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, 1 August 2018

HMRC Challenged Over Data Sharing

An EU national is challenging HMRC over new rules that require tax authorities around the world to automatically exchange information on millions of their citizens who live abroad. In a complaint to the UK’s data protection regulator, the EU citizen said the common reporting standard — a key measure against tax evasion developed by international experts that is now being gradually introduced by more than 100 countries — made her personal information vulnerable to cyber hacking or an accidental leak.

In her complaint against the common reporting standard to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office, the EU citizen said the exchange of information required by the rules will expose her to “a disproportionate risk of data loss and potentially hacking”.

She is quoted by the FT:
This risk has crystallised recently in light of incidents in which HMRC has lost data concerning UK taxpayers and recent data breaches concerning UK banks.” 
Her complaint cited how HMRC had lost the personal records of 25m taxpayers in 2007, as well as a media report in 2017 outlining how the tax authority’s website was vulnerable to cyber attacks. HMRC subsequently took action to fix the weaknesses.

HMRC declined to discuss the case but added:
HMRC shares some personal data with overseas tax authorities to ensure that the right tax is being paid. HMRC only ever shares information when it’s entirely lawful to do so. This includes complying with applicable GDPR requirements.” 
The fact is data is vulnerable to hacking, even when the data is stored by "reputable/professional" organisations!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Believe me, as a victim of HMRC data crime, whereby they unlawfully disclosed specific data including my home address to an associate of a manager, which resulted in some weirdo on my doorstep leaving my family and I threatened and severely distressed: HMRC ARE NOT TO BE TRUSTED WITH PERSONAL DATA.

    We all know of the high profile case where the incompetents lost a disk through careless or reckless actions, but the unlawful breach in my case was deliberate and HMRC failed to prosecute or even discipline the miscreant responsible. I am certain mine was not an isolated case.

  2. You've more chance of nailing jelly to a wall than getting HMRC to be accountable for anything.

  3. I really think it's time to put these "lost" data to bed, so to speak.

    As I recall, data disks containing Child Benefit details was posted to the treasury using secure courier. It apparently didn't arrive so the officer in the Treasury phoned up and asked for a duplicate. This was duly sent and arrived - by the same secure courier. The courier was one recommended by, and advised as most suitable, by the Govt.

    The lost data were lost either in transit, or at the point of delivery. HMRC followed the (then) existing data protocols. The Treasury also. The blame was placed on the courier who failed conclusively to prove they delivered the CDs. Without proof, no-one could be blamed conclusively.

    I write this only in support of the hapless individual working in HMRC who was following the procedures in force at the time and who ultimately, had to be sent to a secure location (ie a safe house) because of real physical threats received. The union, PCS, worked hard on this one (for a change) to support the employee.
    The director of public prosecutions offered staff at the centre of the case immunity from prosecution under the Data Protection Act for any "inadvertent breaches" of security, although no misconduct or criminality was found.

    And as a closer: HMRC is shite but not all individuals, especially at the lower levels are the same. I just wanted to put the record straight and for others to be mindful of making sweeping statements and generalisations.

    Jus' sayin'.

    1. Steady on. This kind of measured response isn't going to sit well in the echo chamber that posters apparently want on here. Can't you get bullying into it at all?

      Just to clarify a couple of points. The courier was TNT, who were HMRC's contracted internal mail service provider. And the discs were sent to NAO, not the Treasury.

    2. The lower levels of staff are the only ones doing any real work in the HMRC....and all without any proper training.....i see it every day....the contact centre especially...their standard of quality is appalling...but that isn't their fault...they haven't been trained properly and in no way am i having a go at contact centre staff..their job is bloody don't care...they want stats,not quality...that doesn't sit well with us...but there is no talking to them....tossers !!!

    3. Yes, the bullying many suffer in HMRC would be deemed Controlling and Coercive behaviour in a domestic setting and a serious crime as outlined under the Serious Crime Act 2015.

      Notwithstanding that numerous existing laws have been broken by the HMRC, without any action against the perpetrators, would it not help, as society progresses, if workplace violence were treated equally seriously as domestic abuse, so as to rein in rogue employers like the HMRC.

      As a former HMRC officer, diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of HMRC bullies, not least a particularly vindictive & dishonest female line manager who had issues, robust new law, matched by proper enforcement can not come soon enough to protect those unlucky enough to have to work for the HMRC. We urgently need genuine zero tolerance to the HMRC abusers.

    4. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) say:
      "Paid employment gives people not only an income but also affords them opportunities to contribute to society as a whole, their employer’s business and their individual development. The workplace should not be a setting where people are subjected to threats of or actual violence, harassment or bullying. This behaviour is unacceptable but unfortunately too many people are exposed to these risks as part of their work."

      HMRC have proven themselves unable to provide a safe working environment for their staff. They really are shite.

      Moreover, as this type of violence goes unchecked in a such key government department i.e. HMRC, this really should be an issue investigated at a senior governmental level.


  5. Re: HMRC conduct, bullying, law-breaking etc
    A few months ago , a brave hmrc worker said they were taking them to an employment tribunal.
    Wonder what the outcome was?

  6. Calling all disgruntled HMRC staff - blow the whistle in CONFIDENCE here: