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.

Friday, 26 July 2013

The Ongoing Clusterfuck

Loyal readers with good memories may recall that I have written a couple of times before about a loyal reader who dropped me a note concerning HMRC changing her address details (without her permission), and sending her ex husband her tax credit summary for 2012/2013.

The saga continues, and she has sent me a chronological summation of the last 6 months for publication:

"For 6 months I have been battling with HMRC/DWP - here is the chronology of everything that has happened.
9thFebruary – XXXX District Council notified me that they had suspended my Housing Benefit Claim as they were notified I no longer lived at my current address. After further investigation they informed me that they had my ex husbands address on file. They were given this information by DWP apparently. I had to 'prove' I still lived at my current address.

17thMay – Ex husband received my tax credit annual review to his address. I phoned HMRC who were unable to explain to me how this had happened. I wrote a letter of complaint and also put in a Subject Access Request.

22ndMay – I receive a response from HRMC, with regards to my subject access request and acknowledgement of receipt of my letter.

4thJune – Ex husband received my NHS Exemption Card to his address

19thJune – I received a voicemail from XXXX District Council notifying me that they wished to speak to me about my Housing Benefit Claim. When I managed to get hold of them it turns out that they had been notified of an address change again (it turned out to be my ex's new address as he had recently moved again).

23rdJune – Still no response from HMRC to my original letter (sent on25th May) so I send a further letter of complaint detailing the further issues.

4thJuly – Phoned to notify HMRC that my ex husband had yet again received my documents. It turns out his new address was on my file. I updated the address details back to mine and also notified them that my son would remain in full time education from September (thus they would need to update my Tax Credit claim and need to issue a new award notice). I also informed them that I have not yet received a tax credit award for the year.

I took the opportunity to phone Child Benefit to see what address they had on record for me and it turns out that they too had my ex husbands address.

08thJuly – My ex husband received two more letters from HMRC, addressed to me

10thJuly – Received documents related to my 'Subject Access Request'

15thJuly – Received 2 separate copies of the HMRC response to my complaint letter (letters originally dated 28th June). Letter apologised, gave a brief & generic response to my complaint and informed me that I would receive £100 compensation plus £10 expenses within 21 days.

16thJuly – Received another (third copy) of HMRC response to my complaint letter

22ndJuly – 21 days since the date of issue on the response to my complaint letter and as of yet no compensation money has been received.

25thJuly – 4pm phoned the number provided by HMRC, regarding my complaint response and lack of compensation payment – the phone is answered but hangs up. I phone again, the call is answered by a gentleman who tells me he will transfer me to the right person....'the right' person answers but can't hear me so hangs up. Eventually they then ring me back and apologise as there is a problem with their phone!!

I enquire as to whether there is any further details as to why the address changes keep happening. The lady informs that it is connected to CSA. Seeing as I get no child support from my ex (and NEVER have) this does not add up and I don't feel this makes sense?

The lady looked on my records and can't see why the compensation has not yet reached my account either, they also do not have an answer as to why I have not yet received my tax credit award. The lady could see an award dated 1st July, but she also notes that on 4thJuly I called to update the fact my son was continuing in further education and for some reason an updated award notice has not yet been issued.

The lady later phoned me back and informed me that she was having to put through the changes again, as for some reason they had got 'stuck' on the system and wouldn't issue an award.

A further phonecall from the same lady some 10 minutes later revealed that the reason an award notice wasn't issued, was because the information was about a future change, so that would not take effect until 1st September – then a new award notice would go out!"

Have other loyal readers experienced similar problems, or is this just a one off cock up?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. As I said the last time you posted this lady's story, it's no good blaming HMRC specifically for this. The addresses on people's tax records come from a central government framework system to which a large number of departments have access. It doesn't matter how many times someone in HMRC corrects the address, if someone in - say - DWP changes it back again, it gets changed back on *all* the systems linked to it.

    1. If so, how does the "central system" know which is the correct address? These details are sensitive and confidential and should have failsafes built in to prevent the wrong address causing the problems this "customer" has had and continues to endure. Of course if public offices still existed in the provinces then the problems would be less as no change could be effected without proof of ID and verification of address by 2 or 3 bills etc. As was the case previously. And what about other details then e.g. bank account, NINO, telephone and e.mail details?
      It is about time that HMRC was brought to book, and not by the PAC and its cosy connections.

  2. Hi, I know this is an old post, however a few months ago I started getting my ex wife's tax, csa, benefit letters sent to my address. She has never lived at this address!
    I've spoken with HMRC once and they removed my address from her record, but months later I am still getting her letters!
    I really don't know what to do about this, if it is in fact 1 agency changing things back, how do I find out who?

  3. What agency is it? The information could be coming from a third party. I know this will not be the case here, but often employers filing P45 details etc have an old address for their employee, so everytime they use Real Time Information to update records it changes it back to they hold, the only way to fix it is for the employee to make sure their head office has their correct address

    1. Thanks, although I'm at a new address that she has never lived at! So none of her employment can be registered here.