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, 7 December 2016

MTD and Concentrix - Appalling Human Consequences

Unsurprisingly the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has expressed serious concerns about HMRC's digital policy.

Digitising the Tax System (MTD)

PAC is quoted by Accountancy Age:
HMRC is staking a great deal on the success of its plans to digitise the tax system, but once again it lacks an adequate plan if demand for its call centres does not reduce as quickly as it hopes.” 
MTD “must” meet the challenges of cutting spending, restructuring its business, dealing with Brexit, relocating staff, and replacing a major IT contract.

Also, HMRC must agree on a contingency plan with HM Treasury in case its projections are inaccurate. Meg Hillier, MP, chair of the PAC, added:
Contingency planning should not be an optional extra.

HMRC plays a vital role, it is disconcerting that again we must raise concerns about customer service and transparency in the tax system. The lack of a convincing fall-back plan to safeguard service remains a looming threat.” 

“Complete failure” of Concentrix

The Concentrix farce also came in for a well desrved kicking.

There has been “unnecessary hardship and suffering” due to the “complete failure” of the contract of HMRC with Concentrix. The actions of Concentrix resulted in many tax claimants being wrongly accused of fraudulent claims and lost their payments.

Hillier added:
We look forward to meaningful action to prevent a repeat of the failings embodied by its contract with Concentrix, a venture with appalling human consequences.”
Let's see what the future will bring!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Not surprising - HMRC and its management have no thought, let alone care, as to the human consequences of their actions.

    If they are prepared to send a letter to an MP which is dishonest and deliberately misleading then, in my humble view, they consider themselves untouchable. Their appalling reputation is well earned.

  2. Those two words in relation to HMRC's tax credit debacle, "complete failure" very neatly sum up the overall performance of HMRC.

  3. For all the praise PAC gets here, people would do well to remember that PAC fail CONSTANTLY to consider that HMRC do not operate in a vacuum.

    The people in charge of HMRC are expected to run the department in accordance with Treasury/Government instructions (which can be boiled down perpetually to 'Do More With Less'.

    PAC feel free to criticise Government departments whilst never questioning the Government funding provided (simply because the PAC will never criticise Government funding because MPs' on the committee may find their own words being used against them come election time).

    I'm not saying this to defend HMRC or ExCom, but let's be honest, the Concentrix contract is the sort of deal forced onto the department by an expectation of cost-cutting, not service and if that's the issue that needs addressing then let's address it by pointing out MPs', PAC and those running HMRC have fucked people over.

    When this deal was proposed, it would have been nice if someone in the department had the decency to resign, stating this deal would harm people, but being an ExCom twat means taking the blame for decisions made above their pay grade gracefully (decent salary and an honour if you don't fuck up and keep your mouth shut) but if we're gonna call people cunts for imposing a system that leaves vulnerable people suffering, let's start with those in charge before the irrelevant saps just issuing letters.

    1. In other words the 'high ups' are unscrupulous, unprincipled cowards with less concern for the real harm they cause to people than for their own cosy careers.

  4. You ain't seen nothing yet folks. Concentrix fiasco will pail into insignificance when the fated move to Regional centres takes off with a bang. Most experienced staff heading for the exit door. Watch this space...

  5. If central government can get it's head out of it's proverbial arse and pay many AO grade staff at least £25K instead of the £18K pittance they are on, and instead of passing on any wage saving to an external contractor such as Concentrix, we might actually get people working in HMRC committed to the cause. You government pay people peanuts, you get moneys!

  6. monkeys not moneys yet I lol. the customers and staff now both suffer. Damn shame.

  7. Wrt to the human consequences of HMRC - whether that be the tax credit debacle, MTD or the appalling brutal mistreatment of their own staff - there have been interest comments on here which show an out of control institution where self-regulation has failed and they are crying out for governance, culture change and reform. Those calls are likely to amplify the longer it continue unchecked.

    There are too many yes-people to force that change from within. Being objective one cannot necessarily criticise those people as it will for a number of reasons from those afraid they will become a victim of the thuggish bullying to those acting out of pure self-interest towing the line to gain promotion. The fact is though, an unchallenging yes-person culture leads to corruption - how else could it be explained that a serving HMRC senior officer committed a criminal offence, known about by HR, and yet it was not independently investigated never mind prosecution considered?

    As Einstein once said: "The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don't do anything about it".

    I applaud the brave people, many of whom have personally suffered at the hands of HMRC, who speak out about their experiences and the need for investigation.

    The issues of diversity, social mobility, equality are all good things which any decent person would 100% support. However, as HMRC victims and their friends, family, partners etc who have suffered the pain and sleepless nights will testify there is nothing more hypocritical and sanctimonious than for HMRC to pretend they are champions of such aims. They must be judged by their disgusting actions and not through their fine words. The basics of marketing can only have an affect when the organisation is behaving ethically and lawfully from top to bottom. We need less fine words and robust investigation and clean-up.

    1. HMRC do seem to struggle in differentiating between mistake and misconduct. Committing a criminal offence is not a mistake, it is misconduct with consequences to the victim.

      Misconduct in any organisation is the domain of:

      - the lazy and inadequate
      - the unprofessional
      - the corrupt and the unscrupulous
      - the criminals.

      Any organisation which does not understand the difference between mistakes and misconduct, and does not understand the need to enforce certain behavioural standards to ensure public trust & confidence in their organisation, evidently has serious issues with its governance and executive management.