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, 4 November 2015

HMRC Is A Genuine Threat To Tax Collection

Lin Homer's Philosophy

It should come as no surprise to loyal readers to learn that PAC is still somewhat "underwhelmed" by the performance of HMRC.

PAC has stated in a new report that HMRC is "still failing UK taxpayers".

However, what is "surprising" (or rather shocking) is that PAC has stated that the quality of HMRC's customer service (sorry for using the "C" word there!)
"could be considered a genuine threat to tax collection".
Now read that bit again, PAC are saying that the organisation that is meant to collect tax in an efficient, professional and cost effective manner is in fact not just crap, but working against its own raison d'ĂȘtre!

In other words, tax collection would be more efficient, effective and professional if HMRC ceased to exist!

To add weight to its views, PAC noted that in the first half of 2015 HMRC contact centres answered only half of incoming calls, and only 39% within five minutes. Meg Hillier, chair of the PAC, is quoted by the BBC "HMRC must rapidly improve its customer service, previously described by the PAC as abysmal and now even worse". In 2014, 72% of calls had been answered.

She went on to say (as per the FT):
"It beggars belief that, having made disappointing progress on tax evasion and avoidance, the taxman also seems incapable of running a satisfactory service for people trying to pay their fair share.”

HMRC's response is that it has now recruited 3,000 more staff and that the customer service issues had not affected its ability to collect tax.

Does that response hold up in the face of reality?


I understand that every member of HMRC staff (who is trained in telephony work) is on the phones taking calls all day long, to the point where other areas of work which those staff usually deal with are abandoned for weeks at a time simply to get more bodies answering calls.

In other words, HMRC is a sinking ship in which a diminishing number of experienced, professional staff are running around trying to plug an ever increasing number of holes.

HMRC has expressed "disappointment" with PAC's views:
"We are disappointed that the Public Accounts Committee has overlooked HMRC's record results, which include collecting a record £517bn in tax revenues."
In other words HMRC have no intention of improving!

Please feel free to share you experiences of dealing with/working for HMRC.

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance

HMRC Is Shite (, also available via the domain, is brought to you by "The Living Brand"


  1. It will go on and on and it will be the same in a year's time and two years PAC will say HMRC should improve HMRC will say we did this and we will do that blah blah blah.

  2. But, but, but...

    All those bonuses paid to senior managers...
    All the crap talked about Lean - it doesnt work in the civil service type environment...
    All those 'events' and 'holiday camps' and awards...
    All protests to the contrary...

    It looks as though the truth is finally burning through the fog of deception that has surrounded this incompetant organisation and its management.

    I would expect the Chancellor and/or the P.M. to be somewhat embarrassed by the way that their flagship worldclass department is perceived worldwide.

    It was never going to get better under Homers 'leadership', snd the facts speak for themselves, it has clearly got worse on her watch. Asleep at the helm, comatose more like. What an absolute disgrace.

  3. A government department which has become a threat to tax collection?
    Did I just read that???????

    1. Yes, you really did read that!

      As I said, it is quite shocking!

  4. Can Homer justify her £20k bonus this year??

  5. EXCOM's new strategy is not collecting's forced staff's all they seem to care about...that and their bloody staff survey !!!

    Fuck them !!!

  6. I remember when the vast majority of my colleagues were proud to work for an organisation called Her Majesty's Customs & Excise. Uniformed staff were proud of their recognisable uniform and even to the end the respect that the general public had for front-line staff and that includes Excise, Inland Customs, VAT and Road Fuel Staff.
    The job was not easy and took its toll over the years but still the staff were proud of their department, their flag and the job!
    3 members of staff gave their lives undertaking their work, Peter Bennet, Ali Gordon and Tony Edwards - RIP fellas, that is a high price to pay for doing your duty!
    Staff not interfacing with the public were still proud to be part of the department and generally speaking did a good job in difficult conditions but as with everyone, they were encouraged to be innovative.Those days are long since gone.
    The original Investigation Department (ID) which had responsibilty for drugs, tax, prohibitions and restrictions was a world leader, respected by everyone from the criminals themselves through the legal system to the Highest Court in the land. Justifiably so until a variety of high profile cases were lost, of which, London City Bond related prosecutions were a small part. A pity but when the likes of an ACIO is considered by the Bristol High Court Judge at the time to be an unreliable witness what can you expect.
    A few years ago HMRC had to undertake a panic sticken withch hunt for those staff employed within the criminl justice system who had undeclared criminal convictions that have to be declared to the defence under disclosure (Guney) rulings. Wht the department forgot to do was witch hunt those staff in the Criminal Justice system who had notifiable discipline offences on file, including those with repeat offences never mind allegations. (no smoke without fire).
    Of course, if this ever gets properly investigated by professional experienced investigators many cases may have to be reconsidered, but thats why the law had to be changed and disclosure rules brought in. Its no good saying that discipline cases and investigations are not relevant to the case in question, thats bollocks.
    HMRC, crap, unfit for purpose, badly run, staff bullying with H&S and Equality Law ignored wholesale. HMRC is long overdue for an inquiry and in need of a total and open review, and I don't mind helping get this mess sorted out Excom, as you are aware!

  7. The departments badly run from the top with managers that are totally incompetent and clueless. So many experienced staff have been shifted onto new roles for which they get no proper training and struggle with what to do. Management are told but wont listen. Raise a concern and you are marked down as negative in your performance assessment.
    So they take new staff to do work that could be done by experienced staff and the new staff dont know what to do. Why? Little or no proper training!! Then they want staff who dont know what theyre doing to train new staff! Is it any wonder the departments fucked.
    Oh and if you want to move somewhere the current mantra is get promoted. To a job where you are forced new terms and conditions with no prospect of going up the payscale. No thanks.
    And with regards pay we see MPs getting big rises, that twat cameron telling the world how everyones pay is on the up but in the civil service we have had years of actual not just real terms cuts in take home pay. Homer and her 20 grand bonus another kick in the bollocks. And they wonder why people are demotivated and cant be bothered. The place is fucked beyond repair. I used to work very hard. Now i cant be arsed and hope homer and her champagne gargling wooden puppets are all sacked.

  8. Scenario at the next ExCom meeting

    Lin Homer : We have a problem, the PAC are complaining again. I know, Pacesetter will solve it and all will be well. Lets have a 3C.

    Concern : Our bonuses are at risk.
    Cause : The PAC says HMRC is worse than abysmal.
    Countermeasure : Hire someone even better at lying and spinning than we are and convince the PAC otherwise.

    Problem solved for the time being!

    More seriously, if there is ever a full enquiry into the running of HMRC, it will be interesting to see what emerges. Incompetence, lying and denying reality are the norm among management, and it spreads some way down the chain of command because of the culture of fear which has been introduced in recent years.

  9. Yes, will never forget the 17 pages of Lean jargon busting as published some years ago on HMRC Intranet!

    The elephant in the room over this is the sheer volume of recalls by Toyota over the years combined with its multi-muti billion Yen costs, but if the message is toe the line, the spineless ones will do so, or forfeit bonuses and promotions as a consequence.

    Watching hmrc staff being almost dragged to the hub meetings was an education, the best bit though was the £8k quad sided mag board on castors that the management would plaster with graphs of all sizes and colours and types proclaiming the stats as laid before the great idol. As previously stated I used to turn a graph a day upside down, it must have been the best part of a month before the idiots in management spotted it. The bigger joke was it was wheeled around other offices like a religious artifact and none of the twats noticed my subversive work.
    Of course, this was all in an environment that had kitchen cleaning rosters for staff despite a cleaning company on site? Value for money my arse, but then its only taxpayers, oops, customers money after all.
    You would not dream this bunch of fuckwits up even if you drank Pocheen neat.

    Could not be trusted to manage a cake stall at a church sale/

  10. Just join the Farking Dots FFS!

  11. HMRC's view that the customer service problem did not affect its ability to collect tax is a very good illustration of what is inherently wrong at HMRC. Can't believe someone said that. Actually, yes I can.

  12. For a start, DMTC staff would be talking calls from taxpayers who had phoned DMTC because they couldn't get through to the Self Assessmemt "help"line. Unless they were calling to make a payment, request TTP etc you couldn't help them. Instead of collecting tax you were apologising, telling them to keep trying , directing them to website for guidance.

  13. A simple exercise for TPTB at Ministerial level;
    Read the subsequent blog about the new Charter Committee, D'oh! on second thoughts I have copoed the relevant details for your perusal:-

    "In order to strengthen the governance of Your Charter, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has created a new Charter Committee.

    This will be a sub-committee of the HMRC Board.

    Its membership will include HMRC Executives, non-Executives and a range of external stakeholders who represent HMRC’s broad range of customer groups. It will be chaired by the HMRC Board’s Non-Executive Charter champion, Edwina Dunn.

    We are looking for four people to join the Charter Committee as external members. We’d like these members to:

    represent HMRC’s broad customer groups
    constructively challenge and advise the Board on fulfilment of the Charter commitments

    Those selected will be appointed in a personal capacity. To be successful in the role, individuals will need to have:

    experience relating to HMRC’s work from using our services
    excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with an ability to influence and persuade stakeholders at the highest level within public, private and third sector organisations as well as a clear ability to probe and challenge constructively
    the ability to examine and understand data/information, engage in team discussions to agree a course action and be part of a workable solution
    a strong customer service ethos and be passionate about improving and delivering services to all HMRC customers...''

    Now, the big question:-
    Have not taxpayers (customers FFS) been paying the salaries of these incompetants to do just what they are asking the 4 appointees to do?

    You could not dream this crap up.
    see definition'
    ''not having or showing the necessary skills to do something successfully.
    "a forgetful and utterly incompetent assistant"
    synonyms: inept, unskilful, unskilled, inexpert, amateurish, unprofessional, lacking ability, bungling, blundering, clumsy, unproficient, inadequate, substandard, inferior, ineffective, deficient, inefficient, ineffectual, no good, not good enough, wanting, lacking, leaving much to be desired;''


  14. Ken,

    You say that the "PAC are [sic] saying that ... [as you paraphrase it] tax collection would be more efficient, effective and professional if HMRC ceased to exist!"

    It's pretty clear that the quote from Hiller (PAC chair and opposition MP) that she feels that HMRC's poor customer service is a threat to tax collection. (The PAC itself is, as you'd expect, a bit less blunt, but the gist, and the emphasis on the poor customer service, is broadly the same.) It's very hard to see why you get the impression that she/PAC is referring to the actual existence of HMRC.

    For what it's worth, I think they're probably right. The poor service does contribute to lack of faith in the tax system, which is likely to deter voluntary compliance (though it has to be said that some of the very poor reporting of it in the media doesn't help).

    What puzzles me, though, is why a blogger who claims to dedicate his work to the employees of HMRC (among others) would choose to interpret Hiller's statement in this way.

    Stew G