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.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

HMRC's Postal Delays

In November 2014 I quoted Ed McKeegan (Director of HMRC Estates and Support Services) extolling the benefits of HMRC's "digital" postal procedures (as he announced the closure of various post rooms):
"HMRC's digital transformation is improving the service we offer our customers, and post handling is now at the forefront of those changes with the introduction of post scanning by Personal Tax (PT), which contributes around 70 per cent of RPR work. For PT, the introduction of post scanning means they can reply to customers more quickly, with the ability to send post to any desktop, in any office, in an instant we won't need to spend time sorting or transporting it."
Fast forward to March 2015, and a loyal reader advises me that all is not well in HMRC's brave new world of "digital" post handling.

I understand that hardly any post is getting worked in PT Operations.

For why?

Apparently so many offices are now flex sites, that the staff are on the phones all the time. Thus, for instance, letters dated September are only now being answered.

The scanned post is all waiting to be processed and dealt with, but staff are on the phones instead.

Late self-assessment tax returns, many of which have been sent back for correction, have been logged in as received in December, but the figures are still not captured. Therefore no statements have been produced, and taxpayers wanting to pay can not be given an accurate amount.  There are various work lists with thousands and thousands of items on them. 

I am advised that there is a tool that telephone staff can click on to get an estimate of when a taxpayer will receive a reply to any correspondence they have sent in. Why not try ringing up (general information will be given without taxpayer details, just ignore the automated questions) and ask about a fictitious letter you posted in December, and see what the reply is!!!!  

Thus my question is this, if most of PT Operations are now Flex sites and staff are always on the phones, who is left to actually to deal with the mail?

Answers anyone?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. I was an AA in Customs and Excise/HMRC. The old school post system, i.e., human beings opening letters, with letter openers in the building where the letters were addressed seemed to work just fine. My colleagues and I then made sure the said post was scanned and sent to the correct officer for processing. So muppets like Ed McKeegan seem to have a lot to answer for, if people now are on phones, and post is sitting around for months. In a private company his ass would be in a sling.

    1. Its not your fault you were an AA, at some point people respected you and the job you used to do. Today you are seem as unprofessional, incompetent, corrupt bullying idiots with no regard for the 'customer'
      HMRC is an absolute disgrace that no one wants to sort. Just look at their own survey results!! and they're happy with across the board failures and mediocrity. Keep calm and fucking up.......... nothing to see here!!

  2. His arse should be in a sling regardless, in actual fact because the public pay his wage he should be held to account at minute one and fuck up one. problem is HMRC no longer want to be contactable or accountable, hence no names, deal with a dept, PO Boxes, automated call options. You try to actually talk to a person and the same person each time OR I'd settle for a person that knew the history of your enquiry

  3. it gets better - as our post has become, digitalised they moved the aa's out of our building. this doesnt mean we suddenly dont have any normal files so 1 team of aos per day has to go and do the aa's job! meaning our casework is falling behind even further!! utter madness

  4. ......and better.......have heard that working tax credit disputed overpayments post is so far behind that they are starting to send out "shortened" response letters not explaining anything but just telling the taxpayer to pay up.

    Quality customer service !!

    1. Demand the service that we are paying very dearly for, not the 'we don't have time to justify ourselves....just pay up or else' which is the shit HMRC is serving up at the moment! what a cheek!

  5. Refuse to pay demand a recount and bury these fuckers in their own fucked up system and inefficiency. The law is on your side, proof of calculations / debt please HMRC

    1. Yeah just query what they are claiming and watch HMRC grind to a halt.
      As the customer you have the right to question what they are claiming

  6. I can confirm a lot of what your source says. It gets worse. Consider this:

    Last year PT Operations set up 2 'dedicated' teams to handle claims for job expenses (P87s) and repayments for those leaving the UK (P85s).

    The teams were of course under-staffed, so they quickly fell two or more months behind. Then, the whole of both teams were taken off that work for a whole month to handle phone calls during the peak period for Self Assessment (because ExComedy don't want to get another kicking from Comrade Margaret Hoxha).

    Result no.1? The claims haven't been worked, and the backlog is now at four months and rising
    Result no.2? More and more people phoning to ask what has happened to their claim, so more phone calls that won't be answered.

    The 'dedicated teams' are still liable to be 'flipped' at any time to any work which will take the heat off senior management, and the backlog of claims is - we're told - going to be sent to be dealt with at an office where the staff are notorious for not being able to find their own arses with both hands.

  7. Dealing with scanned post today. It was all dated early December. Just returned to this work after being on the phones. It will take ages to clear the current backlog. Prediction: The senior staff will receive their bonus.

  8. This has gone on long enough, it is about time that the Politicians of all parties addressed this crap organisation.

    Should the Blair-Balls effort ever get off the groundnd if the IPCC and NCA got their act together that would be a start.

    Enough is enough!

    Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

    Martin Luther King Jr. Birmingham Jil 16th April 1963

    1. Politicians don't give a shit as long as it doesn't come back to them, they control the IPCC and NCA, and as long as they get to continue lining their own pockets all's good. Who actually does care about the mighty out of control HMRC shit heads.

  9. Make this shit house top of the agenda for all HMRC has never been fit for purpose so lets force the changes. IPCC, NCA, SFO, Police , politicians, all we're asking is that you do your duty.
    Get it done

  10. Just been on to look at Guido Fawkes and found this posted today at 1:02 pm

    HMRC wasted £2 million paying staff to sit at home because a spanking new IT system didn’t work for three months. According to Accountancy Age, 600 newly recruited staff were paid 75% of their wages to clock in to the office just once a week to see “if the system was operational yet“.

    The staff were taken on as part of a £75 million, three-year contract by HMRC with service provider Concentrix. Tasked with looking for fraudulent working tax credit payments, they couldn’t work from September to November last year because their computers couldn’t “talk” to HMRC’s computer network from Concentrix’s offices in Belfast.

    Nice work if you can get it…

    UPDATE: HMRC say the IT cock-up was entirely Concentrix’s fault and the company will be shouldering the costs.



    1. This is the tip of the iceberg, keep looking and you'll be disgusted at the crass incompetence of HMRC. Blindly following procedures that compel them to go to court, even when they have already lost, then its £45,000 legal costs and £80,000+ other costs to settle the case. with another looming as we speak for the same amounts. I will get my money and I will report back to you when I do. So that's just TWO cases since November and over £250,000.00 of the tax money wasted because HMRC were wrong and wouldn't back off.

    2. The link to Accountancy Age story and related issue was covered in an article here on Sunday


  11. Hah, the PAC are well aware of the absolute waste of taxpayers money that runs into billions as are the politicians, nobody gives a fu@k!

  12. Nothing is going to happen

    I have literally just listened on BBC Radio 4 to The Chancellor defend HMRC and state that a recent NAO report said that HMRC were 'doing a pretty decent job'!

    I'm not sure what planet he is from but it can't be Earth, his comments are an abbrogation of his responsibilities, denial of the obvious and totally delusional, heaven help us!

  13. Last year, parliament passed a draconian piece of legislation, which overturns a cherished legal principle – the presumption of innocence – when HMRC is investigating so-called tax avoidance.
    The tax system is a mess! It is too complicated, too difficult for ordinary taxpayers to understand and too expensive.
    Yet instead of working to simplify the system, successive governments have felt that the answer is just to award HMRC extra powers.
    However, left unchecked, HMRC officials will use the new powers to grab cash off completely innocent taxpayers and these powers will, over time, inevitably be expanded to all manner of disputes between taxpayers and the State.
    We are now faced with a situation where businesses and individuals have to pay an amount demanded by HMRC whether it is actually correct or not. And given HMRCs ability to fuck it up, it wont be right! This cannot be right, should not be legal and is not fair or just.

  14. Well well well. Post delays everyone could see happening except those paid to actually manage. They get rid of all the AA grade but plenty work still there so the AOs have to do it. This means less AO work is done but AA work is done for higher pay!
    Then theres the pmr-performance management system which encourages staff to do less work! You get rewarded for doing additional tasks which are nothing to do with the job youre paid to. They think its great people make up meetings solve problems that dont exist and send info to everyone who already knowsit but makes them look good instead of having to do any actual work!
    They have closed several pt ops offices. Despite being told it wont work as post wont get done, you are told dont worry not your problem!
    The computer systems dont work properly leading to more customer contact but nobody is there to answer it anymore.
    And if any staff left who still care do raise concerns they are told they are negative, put in the must improve 10% 'quota' even if they are more capable of someone who talks bullshit and gets an exceed (and therefore bonus).
    If you dont get a reply you could send a complaint. Oh hang on, theyre behind with them too. You might get a reply by august??
    Loads of staff are leaving and retiring too with none being put into pt ops. So many are retiring the pension dept you got it- are behind and are unable to supply pension details to those thinking of going!!
    Hmrc is collapsing around us but excom just keep burying their head in the sand. If staff got promoted through the grades and on ability rather than the current unverified make up bullshit competency rubbish or because of who they know they may have people able to make decisions that know what theyre doing.

    1. What a shit hole, HMRC must be costing us an absolute fortune.

    2. That's exactly what the powers that be want. A costly disaster so they can privatise the civil service. Then you really will see an absolute fortune disappear into shareholders pockets instead.

  15. More rearranging of the deck chairs, this is a message put out by Dotty Brown today:

    As part of my commitment to keep you regularly updated, I wanted to let you know about our latest preparations to get HMRC ready for the new tax year.

    As you know, for most of this year we've prioritised work on phones to ensure we're there for customers calling us for advice and support. With the new tax year just around the corner, we are joining up with other business lines over the next few weeks so that we start 2015-16 in the best position across all of our work - phones, ‎post and work management.

    In the next few days, around 400 colleagues from Enforcement and Compliance (E&C) will start to work with us to allow more of our people to concentrate on post and work management. Those in Local Compliance and Debt Management and Banking from East Kilbride, Edinburgh, Livingston and Newcastle will be helping to support HMRC customers while staying in their own business lines. I'm grateful for the speed at which E&C colleagues have responded to meet customer needs, particularly during such a busy time.

    This is all part of HMRC's approach to working flexibly to support our customers where and when they need us, as we have done in the July and January peaks. I'm sure you will support these colleagues as you have during other peaks of work over the past year, and I'll keep you all updated as this work progresses.


  16. Still waiting fora response to a letter sent in April 2014. In October 2014, an acknowledgement promised a response "shortly"

    1. Well if you cut 40,000 staff this is the customer service that is to be expected....i have no sympathy for all those who were clambering all over each other to cut civil service numbers....they now are reaping what they sowed...fuck them !!

      Blame these idiots...not the staff who are left to deal with this shambles !!