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, 22 July 2013

HMRC's Hodge Podge Limbo

Unsurprisingly the ongoing anti avoidance soundbite campaign being waged by the politicians, and broadcast by the media, has affected HMRC.

The Telegraph reports that HMRC has over 40,000 cases of what it defines as “aggressive” tax avoidance awaiting resolution.

The so called “Margaret Hodge effect” is causing delays in resolution, as HMRC is now shying away from negotiating settlements (ie taking a practical approach). HMRC has taken a harder line in response, eschewing settlement deals in favour of challenging tax avoidance at tribunals and in court.

Bob Robinson, a senior tax manager at Grant Thornton, said:
There are clients out there who are commercially pragmatic and if they could reach an acceptable compromise with HMRC, they would ... do so. If [HMRC showed] flexibility, they’d be able to clear up that backlog.”
Frank Haskew, head of the Tax Faculty at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, said:
Challenging people through tribunals is very expensive and time consuming. It wouldn’t surprise me if [the backlog gets worse]. At some stage I think HMRC will need to start reaching agreements with taxpayers.
Suffice to say, this Hodge Podge limbo will worsen as the cases continue to pile up.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Considering that the Hodge Podge aka Right Honourable Member for Stemcor is the recipient of untold millions through the ownership of Stemcor shares held in the trust setp by her father, this all smacks of rank hypocrisy.

    HMRC exists to 'get the money in'. Certainly there are should be limits on how flexible they are with tax payers to avoid another scandal like Mohamed Fayed and his forward tax agreement, but negotiated settlements are a good thing for all concerned.

    Hodge Podge should quit her hypocritical moral grandstanding and let HMRC do their job.

  2. Is this the same Hodge Podge that made such a cat's breakfast of running Islington Council all that time ago, with all the same patronising, socialist attitudes, and the general principle that the electorate cannot be trusted to make its own mind up, particularly when the views expressed differ from the Podge version?

  3. 40,000 aggressive tax avoidance cases outstanding, but what else is outstanding then?
    And then there was that recent bit of self grandisement about how well HMRC did in 2012-13, are there 2 HMRC departments linked by a black hole that is the real tax gap?
    Of course the total backlog makes the recent UKBA backlog look tame.
    But don't you keep getting this nagging thought that there is a connection somewhere, some common purpose?
    D'oh! Here's a few Homer quotes to keep the Shills awake:-

    Oh, so they have internet on computers now!

    I want to share something with you: The three little sentences that will get you through life. Number 1: Cover for me. Number 2: Oh, good idea, Boss! Number 3: It was like that when I got here.

    Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything. 14% of people know that.

    Does Homer (the real one not the HMRC one) look like Nigel Farage?

    Stay awake Shills your country needs you!

  4. Not entirely a shock that the accounting community want more flexibility, but then, it was them that created the avoidance schemes in the first place. No avoidance/manipulation, no delay. Can't have it both ways.

  5. Hmmm... compromise, pragmatic. Wonderful weasel words that accountants use when they've been caught with their client's hands in the taxation till. No doubt it eventually adds something to the Treasury. Personally I preferred the old HMCE approach. It did involve a bit of pain & suffering on the part of the very errant trader but I found those that made those that were reasonably compliant got extremely pissed off with their neighbours who were (to put no finer point in it) avoiding/evading like hell.

    "Gentleman join with Thugs" was a phrase used at the time of the merger & to my knowledge was used at senior Treasury level & allegedly at Cabinet meetings ; we are now infested with chinless bastards that fall under the former category (mostly at Prin/ Senior Prin level) whilst the real work is done at Executive grade trying to pull in VAT & MTIC fraud. Except that the experienced EO -SEO thin line mostly retired out of disgust and now we have to train admin staff from the former Revenue who are scared of their own shadows, are incapable of any form of decision making & consider the very act of actually leaving the office to visit a trader as an anathema.

    Fill your boots guys....

  6. Agree with the points about chinless mob and former IR admin wallahs who should have stayed ubder their mossy stones.
    What about the prats that infested regions of C&E's Investigation sewers? Some of these drongoes shouldn't be trusted with an empt box let alone being in the "evidential chain", undeclared Cro's, disciplinary records that would make a decent criminal wince, they have such a track record amongst the judiciary they should be ashamed, lying, failure to disclose, perjury, non-compliance with RIPA legislation, illegal writing off of speeding tickets when not on surveillance, bullying, expenses fiddling etc. the phrase "witness of truth" is somewhat dirtied as a result.
    I don't recall the former IR investigators having that sort of record.

  7. Yes, unfortunately the former Customs "gentlemen" ceased to be so a long time ago. Megalomaniacs took power, one of their head ID honchoes was even known as that cockney barrow boy!
    Another, one of their Bristol chappies was referred to in Crown Court as an unreliable witness, by the Judge. (open source info) Any wonder situations such as London City Bond happened, when they believed they were above the Law?
    Their word was once trusted implicitly by the legal system and they earnt great respect, no longer I am afraid.

  8. Bullying, nah, just robust management, whadaya mean sexual 'arrassment, she was gagging for it!
    Large financial conditional agreement (bribe) in return for silence, yes, pity pounds mean more than principles to the majority of the victims! But of course, its only customers money paying the legal fees and compensation, no wonder.
    Go kick open the cupboards, the skeletons are a rattling.