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 February 2017

Dominic Rabb Proposes Fines For HMRC Blunders

Kudos to Dominic Raab MP who has outlined what should be done about the unmitigated shambles that is HMRC in a new paper for the TaxPayers’ Alliance, recommending ways to simplify the system.

As he notes, the UK tax code is too long and complex. That has facilitated tax avoidance, undermined UK competitiveness and led to the taxman (HMRC) acquiring arbitrary powers. This report sets out five proposals to simplify the tax system, make it fairer and more competitive, and limit the scope for abuse of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and individual taxpayers.

I most certainly fully support the recommendation that clear financial penalties should be imposed on HMRC to compensate taxpayers who suffer from the arbitrary use of new powers.

However, he has missed out one very necessary reform that I and others have been calling for over the years. Namely that HMRC should have its own ministerial office and cabinet member responsible and accountable for it.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Good man, Dominic Raab MP. If only people with such sense occupied positions in Senior Management at HMRC.

    In my experience you have a largely dedicated staff in the junior grades at HMRC (the people in contact with taxpayers on the frontline) but management from top to bottom is very poor. Add to that most Senior Management have no experience of doing a proper a job in HMRC, and neither do they have any management experience in industry outside the public sector/civil service (i.e. most are fast track/careerist SCS), and hence they are unable to see things from the perspective of real taxpayers, and you are left with a directionless department.

    Maybe along with a new accountable governance structure, HMRC should recruit its next Chief Executive Officer from the private sector? Sir David Varney was the last CEO recruited from outside industry and his tenure received mixed reviews (not forgetting of course that he had the poisoned chalice of creating the monster which is HMRC) but this option surely has to be considered.

    Alternatively, how about a scheme being created to genuinely allow very able and talented people who have worked on the frontline at HMRC in lower grades, be promoted to the very top of the department?

    Either way, we need people with sense and an understanding of what its like for taxpayers running this outfit, to maximise revenue while acting fairly & proportionately!

    1. Sir David Varney was a twat, was chairman not Ceo, Steve lamey was last private sector ceo

    2. Steve Lamey was never CEO. He was Chief Information Officer (CIO). But still a twat of the highest order, the incompetent money-grubbing charlatan bastard.

    3. Sir David Varney was indeed the Chairman but back in those days it was an 'Executive' role. People will have their own views on him, but he did a much better job than more recent CEOs such as Jon Thompson and the lamentable Dame Linda. HMRC had one or two problems during her reign including law breaking and sweetheart deals.

  2. The proposal to fine HMRC is great in theory. And in practice too you would hope they HMRC would organise themselves so as they never have to fined. That's what the proposal is aiming for.

    However, if they were to be fined, and say this happened on multiple occasions what would be the point unless senior management were going to held accountable?

    There would need to be a plan to deal with their poor performance ranging from 'improvement needed' plans (currently used as a tool on junior staff) through to dismissal.

  3. A proper governance structure with a minister in the cabinet is vital. At the minute Hmrc is run like a family business (the "family" in this case being the politically correct speaking elites occupying Excom).

    Perfectly good for a small enterprise, but totally unacceptable for an allegedly accountable tax department which has extensive, and some would say excessive, powers over taxpayers, the general public and thousands of staff.

    Not to mention their huge operating budget - with too much of the public's money wasted - all without adequate oversight.

  4. A succinct and sensible report. I wish Dominic success in taking this forward. The view of HMRC having a punitive approach to the middle class, while the PAC deems them to be soft on the super-rich is very true and often commented about. Would it be asking too much to also address the public perception of fake political correctness, dishonesty, wining & dining and old boy networking?

  5. There are much worse aspects of HMRC.
    They are currently above the law. If they investigate you and issue a tax bill, you are 100% guilty unless proved innocent.

    If this happens, and if you lack a receipt for a bank credit of 11 years ago, they will deem it to be taxable income. This will happen even if it was a gift from your late great aunt, 8 years before she died.

    1. A very good point. I've heard of people being taxed on a bank loan first and questions only being dealt with later.

      When you hear of all the law breaking by HMRC and sweetheart deals for the rich & powerful it is very clear that the mob have excessive powers over everybody else and they must be curtailed.

    2. "They are currently above the law". The solution is to get HMIC to thoroughly investigate.

  6. Might have been able to take this report seriously if it had been done independently by the mp, instead there is involvement by the sinister & insidious TPA

  7. If The Muppet Show had to pay fines for its blunders (including IT failures) the public purse or Treasury Coffers would be rather slim.
    But hey, the "customers" don't give a flying feck because they believe its not their money being squandered.
    I still can't work out why the 2 main parts were smashed together, it's almost as though it was done on purpose, common purpose?
    Is Lean or whatever the fuck they call it these days still polluting the place, you would have thought that after IiP, TQM and all the other claptrap, that the managers would have learnt not to be sold snake oil by now.

  8. Simple, stop paying bonuses and inflated salaries to management, then get some decent managers in there to manage.
    Ohh, that's a bit to simple really, perhaps they need to have a Kaizen Blitz?

  9. C&E and IR were thrown together in the same way as SOCA was thrown together from Police's National Crime Squad and the Drugs Teams From C&E. UKBF was a mix of Immigration and Detection ofaucets from C&E.
    SOCA was rebranded as NCA when it was clear it had failings
    UKBF was rebranded as Border Force as it was not working as Dame Lin intended (I would bloody well hope not).
    So about time HMRC was split up and rebranded. Mind you, the NCA and Border Force are still not working well, so all this meddling and rebrandinformation has achieved sweet FA apart from demoralising their dedicated front line staff.

  10. Deal with all the misconduct in HMRC - past and present. Ensure the guilty are pursued through all civil and criminal law avenues. Send out a message that such misconduct (including those scoundrels also guilty of attempting to cover it up) is not tolerated in Government Departments.
    And then create a new department not tainted by the 12-year history of the monstrous HMRC, and one in which the public and the dedicated staff can have trust and confidence.

    1. Ha! I can think of one manager who would have to take up residence near the court.

      If the truth ever gets out, it will make the allegations that have been placed on here look tame by comparison.

    2. Without giving specifics, what type of offences are you referring to? Its in the public interest to know the calibre of management. I want to know I can trust them with my tax.

    3. I know of one manager who committed criminal offences and HMRC did nothing about prosecuting or even disciplining the crook!