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, 26 January 2015


A survey conducted by the ICAEW has found that around 33% of accountants who responded are of the view that the service provided by HMRC has deteriorated over the least year.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said that HMRC staff were unable to do things correctly first time. Tax agents also said it took too long to answer the post or pick up the phone.

Paul Aplin, tax partner of AC Mole & Sons, is quoted in the FT:
My worry is that poor telephone service will impact on people’s willingness to pay tax.

You can do more with less up to a point but I simply do not believe that the decline in service standards is unrelated to 10 years of cuts.”
Martin Bryars of Bryars & Co, described HMRC telephone service as “abysmal”. He said he had been automatically cut off after holding on for 30 minutes last Tuesday. The service was “very frustrating and costly in terms of time” and had worsened over the past two or three years.

HMRC said:
We are working hard to further improve our handling of customer calls and have moved up to 1,500 extra people on to the phones during January as the self-assessment deadline approaches.
HMRC believes that the future lies online; costs and errors will be reduced by moving services online (eg tax forms will be pre-populated with taxpayers' employment information).

This may improve some aspects of the communication flows between some taxpayers and HMRC. However, not all taxpayers are tax savvy nor do they all have access to the internet.

Robin Williamson of the Low Income Tax Reform Group said:
The digital strategy is not going to succeed in the short to medium term unless digital speeds increase.” 
We shall see.

As loyal readers have noted in the past, if the underlying systems within HMRC (eg desktops and basic operating systems etc) are out of date and don't communicate with each other then there will continue to be problems.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. HMRC believes that the future lies online; costs and errors will be reduced by moving services online (eg tax forms will be pre-populated with taxpayers' employment information).

    In other words it is the fault of the staff who make errors and cost money, going online will mean HMRC can get rid of the incompetent staff and save money on wages...see how lovely they are about their employees... this is how staff are seen.

    1. Excellent comment. They treat people like shit.

  2. "tax forms will be pre-populated with taxpayers' employment information"

    FFS! We can't even get taxpayers' records to pre-populate with that info with any degree of confidence!

  3. Wait until the really bad weather arrives. Last time we had serious snow issues, so bad the authorities were pleading for people not to travel in any form, good old hmrc tat managers were forcing their staff to attend, then kicking them out to go home after the predicted blizzards arrived. Idiots, useless, incompetent and unable to manage anything involving a decision correctly. These managers are dangerous.

  4. When I visit the website on my work computer to try to help taxpayers find their way through the labyrinth, I get a message that my browser is out of date.I work for HMRC. Says a lot.

  5. YOUR BOSSES are floundering in a self made cesspit of effluent! they DO NOT VALUE THEIR 'CUSTOMERS' which in fact are their bosses, cos the public pay their wages! They DO NOT value the workforce AND they have NO INTEREST in getting it RIGHT or BETTER.