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, 28 May 2012

HMRC's "C" Word

The e petition asking HMRC stop stop using the "C" word and return to calling taxpayers ermm taxpayers, has prompted Tax Journal to ask HMRC if they will heed the request.

In a word, no.

HMRC have no intention of abandoning the "C" word; even though taxpayers have no choice, it winds everyone up and everyone pays tax in some shape or form (eg income tax, VAT etc etc).

Here is HMRC's response in full:
"Tax Journal: Does HMRC accept that use of the term ‘customer’ is not appropriate?

HMRC: Language is important. We use the term ‘customer’ to underpin our thinking about how we should relate to the millions of people we serve. The word ‘customer’ invites a different provider orientation, with its implication of choice. We know that it is this that irritates our critics but it is exactly this point that needs to be thought about when defining how we connect with people. 

We must ask ourselves: ‘If this person had a choice would they come back to us?’ If the answer is ‘no’ then we need to address that. We do not want to be the kind of organization that takes people for granted because we can. We think it is inevitable that when you think of someone who comes to you through choice and has to be encouraged back through the quality of service they experience even when this is not literally the case this will feed through into the quality of service you provide. 

A customer has to be treated exceptionally well and that is what we aspire to. We want to think of the millions of people we serve as deserving of the same consideration and attention that those who use commercial services receive. So no the use of ‘customer’ is not inappropriate.

Tax Journal: Does HMRC intend to continue to use the term?

HMRC: We do.

Tax Journal: Are there any plans to stop using the term, and if so when will the change take place and what terms will be used instead?

HMRC: We think using the term ‘customer’ underlines the fact that the people we serve are entitled to be treated as though they could receive the services they get from us elsewhere. It is right that we have the mind-set of an organization faced with tough competition for the people we deliver our services to.

Tax Journal: Do you have any comment on Mike Truman’s article or the campaign?

HMRC: We always welcome robust debate. The views that Mike’s campaign will generate (and we think there will be many) will contribute to an interesting and important conversation – one to which we are likely to contribute. We know that not everyone likes our use of the term ‘customer’ and we will certainly listen to the views of our critics but we believe the term plays an important part in helping us to take forward our strategy of putting people at the heart of everything we do."

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. I don't really mind HMRC using the 'C' word in relation to me as I generally use a 'C' word when discussing them as well.

    1. I wonder if you are one of those really clever TP's or agents who thinks by swearing at HMRC staff we can make your tax liability go away?

    2. That's just the ones that have been on the piss all day from what I recall. Or any accountant that qualified after 2007 and can't seem to accurately explain to their client what POA1 is.

  2. ".....we will certainly listen to the views of our critics but ..." (My bold)

    Eleven words which sum up HMRC's attitude to external input from anyone (taxpayers, accountants,........)

  3. Well with my own BUT
    BUT we don't have a choice
    BUT they do not serve me.

  4. How sweet - like little kiddies playing at shops.

  5. I really don't understand where customer fits in with compliance. HMRC really needs to get its act together here. I always treat businesses/companies with respect & objectively, the real problem is clueless managers who place intolerable pressure on beleaguered staff to maximise yield, who think a white board meeting every week(why? Nothing's changed since last week!) to look good for themselves & move onwards & upwards whilst those left have to sort the mess out. If you think it's bad now for compliance, you don't know what's around the corner with scp

    1. Whiteboard every week? Where do you work? Twice a day in compliance where i am and HOURLY in some offices. You are getting off lightly

  6. Single compliance process. One size fits all approach to compliance regardless of the head of duty. Set number of hours to undertake a check with yield being the driver. My understanding is that trials have not brought yield in, but I stand to be corrected. HMRC is turning staff into battery hens with no scope for intelligence etc to be used. Search under SCP on the HMRC website.

  7. I think Dick Turpin called his victims "customers". Maybe someone high up in the incompetence has a sense of humour after all.

  8. Christ, I'm glad I walked away from this shower when I did