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, 18 February 2013

Beaker's Significant Tool

I am highly gemused to see that our political masters and HMRC have something of a sense of humour, and have published in advance their April Fools' Day joke.

I refer of course to Danny "Beaker" Alexander's "Significant Tool", aka HMRC's Tax and Procurement Discussion Document. This "fine" document came about as a result of Beaker's comments on 25th September 2012 about "tax dodgers":
"Taxpayers’ money should not be funding tax dodgers. So I have tasked HMRC and the Cabinet Office to come up with a workable solution to this problem and we will set out more details later this year."
The document proposes that individuals and businesses that have taken part in tax avoidance could be denied government contracts.

Potential suppliers will be required to notify contracting departments of their recent tax compliance history and state if any return has been found to be incorrect as a result of HMRC successfully challenging it under the general anti-abuse rule (as per the Finance Bill 2013),  an anti-avoidance rule, or the Halifax abuse principle.

Government departments will be allowed to terminate an agreement if the service provider subsequently breaches tax compliance obligations.

For good measure the proposals are to operate retrospectively, with (as per Taxation) a possible a ten-year time limit relating to the date the non-compliance was recognised.

In the event that anyone has any comments on the proposals, they should be submitted by email no later than 28 February to HMRC's David Harris or Robert Sanford.

Good luck with that then!

On the subject of tax avoidance etc, Mapeley anyone?

How ironic that HMRC, a staunch and shouty opponent of tax avoidance had in fact signed a contract that involves tax avoidance through an offshore company.

Clearly a case of do as we say, rather than do as we do!

Aside from Mapeley I would wager that a good many companies that our political masters sign contracts with (or indeed have shares in, or sit on the boards of) are doing their best to reduce their tax bills (ie avoiding taxes).

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Where exactly does contract law fit into all of this? or is it out of the window as usual?

    Typical politicians, [CENSORED] from both ends.




  3. Talk is cheap, action tends to have a price attached.

  4. "The document proposes that individuals and businesses that have taken part in tax avoidance could be denied government contracts."

    Well, guess that just about takes care of the major contractors, government will screech to a halt if Beaker is sqeaking da truth!

    Takes out all those "off the books" types that HMRC were paying taxpayers money to.

  5. Perhaps Beaker & Co have been 6 Sigma'd?

    Stupid Fad #1: Six Sigma Created by: Motorola (based on Total Quality Management)

    The theory: The idea is to improve the quality of your processes by identifying and removing the causes of defects. You assign various people different colored "belts" (like a karate class) based upon their expertise in the Six Sigma methodology. You also get a series of defined steps and quantifiable financial targets.
    The reality: It creates a hierarchy of "belted" experts who run around the company pretending that they know how to do other people's work better than the people who do the work. Endless meetings ensue, with little or no effect. The consulting firm who's implementing the Six Sigma walks away with a fat paycheck.
    The result: Wasted time and wasted effort. According to one quality control expert quoted in Fortune magazine, "of 58 large companies that have announced Six Sigma programs, 91 percent have trailed the S&P 500 since." On the other hand, it's spawned an entire industry of "consultants" who make a living sucking productivity out of your firm.
    My opinion of the fad: Oh, please. Potbellied managers running around with little colored belts like they're part of some Bruce Lee movie on Bizarro world. That's exactly what's going to help a company get out of the doldrums. You couldn't make up this stuff, it's so incredibly stupid.
    Likelihood you'll run into it at least once: 55%
    Your strategy if you do: If your company implements Six Sigma, you'll be paying a Six Sigma "tax" for about two years. Push out all activities by about 20 percent to account for the time wasted in pointless meetings. After two years, the managers who implemented it will either be fired or move on, in which case the Six Sigma process will fall by the wayside.


    CBS Moneywatch

  6. Nope, it's MBO - <anagement by Objectives

    Stupid Fad #6: Management By Objectives Created by: Peter Drucker
    The theory: Define objectives within an organization so that management and employees agree to the objectives and understand what they are in the organization. Then compare the employee's actual performance with the standards set and agreed upon.
    The reality: Everyone spends hours making plans for the future. When the future actually happens, it ends up looking nothing like it was originally expected. As a result, everyone ends up either doing something that might have worked a year ago or doing something that wasn't in the original plan and then spends extra effort making it look as if they were performing to the plan.
    The result: Lots and lots of out-of-date planning documents and precious little to show for it. Success rate in the typical company is supposedly around 6% percent.
    My opinion of the fad: There's nothing wrong with having goals and making sure you know what you're supposed to be doing, but MBO becomes a fad when it's just part of the same old review process. Worst case, it turns into a paperwork nightmare that strips flexibility from an organization.
    Likelihood you'll run into it at least once: 90%
    Your strategy if you do: Try to be as vague as possible about your objectives and have multiple ways to get measured, so that no matter what happens you still look like you've fulfilled the objective. Above all, don't feel guilty about gaming the system, because your boss is probably gaming it up the chain anyway.
    CLICK for the next dumb management fad ?

    same attributes etc