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, 21 April 2017

HMRC Breaches Charter and Blocks Agents

Here is an extract from the Taxpayers' Charter (remember that?):
“We’ll respect your wish to have someone else deal with us on your behalf, such as an accountant or a relative. To protect your privacy, we’ll only deal with them if they have been authorised to represent you, and we’ll deal with them courteously and professionally.”
All clear and straightforward, yes?

Unfortunately no longer, for you see HMRC is changing the rules of engagement.

AccountingWeb reports, as from 1 May agents who ring HMRC to ask for the pay and tax details of a client will no longer be given that information, even if they are authorised to act. HMRC will instead send the information in a letter to the taxpayer, at his last known address, but they won’t send a copy of this letter to the agent.

HMRC says this change is to reduce call handling costs and to increase security for taxpayers.

All very fine and dandy, except that it breaches the Charter and is clearly designed to stop agents acting on behalf of their clients.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. "increase security for taxpayers"? Really? What from the tax authority who breached data rules over Six Thousand times during 2014-15? This doesn't sound like "brilliant" customer service.
    I don't even know if it really will save HMRC any money but we can be sure it'll cost taxpayers and accountants more in both time and money at the end of the day.

  2. I can't remember from my time in there, but if this is originally allowed for under TMA or whatever legislation, have the Muppets changed the law without reference to the legislators/Parliament?

    This lot a beyond parody and should be brought to account. Only problem as I see it is that no-one is going to do it. That dear readers is of more concern than anything else and speaks to the malaise at the heart of Political and Public Service!
    Anyway, why was it a TAXPAYERS charter and not that other stupid thing?

  3. Just an observation from someone who has recently been on the receiving end of HMRC's shocking lack of 'customer service' - if they are really looking to save costs (a good thing) then should they not look at putting a stop to all the 'fishbone' tosh and the jollies at football stadiums rather than this, which will only frustrate taxpayers basic right of having an accountant act on their behalf?

  4. Yes, saving costs is a good thing. Taxpayers will have had P60s and P45s from the employers. It's time HMRC saved a little bit more by charging for needless requests for pay and tax details. Agents should ask the client for them. What is so difficult about that? I think you will find the Agent Update will refer agents to the PTA to obtain them.

    1. The trouble is that sometimes taxpayers will lose their P60/P45s, its very easily done, but nevertheless want to comply with the system.
      So they employ an accountant to deal with matters and accountants will need that vital information to complete things such as tax return.
      Sadly the information being sent to taxpayers rather than accountants risks unnecessary delays at best.
      Surely HMRC want taxpayers to be compliant and engaged with the system and those employing an accountant generally are.
      The alternative is non-compliance e.g. the £1.5 billion "VAT dodge" (referred to in a Daily Mail article)!!!
      So yes, saving costs is a good thing, but they need to target genuine waste(and there's lots of it) e.g. when holding events think do we really need to hire that expensive iconic venue or could we use room in a civil service building? I am afraid the 'saving' from not providing the info to accountants will probably be a false economy, helping nobody in the long term.

  5. Is the Taxpayers Charter no longer worth the paper its written on then???