As we shake off the dregs of the Bank Holiday weekend, and gently ease ourselves into the week ahead, here is an amusing variation on the concept of a "customer relationship manager" courtesy of HMRC.
In the real world CRM's are (in theory) meant to act as the interface between the customer and the organisation that they represent (eg bank, FMCG etc etc); hopefully smoothing away any "irritations" that may have upset the customer, thus leading the way to increased sales etc.
In HMRC's world a CRM is assigned to those "customers" (ugh how I loath that word when used in connection with tax matters) who come under the remit of HMRC's Affluent Unit. The Affluent Unit was set up in September 2011, with much fanfare by Danny "Beaker" Alexander, to handle the tax affairs of those individuals who earn more than £150K per annum. It consists of around 2,000 experienced HMRC staff members, who were reassigned from other duties within HMRC.
HMRC's publicly stated purpose of their CRM's is to provide better “customer service”. However, as the Telegraph notes, the CRM also builds up a detailed knowledge of their "customer's" tax affairs. Thus HMRC is in a better position to identify possible tax evasion, and will use the information garnered by the CRM's to investigate their clients.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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