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, 10 October 2017

Lorry Drivers Apparently Stung For Unpaid Tax


My sympathies to the lorry drivers apparently stung by this scam.

As per the BBC:

"More than 1,000 lorry drivers have been left owing large sums of tax after claims the accounting company they used disappeared with the money.

They say they were encouraged by agencies to set up as limited companies and use the services of the now-defunct Lincoln-based firm Think Accounting.

An HMRC inquiry is under way after drivers were hit with unpaid tax bills.

Company owners Lee Wilson and Symon Williams Cooke did not respond to BBC requests for a comment. 

It is alleged the pair, who were not qualified accountants, worked with HGV driving agencies, paying agency staff commission if they encouraged the drivers to set up as limited companies with Think Accounting.
These limited companies and the tax they were liable for were administered by the firm on the drivers' behalf.

Drivers were given a small weekly wage plus expenses and dividends and say they believed the firm was paying the correct level of tax owed.

One of the affected drivers, Ian Hannon, said he received a tax bill for £11,500 after dealings with the company.

"My national insurance, my corporation tax, my VAT - Think Accounting had not forwarded anything on to the relevant parties to the tune of £11,500."

'Expecting bailiffs'

The company operated from 2011 to 2016, first as Think Accounting, then New Wave Accounting and finally Igloo Accounting, all of which have since ceased trading.

Problems came to light when driver Ron Tierney from Barnsley posted about his experiences on an online forum used by truckers. 

"I put on had anyone been a victim of Think and I had 4,500 replies off other truckers in the same position," he said.

"I brushed it under the carpet. I didn't want to tell my wife, my family. I was expecting bailiffs to knock at the front door."
The drivers were directed to another accountant who reported concerns to the police. The investigation was then passed on to HMRC.

Accountant Nic Davison, who has worked with some of the affected drivers, said: "HMRC should have put a stop to it straight away, but what they are doing is prosecuting the people that can't defend themselves."

HMRC urged people to be clear what they were signing up to.

It said anyone who could not pay their tax debts should contact them."

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. "It said anyone who could not pay their tax debts should contact them" Yes. If one wants to be spoken down to by some incompetent bullying jobsworth.

    If they want to be threatened with bankruptcy and forced sale of assets.

    1. You're criticising HMRC for giving the only advice it can in this horrible situation?

      Maybe you think it's their fault for not spotting what the Accountant was up to earlier?

      In my experience, HMRC will do what it can to help those affected, granting time to pay, change in Tax Code to get the money in gradually and more importantly, affordably for those involved, but no, let's give them a kicking because some bastard of an Accountant has done the dirty on workers.

      Anything to say about the Accountant?

      When the Revenue are in the wrong, they deserve all the abuse they get, but some of the ridiculous comments on here are just sociopathic in nature and driven by personal experience rather available facts.

  2. In order to avoid problems such as this I have been advocating for some time that those who claim to be accountants should only be able to trade if they hold a professional qualification and are members of a recognised professional organisation and abide by standards set by those organisations. In addition I am not satisfied that so many are able to trade as limited companies where the limit of their liability is only £100.00. Alas government is not concerned!

  3. @11.14 the easiest way to achieve the result you foresee is NOT to engage with HMRC , but then that would be what you want isnt it ?.

    @ 16.14 their can be no criticism of accountants as they are perfect and this blog is called after all !.

    1. Seems that we have an HMRC apologist here.

      Self server on payroll may they be.

      Most sensible people known that they are a despicable institution.

      Personal experience of calling them to ask for time to pay me self employed tax bill got spoken to like a piece of muck so terminated call.

      At end of day paid on credit card. Job done. Member of Hmrc staff initially refused to take c/card pyt not realising they could accept it.She was put right but not b4 she quipped "it would be like borrowing money to pay ur tax"....errrrrrrrrrrrrrr......YES!!!

    2. Is that you Lin?

  4. @9.39 HMRC employee I am , apologist no.
    As someone who has worked in debt management all my career I would never treat someone as dirt and I apologise because you were.

    But the truth of the story is that a possibly rogue accountant has left his clients in the lurch and owing large tax bills.
    If a person affected like this contacted me I would try my best to help them because the tax has to be paid.
    I agree that some of my colleagues may be less sympathetic which is wrong.

  5. As a lorry driver involved in this mess, HMRC were well aware of Think Accountings wrong doings back in Sept 2011 but didn’t bother informing the drivers until mid 2014 when a nice pot of money had accrued for HMRC to grab!