Friday 22 February 2013

HMRC Goes Fishing

It seems that HMRC has gone on one of its little fishing trips again. This time it is trawling the waters inhabited by landlords.

Mike Down, of Baker Tilly, is quoted by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) as describing the recent campaign by HMRC to crackdown on rogue landlords as "shocking" and "scarily aggressive".

Down claims to have seen a "stencilled" letter which had been sent to one landlord client. Down made clear that this landlord had been perfectly compliant when declaring his rental income. The information used to contact the landlord had been supplied by a local council.

The letter reportedly asked for a thorough breakdown of all the properties owned by the landlord, including addresses, periods let, the amounts of rent involved and the number of tenants at each property.

Down was quoted:
"Clearly it's good to see HMRC cracking down on tax cheats, but we do have real concerns over what appears to be the non-risk-based approach of this campaign.

What's even more shocking is that telephone staff at HMRC are openly admitting that the probing letters are being issued without the department having first checked whether the landlord is in fact fully declaring the rents on their annual tax returns.

Quite aside from the fact that questions asked of taxpayers who have completed returns under Self-Assessment must be made under the formal and time-sensitive enquiry framework, it seems that HMRC staff are unnecessarily wasting the time of law-abiding taxpayers, as well as their own valuable people resource.

Surely it's time HMRC were more careful with their precious resources and invested time in carefully checking third-party information before sending what might be viewed as scarily aggressive letters to those who are fully tax compliant?"
Have any loyal readers received such letters?

Please drop me a line if you have.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. On Compliance but a different subject: Anyone know how HMRC will track down non-married couples with a non-working partner, where the working partner earns between £50000 & £60000 and some claw back of child benefit due? There won't be any record of children or partner on the working partner's tax records. I can't help thinking that many thousands of couples will just ignore the situation. Will they be found out?

  2. Yes, by use of pacesetter/lean systems with constant learning and adapting (from Toyotas constant adapting list of faults)!

    To illustrate how far along their pacesetter journey that they have travelled HMRC will force its staff to use an on-line Australian website rather than the 17 pages of hmrcintranet crap on the subject...

    confused yet? Try this:

    "Sequential Changeover"

    "When a changeover time is within Takt time, changeovers can be performed one after another in a flow line. Sequential changeover assures that the lost time for each process in the line is minimised to one Takt beat. A set-up team or expert follows the operator, so that by the time the operator has made one round of the flow line (at Takt time), it has been completely changed over to the next item."


    There you have it then. LOL

    Ken & readers, you should have realised by now that the system is a modern form of pyramid selling or MLM/multi-level-marketing combined with scientology. It's the worldwide "buy-in" that worries me and many others. Trouble is the "buy-in" has been with taxpayers hard-earned, declared and paid taxes.