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, 18 October 2016

HMRC and Concentrix Pass The Buck


Unsurprisingly the buck passing by both HMRC and Concentrix, over the tax credits fiasco, has not amused the Work and Pensions Committee.

As per CCH Daily the committee said it will write to both HMRC and Concentrix asking for ‘urgent information’ on how the outsourcer’s performance of Concentrix was monitored by HMRC and the levels of staffing and training at Concentrix.

It said there had been ‘repeated buck-passing’ between Concentrix and HMRC as to who was responsible for failure to assess claims correctly when carrying out fraud checks.

In addition, the committee wants details of the steps HMRC will take to compensate claimants, to ensure they are not further disadvantaged, and its plans to review decisions taken by Concentrix. It is seeking an assurance that Concentrix will not be compensated for HMRC taking much of their responsibilities back in-house. The committee also plans to issue a report into the scandal.

Well then, let's see what crawls from beneath the stones that the WPC aim to kick over!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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40 comments:

  1. This is going to take some honesty, openness and that much avoided accountability from HMRC. Does anyone think they will provide it?

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  2. I'm sorry, just remind me how much Homer's last bonus was?
    It's just a perception, but it seems as though something is wrong within HMRC, somewhere, just can't put my finger on it!

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    1. Homer got a bonus? What for, failure? If its that easy to get a bonus I am certain quality talent would apply to work at hmrc in greater numbers.

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    2. I wonder what HMRC's former boss Dave Hartnett is up to these days?

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  3. Remember, HMRC lost millions of peoples data back in 2007. Rather than someone in HMRC management take responsibility, they blamed it on an Admin Officer, who had to then hide out in a hotel for months. When things go wrong, you're dealing with snakes if you think HMRC managers will take accountability. A lot of them are sitting tight, until their retirement and pensions kick in.

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    1. The Chairman at the time resigned over the data loss.

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    2. Was awful the way the chairman was treated. Especially how a few weeks later he was in another Whitehall department.

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    3. Re: the above mention of the lost discs in 2007. Did HMRC not learn nothing from that? Unless I am mistaken the apparent breach of taxpayer confidentiality in the Ingenuous case by HMRC to News International in 2012 (that's the newspaper company whose other publications were caught up in the phone hacking scandal unearthed in 2011) took place FIVE years later? Furthermore, in the light of the revelations in the phone hacking scandal, this could look like HMRC had a certain cosy relationship with the powerful newspaper media company when the public all expect them to be impartial and neutral How can the public trust HMRC with private information when looking at all this?

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    4. If those who are entrusted by the public to enforce the law can not abide by the law themselves, at ALL times, it really does undermine trust in democracy and in the system. The revelation reiterated in court this week that HMRC's Dave Hartnett broke the law says it all. Surely its time for the Government to take an urgent look at what goes on in HMRC. One of the problems is collectively passing the buck within HMRC to avoid individual accountability - but surely obedience of the law relies on individual responsibility? So it would appear one of the problems is with the Department's culture and governance. Unless anyone has a different perspective on all the mess?

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  4. Re the comment about HMRC's former chairman. Has anyone else noted that for the average HMRC employee who is targeted by thugs at work they are not even the protection of the rule of law, and yet for the senior people they always like after themselves. It seems totally corrupt and not want one would expect from the civil service.

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    1. To disregard the law, to disregard your own policies, to disregard any sense of fair play or human decency IS CORRUPT.

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    2. HMRC ALLOW persistent bullying of staff and could not care less as to the consequences. They are not human or decent.

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  5. According to a recent Civil Service awards ceremony the frontline staff are the "kings and queens of our business" - lovely words but staff are not treated as such. Until they deal with the nasty bullying and cover ups they will never have any morality or credibility however many gongs they dish out.

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  6. I see HMRC has just lost a case in the Supreme Court, and if the reports are corret, mainly because Dave Hartnett breached taxpayer confidentiality in his "off the record" chat. Is "imbecile" too strong a work for this effing buffoon?

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    1. Do you mean he who could not get a case home against a comedian?
      Oh bugger, looks like the claret jug is empty again!

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    2. Wow, readthe official reports yesterday evening. Can't wait to see what a shitestorm it will cause - probable prima face criminal offence? The language used leaves little room for misinterpretation or spin.
      Over to you Ken!

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  7. Always remember integrity has to be absolute. If you can't demonstrate integrity in your day to day dealings with your own staff, then its difficult to believe you have any genuine integrity (how ever much you act) when dealing with your 'customers'.

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  8. HMRC's failure to comply with taxpayer confidentiality and the data protection act is an issue of great concern.

    Reportedly Dave Hartnett, HMRC's former head taxman, briefed The Times newspaper 'off the record' in 2012. This is the same HMRC who hide behind taxpayer confidentiality when being asked reasonable questions at the PAC. Now it looks like they turn one way and then another to suit what's best for them.

    This was a serious breach and has resulted in HMRC losing a case which we, the hard up taxpayer will have to foot the multi-million pound bill for, all at a time when many areas of the public sector could do with extra funding including the NHS which has a direct impact on people's lives.

    I hope the media will pursue this story with great vigour. It confirms my suspicion that HMRC appear above the rules. I am no expert in law but would have thought the case will have to be considered to assess what, if any, criminal offences have been committed and prosecutions brought, and in the case of people who have retired, withdrawing pensions where guilt of a breach of rules is established.

    You could not make this up. HMRC have lost a legal case because of their lack of respect for the rule of law.

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    1. It is the view of some that the story was never about tax avoidance but about supporting the British film industry at the behest of the government of the day. The fact a newspaper was briefed shows a total lack of objectivity & integrity which should be a key requirement for the civil service.

      This case was NEVER about criminal tax evasion, but was it even alleged illegal aggressive tax avoidance? It would appear to the man on the street that it was people investing, yes with a tax efficient incentive, as had been intended to support British films. If I recall 2012 was an era when the chattering classes were making a lot of fuss about alleged tax avoidance of 'the rich' and it was more about the politics of envy. In their apparent desperation to appeal to the 'screaming mob' it appears some may have lost sense of all rules and values which govern the civil service.

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  9. Is there any link within the culture of HMRC between HMRC casually bullying staff, as though its their perfect thug like right, and casually breaking other rules?

    From the outside it looks an organisation crying out for root and branch reform. First the Government should investigate the culture report their findings to the general public. Trust in HMRC is getting lower and lower.

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  10. The Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 places an importance on 'taxpayer confidentiality', with criminal penalties for wrongful disclosure. In 2014, HMRC's now Executive Chairman, Edward Troup, told MPs that there is "extremely overwhelming" evidence that the end of taxpayer of confidentiality would result in a loss of revenue. So not only has the Ingenious case landed HMRC (the taxpayer) with a multi-million pound legal bill the breach of taxpayer confidentiality could also result in less overall revenue: that's the clear implication of Troup's 2014 comments.

    We can only hope the media and the public will keep an eye out to ensure appropriate action is taken if the aforementioned law has been broken.

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  11. Dear Prime Minister...

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    1. However much they go on about the laudable issues of social mobility and diversity and however many awards they dish out, HMRC really do need to learn that the public judge you on your actions and behaviours, not on your fine words and internal awards ceremonies done for benefit of your PR machine. Once HMRC deal with their bullying problems their PR stunts might be a little believable, but until then it just looks like plastic window dressing hiding something very nasty, very corrupt and very rotten!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  12. The moral of the story for taxpayers is this:
    only ever give the minimal data to HMRC which you are obligated to under the force of law. Do not go further than that. Don't.

    If they call, or turn up at your premises, asking questions then politely decline and ask them to put the questions in writing and confirm which powers entitle them to ask for the information. Do not further engage with them. Just don't do it. Then ask them to leave.

    The taxpayer confidentiality breach is an appalling reflection of HMRC's professionalism (or lack of it). Do not trust them. Ever.

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  13. Now wouldn't it be telling if all the Concentrix staff were now transferred to the HMRC in the next few days ??

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    1. Nothing would surprise me with HMRC senior management. So long as their getting big pay and big pensions, and enjoying the odd little away day to Arsenal & Chelsea, they don't really seem to have much idea about anything else.

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    2. ....watch this space for the imminent transfer from private to public sector....!!!

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. Concentrix employees transferred to HMRC

      http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/news_and_events/pcs_comment/pcs_comment.cfm/major-win-as-scandal-hit-contract-ended....

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    5. Urgent note to Concentrix staff moving to HMRC: BEWARE OF HMRC BULLYING. It will not be as 'warm & fluffy' as HMRC, and their mates at PCS union, would have you believe. Despite having thousands of policies it is not a rule or law based work environment. Whereas the private sector usually values hard work, to get on (sorry, to just stay afloat) at HMRC you need to be a yes person and know how to skilfully play their 'politics' game and even then you may be not be safe. Once the thugs get going the bullying gets very nasty with very serious consequences, and PCS will not be able to effectively help you, if they bother to make any effort. If after knowing the facts you decided to join HMRC - the very best of luck. Best advice would be stay with Concentrix, take the redundancy pay and look for a new job.

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    6. PCS as a Union support Jeremy Corbyn and that awful man John McDonnell. Take a look at these individuals political history, and the causes they have supported, and then have a think about the values of PCS Union. Any Concentrix staff moving over should avoid joining that useless union who are part of the problem, not the solution, within the weird world of HMRC.

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  14. "From the frying pan into the fire"

    Good luck to our new colleagues !!

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  15. And no mention of the work that has NOT been farmed out to Concentrix. HMRC still has a Compliance department that sends letters out (asking for lots and lots of information, without a return pre paid envelope - that practice stopped more than a year ago) to the self employed, the disabled, couples with children, etc. And they have a Mandatory Reconsideration process. I wonder what the reinstatement of tax credit claims rate is? The buck stops with HMRC.

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    1. I quite agree with the above. The buck does stop with HMRC. I don't know whether its just me but whenever I read Ken's posts and the comments about a wide range of HMRC related issues, from wasteful spending to dodgy tax deals to bullying and cover-ups, and more, I can't help feeling something is very rotten, with a complete lack of trust, about the HMRC. It seems a monster of a company and you have to wonder how its allowed to go along unchecked?

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    2. Success rate for HMRC claimants using the Mandatory Review path according to Jon Thompson is 43%. For Concentrix, according to them, it is 90-95% !!!! Or 74% if you use HMRC figures. Even their MR figures are at odds!

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    3. Stated on BBC Politics Today as 90%-95% so must be true!

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  16. On the face of it , it may seem a good thing for Concentrix people to move to HMRC but HMRC is still on course to make thousands of staff redundant so it may be just a short term relief. "Building our future" marches on.

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    1. "Building our future"? More like "Bullying IS the Future" for those unfortunates joining HMRC.

      They may well have 'employment rights' but how will they enforce them against the monsters? If HMRC's Head Taxman can break the law...

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  17. At the Work and Pensions Committee, Phillip Cassidy Senior VP Concentrix read out an HMRC email (wouldn't say who sent it) that described Concentrix as stars, thanking them profusely for all their hard work. Very strange then that shortly after this fulsome praise, he was given 15 minutes warning of HMRC deciding to end the contract. He objected to the short notice, so the caring HMRC gave him an hour to advise staff! Doesn't this whole thing stink?

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    1. It was good to hear a Labour MP confirm today that HMRC are far from blameless in the Concentrix scandal. She want on to describe the trauma it has caused in some of her constituents lives, there were some very upsetting stories - rather than going on awaydays at Premier League football clubs and dishing out plastic awards to each other HMRC need to think about the impact their incompetence and failings have on the lives of the people who they are paid to serve for a change!?!

      As for PCS union, they always seem against outsourcing and the private sector per se. Given how HMRC treat their own staff, how HMRC have let down the public and how HMRC have treated Concentrex maybe a little humility is required from them.

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