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, 14 May 2012

HMRC's P35 Reminders - The Curate's Egg

AccountingWeb have posted a short article from a tax professional bemoaning the out of date P35 reminders sent to him by HMRC:
"This morning I received 7 reminders for various clients to file P35's before the 19 May deadline. I suppose I should be grateful that I get these reminders but they were dated 29 April and in all but one case I had already filed the reports. The exception is a client that HMRC was informed 2 years ago had stopped trading and wouldn't be operating a payroll.

Calls from clients and discussions with colleagues make it evident that this was a mass mailing and that because it was mailed (!) nearly 2 weeks ago the majority of recipients will have already filed.

I am appalled at the sheer waste of paper and postage and believe that with the present economic conditions, this waste is unacceptable and the result of incompetence.

I wrote a few weeks ago about the need for HMRC to make more use of email and this proves the point as these notices are not, and do not need to be secure. 

How much could have been saved?"
The mass mailing of reminders by HMRC is probably the most effective and speedy method for HMRC to use, rather than to mail only those who have not yet filed their P35's.

However, the postal system used by HMRC is clearly causing a delay (the Royal Mail does not normally take 2 weeks to deliver letters).

Maybe HMRC really should seriously consider using email to interact with taxpayers (as, eg, the Irish tax authority does)?

I would be interested to read some suggestions as to how this could be improved, from both HMRC staff and taxpayers.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Royal mail only deliver the 'last mile' all the sorting is done by TNT. Would love to be able to use enail, male life so much easier! We all should have external email now through government GSI

  2. We do have GSI email addresses but are not allowed to use them for security!!! I assure you all at the coalface ask for this all the time. I also have an issue with sending reminders to employers
    anyway don't they all file online? So what's the problem with sending reminders electronically to them? No need for paper at all, i agree with Accounting Web it is a shameful waste.

    1. If we want to use email we must get a signed authority from the addressee that they accept responsibility for any information transmitted in either direction.
      "E Mail is not a secure medium!" - says HMRC Oh!yes we can't send NINO's and figures by email either, which kind of defeats the object just a little......?

  3. i dont disagree with the points however, HMRC moved the reminders to April as they used to be sent in jan/feb and this waa too early. they cant win

  4. Royal mail only deliver the 'last mile' all the sorting is done by TNT This statement is totally incorrect, TNT do not sort anything at all, that was Kew many, many years ago. Any sorting is done by HMRC staff. It has nothing to do with either TNT or Royal Mail. The problem is having just five HMRC post centres in the whole country to dispatch all outgoing mail, that combined with not enough staff.

    Sending them in April would be fine, if the employers actually received them in April,

  5. @15:00

    We already send employers the notices of coding and many don't bother to read them. Sending P35 reminders the same way will potentially get the same treatment!


    Do you really think the staff sit there and pack each envelope? Of course they do, they don't have anything else to do! The whole print run is automated & issued from 1 location. They are all dated the same but the actual issue to the Royal Mail via TNT (yes a courier drops them off) is staggered so it doesn't overload there system.

  6. anonymous above.

    BUT 29 April.
    On the basis that it usually seems to take at least a week after something is dated for it to leave HMRC, then it goes through 2nd class post, this is clearly too late to be effective.

    Of course, accountants read HMRC email and caveat emptor if they don't

    1. Funnily enough second class post was introduced in my area as a 'pacesetter' idea. We went from 1st class Royal Mail to 2nd class TNT (Yes TNT of the 'lost disc' fame) really stupid idea. It is embarrassing to expect the TP - sorry customer - to reply to one of our letters within 30 days when it takes 2 weeks to reach them in the first place!