Stung by criticism that its communications with taxpayers and their agents is shambolic and slow, HMRC have launched (with much fanfare) a tracking service called "Where's My Reply?".
In theory the service will enable taxpayers to:
"Find out when you can expect to get a reply from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to a query or request you've made."Can the eagle eyed amongst you spot the "catch" in the above?
Yes, that's right, the "tracking" system will not tell you when you WILL receive a reply but only when you can EXPECT to receive a reply; ie it is not a real time tracking system (in fact it isn't a tracking system at all).
Test the "tracker" via this link, and you will be given the following caveat:
"Please note: the date given is for the majority of enquiries and only a guide. It is not a measure of HMRC's performance."There is also another "catch", the "tracker" is not available for all types of taxpayers. Only the following may use it:
"If you're an employee or you pay tax on a company pension through PAYE (Pay As You Earn - the system used by employers and pension providers to deduct tax from your wages or pension), you can use the tracker to check how long it will take HMRC to:Tough luck if you are not on the above list!
If you're an agent, you can also check how long it will take HMRC to:
- pay your Income Tax refund
- reply to your general Income Tax enquiry
- provide a copy of individual information, such as your tax code or pay and tax details
- send you HMRC forms or stationery
- register you as an agent to use HMRC Online Services
- process an application for authority to act on behalf of a client
- amend your agent details"
To reiterate, this is NOT a tracking service at all.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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