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.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

All Change

HMRC is moving from using 0845 to 03-prefix telephone numbers for its helplines.

This, in theory, should reduce the cost to callers of hanging on the telephone.

The new prefix began roll out on 16 April, starting with new numbers for the child benefit and guardian's allowance helplines.

The 0845 numbers will still work for around 18 months.

There is further information at HMRC.

The deadline for the full roll out is expected to be by the end of summer.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Brilliant! Whoever at HMRC thought this one up should be seconded to the Treasury.
    Dodging the issue of cost to taxpayer of waiting for the phone to be answered on the ubiquitous automated system they have offloaded the cost to the country as a whole, via of course the profits of some non-uk taxpaying entity no doubt.
    Smoke and mirrors par excellance, I bet the service does not improve at all.

    While we are at it, what is the true cost per £ of Revenue collected, that would make for a good FOI or Select Committee question?

  2. As US taxpayers will already know, calls to the IRS (within the US) are on 800 numbers ie free to the caller. When I mentioned to an IRS agent, that in the UK, the taxpayer invariably pays for the call, she remarked that, in her opinion, it was the tax authority's duty to make contact with the tax authority as inexpensive and straightforward as possible for the taxpayer. Charging the taxpayer to contact the tax authorities (by way of phone calls or insisting on stamps on letters to HMRC) was, in her opinion, an illegitimate, ie illegal, tax.

    Tangentially, when did Inland Revenue (and now HMR&C) functionaries stop being our "faithful servants" and become the jobsworths we now know and love? Although the merger of the Revenue and Customs & Excise hastened the process (the old C&E being a byword for stroppy insolence and non-cooperation) I suspect the timing coincided with the day that putting OHMS on the top of a reply to the Revenue was not considered sufficient postage by the Royal Mail - sometime in the 80s I believe.

  3. C&E lost the respect of the public and their peers within the Law Enforcement community around the time their "world class investigators" believed themselves to be above the law when it came to all sorts of shenanigans including lying in court and/or committing perjury, running illegal or out of control informants and/or operations and generally screwing up.
    IR were never in the same league and their management couldn't even prosecute a comedian successfully, that was before involvement in "sweetheart deals" with the opposition.
    The whole edifice has a strench about it now that never existed when the 2 departments were on their own. Things were bad but were in the process of being addressed, slowly but surely.
    Then along came Gordon.