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, 10 June 2016

HMRC Doesn't Know The Tax Year End

The FT reports an interesting tribunal ruling in a taxpayer's favour who avoided £653K in tax.

The tribunal ruled that HMRC made a "fatal" error wrt tax dates, by describing a tax year “ending 6 April 2009”; thus invalidating the enquiry notice.

Jane Bailey, the tribunal judge, said HMRC had stated an intention “to enquire into a tax return for a year which did not exist”.

The case involved a taxpayer who took part in a tax avoidance scheme in the year to April 2009. HMRC wrote to him in 2011 to say his return was under inquiry, in a letter that used the disputed date.

The taxpayer argued the mistake about the date was fatal to HMRC’s case, even when there could be no reasonable doubt as to which year was intended.

HMRC argued that it was clear to the taxpayer which return was under inquiry. It also said the date “was only one day out, it did not mention the wrong year”.

The tribunal said conditions for its application were not met. As a result, HMRC has run out of time to challenge the taxpayer’s 2009 tax return. He is set to pay £653,000 less than the amount claimed by HMRC if it succeeded in showing the tax avoidance scheme was ineffective.

HMRC, avoiding any mention of the fact it cocked this up, said:
We are disappointed with the tribunal’s decision and are considering whether to appeal. HMRC wins around 80 per cent of avoidance cases that are taken to litigation by the taxpayer and many more settle with us before reaching that stage. 

We protected over £1bn in April this year alone. We tackle avoidance wherever we see it and litigate where necessary to ensure schemes are defeated and the tax due is paid.”
Given that HMRC insist taxpayers adhere to the rules, it is only reasonable to expect them to do likewise.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Anybody notice a constant theme here? Fuck things up as per APN , never say sorry either for getting things wrong or wasting taxpayers money , hint at further litigation and then start quoting irrelevant amounts of money collected which cannot be independantly verified as a smoke screen for schoolboy errors -expect plenty more of this as a dwindling number of caseworkers get more and more dumped on them supervised by a management that prides itself on knowing nothing about tax whilst thinking that attending meetings and forwarding links and e mails is a fulltime job

    1. Totally spot on with this. Add to that no customer service and no morals and your left wondering if the whole point of HMRC is to provide the well paid incompetent so-called 'management' an easy career path. The organisation fails its 'customers' and is not fit for purpose.

    2. HMRC used to be 90% tax collecting and 10% is now the complete opposite...all you have to do is follow the bullshit "PACESETTER" mantra with a very brown tongue.....fuck the taxpayers...they are an irritating really couldn't write this absolute disgrace...i despair from inside !!!
      And by the way while you poor taxpayers are trying to get through on the phones we are being dragged away to cringeworthy happy clappy "we're in it altogether" themed office parties where management pretend to love us but in reality are ticking a box to feather their own performance assessments.....jesus wept !!!!

  2. As an HMRC employee i was told " we do not have a blame culture " -what is not evident is a culture of responsibility , hence the constant cockups -can you imagine someone in the private sector costing their organisation £653 k and keeping their job ?

    1. A no blame culture? No HMRC have a bullying culture. If your face fits however, there is also a culture of 'collective responsibility' where they talk a lot about 'learning points' but as the individual responsible hides behind the collective they learn absolutely nothing!!! Is it any wonder hmrc are in such a mess?

  3. Blame culture non existant? Obviously never worked in the Lllanishen Open Prison where QA/QC was one of the mantra's along with an almost neurotic desire by management to get you to confirm you had read and understood the latest diktat to tumble down the e.mails/intranet thinghy - people stopped communicating verbally you know!
    Back to OP tho', if you wish to contend the law has been broken/compliance not adhered to better get your due dates correct or you ain't getting the money or a conviction or legal CP.
    Don't the muppets get everything with that amount of money at stake checked these days, or are the managers simply not managing?

  4. My dislike for HMRC knows no bounds. I have personally suffered at their hands due to amazing incompetence backed up with breathtaking arrogance. I believe the organisation is corrupt. BUT I have to say that, prima facie, this tribunal decision seems absurd. Yes, HMRC should not have got it wrong, but how does that change the basic facts if the avoidance scheme was clearly unfair?