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.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

PAC Plays The Blame Game

The PAC invited HMRC finest to attend another committee meeting yesterday.

This time the guests were; Lin Homer, Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary, Nick Lodge, Director General, Benefits and Credits, Simon Bowles, Chief Finance Officer and Edward Troup, Tax Assurance Commissioner.

The subject of the meeting was HMRC's 2011-12 Accounts.

What was sadly apparent from yesterday's meeting was that MPs don't seem to understand Parliament's role in tax legislation, or indeed how HMRC works.

It is all very well blaming HMRC for everything that is wrong with the tax system in this country. However, whilst there are some aspects that clearly fall under HMRC's remit (eg procedures/administration), as I have noted many times before the buck stops with Parliament.

- It is Parliament that drafts the legalisation that is blamed by MPs for "allowing" tax avoidance to occur.

- It is Parliament that drafts the legislation that makes the UK tax system unfeasibly complex and nigh on impossible to understand.

- It is Parliament (dare I mention wee Gordon) that merged IR and Customs, thus bringing about this buggers' muddle that is HMRC.

- It is Parliament that decrees HMRC must cut its resources.

- It is the government that has failed to make a single minister responsible for HMRC.

Therefore, ultimately, who is to blame for the mess that PAC are complaining about?

As ever views, comments and opinions are always welcome.

You can watch the meeting via this link PAC.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Thought the PAC was predictably weak on the EVASION identified through the Legarde papers. Not surprising since there are doubtless many of their colleagues on the list. Once more the political/wealthy classes look after themselves. HMRC did have a policy of prosecuting anyone in a position of authority - fat chance.

  2. So crime can be mitigated down to paying the tax due even though most of the occupants of the list must have been involved in criminal activity going back decades.
    I seem to recall that if you had a guilty mind and a guilty act you had a crime, what appears to be happening here is that people are by definition and effect accepting that they have committed a crime (tax evasion) but being allowed to get away with the crime simply by paying the tax that they should have paid in the first place. Surely there must be elements of misdeclaration penalty, serious misdeclaration penalty, interest or does that only apply to the little people?
    Since when were the Muppets allowed to act in such a cavalier fashion?
    If this is protecting the revenue something has gone very wrong.

    perhaps there should be an absolutely open public debate about the inequalities in the tax system, but who would run it?

  3. Oh there are penalties and interest but these people are still buying their way out of gaol. They could be charged penalties and interest and still be sent to prison - that would set a good example. Especially given that most of them will be very wealthy people and by definition in a place where they should have known better. I have heard a rumour that there might even be senior ex-employees of HMRC on this list. Can you imagine if the public knew that? Why the anonymity?
    Come on whistle-blowers name and shame them - the public will be right behind you.