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, 26 March 2014

Taxing The Dead


There are only two certainties in life, death and taxes.

Sadly, thanks to an error with RTI, HMRC tried to meld the two certainties together and sent a tax bill to the late Isabella Todd who died in 2002.

The bill for £655 was opened by her daughter Kate MacGlashan, who claims that HMRC staff refused to believe that her mother had died.

She is quoted by the Mail:
"Not only was I angry at the ludicrous £655 tax bill, I was incensed when — for half an hour in a dispute about identity — the official consistently maintained that I did not know my own mother’s date of birth. Only after a lot of arguing did he finally agree something might be wrong.

I was extremely tempted to ask the young man in the call centre if he would like me to lend him a shovel to dig her up so he could speak to her."
After Money Mail got in touch with HMRC, it quickly emerged that the tax bill had been sent in error. Mrs MacGlashan’s mother had been paid a small company pension by Prudential every three months. When she died in 2002, this payment stopped.

However, the newly introduced RTI created a record for Mrs Todd that automatically triggered a tax bill. This wrongly calculated underpaid tax. It was sent to her daughter’s house because she’d been cared for there before she died.

Elaine Clark of Cheapaccounting.co.uk is quoted:
"It may look like a simple administration mistake, but this shocking incident displays a shocking lack of control of people’s personal information — a deceased record should have been picked up.

The taxman has made a lot of noise about improving its customer service, but howlers like this show it has an awfully long way to go."
HMRC has now wiped out the underpaid tax and sent Mrs MacGlashan a cheque for £100 to apologise.

Let us see what happens when HMRC are able to directly debit what it believes to be be taxes owed from people's bank accounts!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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4 comments:

  1. A prime example of how fuc#ed up the system is, many are the comments about its inability to communicate between different parts. Many are the comments from staff and professionals alike that RTI is not going to work properly.
    The tape recording of this particular phone call should be used as an example of how not to deal with PEOPLE as opposed to CUSTOMERS, and Homer should be made to issue an abject apology with an assurance that safeguards will be put into place to try and prevent a repeat.
    It's not the Muppet Show it's more like a long running Whitehall farce. Not surprising given Hartnets experience with comedian Ken Dodd and his QC!

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  2. This is what happens when the likes of Wee Gordy are allowed to play at being politico's, you end up with crap managers allegedly "running" an unfit for purpose department using crazy out of date Japanese manufacturing methodology to "brow beat" the staff.
    It will take a decent Parliamentary Enquiry to get to the bottom of things, but with wholesale disregard and contempt for the law being tolerated inside a useless civil service department that won't be an easy option.
    If a supposedly highly disciplined organisation like The Met has been busy shredding, well, you can use your imagination wrt HMRC,

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    Replies
    1. Yesterday's post about HMRC whistle blower Osita Mba and today's Mail article (p.10) about NHS whistleblowing with Margaret Hodge saying there was still a culture of fear across the public sector against raising the alarm shows the Politicians are fully aware of things.

      Is it asking too much that they finally look at HMRC?

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  3. Interestingly HMRCs own Web seems to indicate that you only require name, address & NINO to sort out a deceased details as representative. The system works predominantly to the NINO as the common denominator.

    Also where a pension ceases the Web appears to indicate that the representative need not take action as notification to HMRCS is by other sources...

    So, this RTI generated cock-up is a good example of how the systems still fail to talk to each other.

    Is it true one of the worst connections is between the DWP data and HMRC's Data?

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