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.

Monday, 6 February 2012

HMRC Backtracks On SME Spot Checks

In January I wrote:

"The New Year is upon us, and already HMRC has been flayed by certain MPs and the Federation of Small Business (FSB) for harassing small businesses.

The cause of the outpouring of ire are the plans drawn up by
HMRC for conducting spot checks on the paperwork, going back several years, of up to 20,000 firms as from April.

Ironically, as per an article
I wrote in September, the original target was 50,000:

HMRC have reduced their target for checking business records down from 50,000 to 20,000.

However, for reasons best known to HMRC, they are describing this reduced target as an "extension" of the scheme.

For good measure they also claim that the record checks are in the businesses best interests .."..."

I also noted that HMRC "appear to be backtracking on the plans."

Well blinkey blonkey blimey, here we are in February and lo and behold HMRC have indeed backtracked on the plans.

Following the public drubbing of the scheme, HMRC will now postpone making new appointments to check firms’ records until early in the 2012/13 financial year. In the meantime, HMRC will attempt to implement the recommendations of the review into this tainted and ill thought through scheme.

Let's see how that goes then!

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. fact are you putting this blog down in your expenses Ken? Capital to set it up, 'advertising' for regular updates! Hmmmnnn... (how does that apply to a web design company who spend 40 hours a week keeping their web site updated?)

    and WHEN will these HMRC numpties realise that sometimes there are REALLY HARD issues that need addressing that delay the completion of your tax return... no matter how hard you try to contact and deal with HMRC.

    1. If you think they are numpties then why do you bother asking them for advice?

      HMRC staff who you speak to on the phone are not your personal accountant. They can only give advice that is pertinent to what you choose to tell them (which would be different to what you would tell to an accountant by the nature of the fact an accountant is not the government).

      DWP staff are not social workers.

      Air Traffic Control staff are not trained pilots.

      DVLA/VOSA staff are not mechanics/town planners/advanced drivers.

      Land Registry staff are not architectural engineers.

    2. "If you think they are numpties then why do you bother asking them for advice?"

      Because the HMRC numpties are supposed to be able to advise tax payers on matters related to tax. If they are not able or willing to do that then why are they employed?

    3. Because HMRC staff are not your personal accountant, It's got nothing to do with willingness or ability. HMRC staff can give advice but they are not your personal platinum service accountant. Otherwise the salary of the peons that deal with the general public would be a lot higher.

      HMRC staff are employed to do specific tasks. It is only your belief that the mandate of all HMRC staff should extend to providing a personal accountancy service to you but that has never ever been the case. In fact most accountancy services don't apply a personal accountancy services and would probably dump a client like you . A choice that HMRC doesn't have.

      If you go in to an NHS hospital with a broken arm, do you expect the triage nurse to who sees you in to A&E to be able to identify non-Hodgkins lymphoma from the symptoms you presented? No. so stop expecting miracles from HMRC staff. if it's that complicated get an accountant because anyone who has complicated tax affairs are usually in a position to afford one.

      As long as you rely on free advice and continue to berate the people who give that advice you can continue to receive bad customer service because you refuse to look in the mirror and realise what a **** you actually are.

    4. Your answer sums up the problem with HMRC, it bears no relation to the point made and as usual forgets that it is not a free service.

      I just hope you manage to keep your job during the cut backs because I would pity anyone outside HMRC having to work with you.

    5. The only point you have made is that you find HMRC staff to be useless because they haven't personally taken care of your tax affairs.

      Public sector staff expect to be paid a decent salary for the job they do. People like you seem to expect that public service workers should one the one hand expect to be worse off and on the other hand not be paid a decent pension either.

      Where is the incentive that public sector 'peons' should continue to work for you? We are people the same as you are. We are not slaves to the current UK government. The longer you continue to treat public sector workers as such, the longer you can expect division.

    6. As far as I am concerned HMRC staff are paid to answer any query I have regarding the tax system.

      As for the "salary level" bit and "them and us" arguments, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz boring.

    7. "As far as I am concerned HMRC staff are paid to answer any query I have regarding the tax system."

      In what other industry could you even begin to 'demand' this from a public sector organisation?

    8. "As for the "salary level" bit and "them and us" arguments, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz boring."

      Well there's a real incentive for public sector workers to treat your query with the highest regard.... Even private sector employees are rebelling against people like you. We are not slaves.

    9. I would have thought accepting and being paid to do a job would be the only incentives required.

    10. HMRC employees didn't sign up to be your personal accountant/slave.

      Being your slave isn't an incentive. However luckily for you most people don't treat us as such otherwise you'd be in real trouble.

    11. "HMRC employees didn't sign up to be your personal accountant/slave."

      I have never asked them to be, all I ask is that they answer my questions about the tax system so I can get my return done on time and pay my taxes.

      I am sure if you spent some time thinking about it even you would realise the concept is quite a good one.

    12. If you wait 10 months to phone HMRC employees and expect an accountancy/tax planning level answer to a REALLY HARD (see original comment) question the day before the deadline you are quite clearly delusional.

      Even most accountants would refuse to deal with you at this point unless they were fraudsters or really desperate/charging 5x more than usual.

    13. What is this dipshit on?

      14.1 HMRC makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information contained in the publications and services stored dah de dah...e, but this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for formal advice from HMRC.

      but this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for formal advice from HMRC.
      AGAIN just in case you missed it the second time
      but this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for formal advice from HMRC.


      Even HMRC accepts in its Terms and Conditions it, as an organisation provides FORMAL ADVICE... obviously hasn't reached everyone who works for HMRC.

    14. "If you wait 10 months to phone HMRC employees and expect an accountancy/tax planning level answer to a REALLY HARD (see original comment) question the day before the deadline you are quite clearly delusional. "

      WHAT makes you think we got an answer in ten months? It actually took over 18 months to get a response from HMRC.

    15. Re: the length of time taken, I think there is probably a bit more to it than what you have chosen to reveal here.

      The terms and conditions you refer to are a standard clause put in most websites to stop people like you trying to lawyer everything because it happens to be on a website and open to interpretation or using it to make up your own advice.

      If you gave specific information in the first place (and it seems from your sarcasm that you didn't and relied on HMRC to fill in the gaps) formal advice would be obtained with reference to an inspector rather than someone who answers the phone.

    16. HMRC staff who answer the general enquiry phonecalls and general enquiry letters are not experts in tax, sorry, that is a fact of life when no investment is made in public services and when the wider public agrees by consensus that no investment should be made and that more cutbacks should be made. You know like when you contact your customer service they do not all hold degrees in network engineering and not able to offer advice on how to set up your secure IP tunneling network that is specific to your customised set up? Do you go to their website and say "Well no one told me they wouldn't know how to set this up?"

      Not that the fact you distrust this advice has stopped you trying to share that advice with Ken - if you you dedicate as much time developing websites as you claim I find it hard to believe that you would think you have the same objectives as someone who runs a blog.

      So. Back to square one. Why bother HMRC by asking for advice if you mistrust them so much? Wouldn't it have been simpler and quicker to go to an accountant?

    17. I guess another question then is that if the people who answer the telephones know so little about the subject they are supposed be helping people with, why the f**k are there so many of them?

    18. So many of whom?

      None of what is said above implies that HMRC staff know little about tax, just that they are not experts in tax.

      Why is concept this so difficult to grasp? This doesn't happen in private industry. The waitress at harvester isn't able to recommend a cordon bleu menu that suits your exact dietry requirements.

      Also where do you get the idea that there are "so many of them"? Net contact centre recruitment in 2009: 3. Number of extra calls handled in same period: 1 million.

      "Privatise/Sack the lot of them" types like you have got your just deserts. The current and previous governments did just that. Stop asking for tax planning advice from HMRC. You won't get it. Support private enterprise by using an accountant.

  2. Didn't take long (four days longer than expected)... having completed all my online business with HMRC my first phishing HMRC email informing me I was due a HMRC rebate of about £365 (I didn't read the email)... when and how do you recognise a legitimate HMRC email and a fraudulent HMRC one?

    Don't bother answering... just illustrating the point.

    Do they really think HMRC could possible process my online filing between 31 January and 6 February!!!!! Get a life. IDIOTS.

    So there's one benefit it HMRC's incompetence!

    1. I type abuot as well a sthe phisers

      deliberate mikstakes

      (or as HMRC have been told, put it in plain English that can be understood)

    2. @Feb 6, 2012 05:27

      Is Glenn Beck posting here again?

      "Just FOUR days after I posted my agreement decree absolute to my former wife's lawyer, both who live 400+ miles away from me. My buddies who live 2 doors away from me sent me a text inviting me out for a drink like they have done every Saturday.


    3. Just for info HMRC NEVER email you to say you are due a refund and they also NEVER ask for your bank info via email.

    4. There have been scam emails allegedly from HMRC doing the rounds for a number of years.

    5. Allegedly?

      By using that word Ken is trying to imply the source of the e-mails might be from HMRC.

      I seem to recall a group of teenagers earlier on in the last decade producing a film called 'Loose Change' where allegedly the word allegedly was allegedly heavily overused allegedly. Their names were Dylan Avery, Korey Americanboy and Josh Hoodunitz.

      Keep this behaviour up Ken and this blog will pale in to obscurity like they did.

    6. It is extremely clear that I am not saying/implying that at all, they are scam (ie fake) emails therefore by definition they cannot come from HMRC.

      Put your glasses on and read my comment again properly.

  3. "when and how do you recognise a legitimate HMRC email and a fraudulent HMRC one?"

    Well... give £365 to both.

    Then blame everyone apart from yourself.