and even has been quoted as saying he has been offered jobs !

  8. AnonymousJan 27, 2012 09:11 AM:
    The rich DON'T pay their fair share of the tax burden. HMRC goes after the ordinary peeople and throws the book at them. Whilst treating the rich and corporates with kids gloves. Taxes and laws are there for the little people ie the 99% of the people. The same laws don't apply to the top 1%.

  9. You'll never get rid of the black economy any more than you will get rid of people who earn millions and pay less tax, proportionately, than their cleaners.

    The black economy only becomes a problem if the perpetrators squirrel all their money away in the Cayman Islands instead of spending it in Tesco. It's not the small people causing all the problems in the economy - it's the Giant Vampire Squids.

  10. It would also help if the people spending our taxes put a bit more effort into where it was spent.

  11. As usual Hartnett just breaths arrogance.

    His comment that those who contribute to the cash economy cannot then complain about austerity measures is the height of presumption.

    Hartnett has no right to pass comment on the subject of the governments current austerity spending policy which is beyond the remit of his god forsaken department. The man is clearly under the delusion that he is some sort of ex officio Minister of the Crown when the reality is that he is an overpaid and over promoted pen pusher. If he can not keep his big gob shut then he should be fired. Sadly the current round of Treasury ministers have no more balls in this area than the previous lot

  12. I would imagine having Hartnett's name associated with any business/brand would be quite toxic if the details hit the social media scene.

  13. This site is linked to 5 tracking URL's. The telegraphs site is linked to 17.

    No Ken, that Kettle surely is a different shade of grey?

  14. RE:The Olympics

    Named "Isles of Wonder" as ordinary people all over the British Isles will wonder where all the billions of pounds have been squandered !

    RE:Dave "Jack" Hartnett

    According to the Guardian (
    we can see that Hartnett and co essentially lied to parliament.

    Will HMRC compensate whistle-blowers who inform on their organisations, families , friends for loss of income/loss of home and protection against litigation and/or disciplinary procedures? Hang on what is your dept doing with that whistleblower ahhhh....

    A while back I read heard someone (who used to work at HMRC) mention on TV that the department with the most fraud committed by civil servants was HMRC !

    I have a hunch that when this incompentent deadwood (no disrepect to trees) "retires" with gold-plated pension, he will take a few months sunning himself in South of France and then start working for some organisations he let off paying taxes eg Vodafone, Goldman Sachs, or some other bankster firm in the city etc.

    1. Hartnett should be facing the same charge as Redknapp - cheating the public revenue.

  15. "A while back I read heard someone (who used to work at HMRC) mention on TV that the department with the most fraud committed by civil servants was HMRC !"

    You read it or you heard it? Or perhaps you just made it up (not going there with the TV thing otherwise I'll be accused of not understanding something)

    This is why contributing to this site has become pointless. People post DM-reader tripe like this in the hope that it will somehow get in the public domain.

  16. [Rings Hartnett Mobile]
    'Ere Hartnett pssstt Del-boy here.

    What the going rate for clueless incompetent UK bureaucrats and politicans these days sunshine?
    I know the prices US politican can be ahem bought for - but they are bit on the pricey side.

    See, I got this here tax demand from the mafia err sorry I mean her-majestery-dept-for-we'll-come-round-and-break-all-your-legs-and-sell-all-assets-if-you-dont-pay.

    Hows about this - why don't we we pop down for nice bit of curry at the local indian - its only about half a mile from Nelson Mandela

    House. I'll slip a little paper package (nod nod wink wink) under the table hehehe just like ahem a certain mobile company.
    In return you can let bygones be bygones and let this little tax thing go. Hows about that?

    Hang on ol' Boycie said you might preferrr go off to Monaco and have a slap-up meal in some posh joint but ahem the Prince there is sort of looking for me, ever since I did some ermmmm restoration work on his palace chandeliers.Would south-on-sea do??

    Let me know - Lovely jubbly!


  17. It’s really about time that tax avoidance was treated like drink driving, once it was considered OK but now not tolerated.
    What gets on my wick and it’s( mainly self employed punters) they seem to think screwing the Taxman is a national sport, a call for drinks all round and hand out the cigars.
    But if you are on the dole and you work a day’s casual labour because your kid may need a pair of shoes or you have no money for the gas meter then you’re a pariah, a social security scrounger, scum.
    Avoidance/evasion is the same thing in my book it’s just cheating the system

  18. My next door neighbour gave me £20 for cutting his hedge last year. Do I shop myself, or him for not deducting PAYE?

    1. Apparently there is no need. My accountant told me to pay it into my service company then claim capital allowances on my ladder and hedge trimmer and now it appears I actually made a loss. They're bloody clever these accountant types.