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, 19 February 2019

Jon Thompson Number 5 On The Financial Power List 2019


Compiled by the Accountancy Age editorial team, the Financial Power List 2019 ranks the 50 individuals who we believe will make the biggest difference in the accountancy industry over the next 12 months.  Individuals considered for the list span government, practice and business. Their status or role does not guarantee their position in this ranking, but rather we have chosen individuals who we think will have an impact in one way or another based on what changes they are predicted to spearhead, whether that be in government policy, tax changes, regulation, firm growth, or industry diversity.

In at Number 5...

5. Jon Thompson, CEO, HMRC
In April 2016, Jon Thompson was appointed as the CEO of HMRC. For the three years prior to this date, Thompson was the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, and thus responsible for the likes of policy, finance, and planning.
Now, he is responsible for a government body with 45 million customers and 58,000 employees.
With Making Tax Digital coming into effect this year, and Brexit on the horizon, Thompson will be expected to ascertain that HMRC is prepared to handle the changes.

Oh, and for your amusement, in 2015 I was ranked number 40:

40 (NE) Ken Frost
In and out of the Power List since his anti-ICAEW/CIPFA merger campaigning in the mid-Noughties, his recent posts on the cheekily named HMRCIsShite blog seem to have invoked illuminating spleen-venting among the taxman’s staff – we expect even more to follow in what will be another tough year for HMRC.
Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Monday, 18 February 2019

A Victim of HMRC Bullying Writes

A loyal reader and HMRC staff member has asked me to publish this account of his treatment by HMRC.

I have redacted the name of the HMRC manager, so as not to prejudice any possible future criminal trial.
"....provide You with an account of the bullying NAME REDACTED was responsible for, the human impact which I have wanted to do for a long time. You could publish this and get the folks on your site to share it a bit. I am one of many.

I suffered at his hands for 4 years. Here is how it went:

Imagine work so bad, being so undermined, so utterly demeaned are You by one person and back by senior colleagues both privately and publicly You can't sleep at the start. You can't talk to Your wife as You are so demeaned you feel she'll think less of You. It has to be me doesn't it?

You hide it. You are alone.

The sleep and the harassment get bad, they are poring over minor things, they are constantly moving the goalposts, they are publicly criticising You in front of Your colleagues. The bad word is put out. 

NAME REDACTED and cronies start to make the visible impacts of their behaviour on You public. His senior and junior management back him and spread the word.

You can't concentrate. You lose what little confidence You have left. Resign? I have a mortgage. Who else would employ me. I am letting My family down. I am failing My wife. I am failing My children. These are My life. I have to hang on.

You hide it. You are alone.

The sleep gets worse. You are shaking all the time. You can't look Yourself in a mirror as You see inadequacy looking back. The harassment gets worse they are questioning your professional integrity to anyone who'll listen. Friends and colleagues are told by NAME REDACTED and his senior manager to dis-associate themselves from You. They do. You walk out of the office for a break, they walk away when they see You.

You hide it. You are alone.

You go home. You cuddle Your son. He asks: 'daddy why are You shaking so bad'. You are afraid to cuddle him after that. You wife things You are on drugs because of the shaking and that sleep and worry has left You with zero concentration. The sleep gets worse. You try to speak to NAME REDACTED to end this. You try his manager. You are told You are failing, You have failed the team, that the 'word out there' they instigated is deserved. There is no where to go in HMRC. They have destroyed You.

You hide it. You are alone.

You travel in on an underground train into work sweating and shaking at the dread of another day with NAME REDACTED and his managers doing this. A kind soul gives You a card on their way off the train for a drug rehabilitation support centre. Heroin withdrawal? Never touched drugs in My life. You are humiliated to Your core. It is now blindingly obvious.

You can't hide it. You are alone.

You take a sick day. Know You'll get panned by NAME REDACTED and his manager. Wife is at work. You line the pills on the counter. Lorazepam (30 should do the job) they gave me them to sleep. You take the first two then bottle it. Not leaving son with the smear of a suicide father. ......Do it day by day. Try to carry on managing Your team, try to escape the bad word. This goes on for 3 years. Every day.

You hide it. You are as alone as anyone can ever be in life.

You put the pills away for good... You move on. Then You pour this out at the enquiry when You are asked like a good boy. HMRC not interested.

You hide it. HMRC make sure You are alone. It was only bullying.

You read the Guardian article with no warning and realise that however bad this is there are sexual assault victims who must feel much worse. You question Yourself even more. They can move on. Why can I not?

Picture this going on forever.

Do with this what You will Mr Frost. There are those worse of than me and I live for My son."

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Friday, 15 February 2019

HMRC Panicking

If they are panicking about that, imagine what they will do when the full Nellthorp story comes out!

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Happy Valentine's Day


Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

An MBE was awarded,

But you did something sordid!

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

HMRC Is Ridiculous

 

The Telegraph reports that Judge Nicholas Aleksander has told HMRC its behaviour was "ridiculous" and "a scandal" after HMRC attempted to fine a homeless man £1,600 for filing his tax return late. 

The man, who had been a self-employed electrician, briefly returned to his native Poland in around April 2014 where he said his drink had been spiked with drugs causing him to lose his job and exhaust his savings when he returned to Britain.

He said he was evicted from the house in east London where he had been living and all his belongings were lost or stolen, including important documents.

He said he had been forced to sleep on the streets until moving into a hostel in January 2017, which led to him finding a job and permanent accommodation in April of that year.

HMRC issued penalties of £1,600, saying it had sent reminders to his previous address.

Judge Nicholas Aleksander found against HMRC.

The judgement reads:
HMRC's decision to pursue this man for penalties in the circumstances of this appeal is a scandal. For HMRC to expect a homeless person to keep HMRC up-to-date with their address is ridiculous – and just needs to be stated to show its absurdity.
HMRC is ridiculous!

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

MPs Waking Up To Loan Charge Scandal



Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Monday, 11 February 2019

CEST and HMRC's Definition of Rigour



HMRC claims that CEST has been "rigorously tested during development in conjunction with HMRC's lawyers against live and settled cases and reflects employment status case law".

However, ContractorCalculator CEO Dave Chaplin, who submitted an FoI request, was unsatisfied with the response and so submitted further ones seeking more documentation.

The responses, received last month and seen by The Register, show that HMRC has no record of any testing since that point – suggesting the only documentation HMRC holds on CEST's testing is the one-page case list.

"No further documentation has been created since April 2018 where CEST has been subsequently tested against court cases," HMRC said in one of the FoI responses, while pointing to the list of 24 cases.


Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Monday, 4 February 2019

Mark Nellthorp - The Silence Will Fall When The Question Is Asked



As many of you are aware, the Guardian published an interesting article on Friday about the dismissal in September of Mark Nellthorp an HMRC deputy director and diversity officer.

Nellthorp was sacked for a catalogue of sexual misconduct claims made by five junior female employees.

Additionally two female assistant directors at HMRC who worked closely with Nellthorp were suspended on full pay last February, after being accused of helping facilitate his behaviour. They are still being investigated.

An independent report carried out by former John Lewis HR director Laura Whyte, found that HMRC employees tolerate a significant amount of “low level” poor behaviour that would not be acceptable in other environments.

It listed “swearing, breaching confidentiality” and “ mocking colleagues” among the actions demonstrated.

HMRC on Friday (coincidentally) published the review’s report, which recommended an “urgent redesign of the grievance process” including more use of “mediation and early resolution”, among other changes.

It said the review did not find “any individual within HMRC who had confidence in the grievance process”. Staff felt they tolerated a lot of “low-level poor behaviours” not accepted in other workplaces, including swearing, breaching confidentiality and mocking colleagues.

The Nellthorp article "amuses" me in one sense (not regarding his conduct etc), namely because I submitted the following FOI to HMRC in October 2018:
"Dear HM Revenue and Customs,

Please can you advise me of the following:

1 Is Mark Nellthorp still in your employ?

2 If he has left please advise when?

3 What were the reasons for his departure?

Thank you

Yours faithfully,

Ken Frost"
The response from HMRC was "amusing" in that they refused to answer it, and noted that they could
neither confirm or deny that they had information about him.
"Under section 40 of the FOIA I can neither confirm nor deny whether HMRC holds information falling within scope of your request. The fact that section 40 has been cited should not be taken as indication that the information requested is or is not held by HMRC."
Ironically I have made other FOI requests on a number of occasions relating to connected issues, none of which HMRC were particularly keen to answer fully. The FOI's and HMRC's response can be viewed here.

In addition to that, Nellthorp has featured a few times on this site over the years, eg this gem from November 2011:
"My thanks to a loyal reader who dropped me a note about an event last week for Senior Managers in Personal Tax, which was held at Lawress Hall, one of the subjects being "Rebranding Pacesetter".

Apparently one of the speakers was Mark Nellthorp, an HMRC deputy director (he is also diversity officer).

Anyhoo, I am given to understand that Mr Nellthorp's speech about rebranding Pacesetter allegedly included suggestions that old people have poor hygiene and smell, and how cornflakes stop you masturbating.

When asked by someone about an email he sent concerning job relocations, he allegedly made reference to Hitler and modern warfare.

I dare say that, "in context", the above all made perfect sense.
"
Here's another from September 2017:
"My thanks to a loyal reader who has written to me about multiple staff survey responses being submitted by a certain manager in a certain HMRC department (the results are published on the HMRC intranet).


"...You see ***'s (redacted by Ken) group in **** was around 100 staff at that time.
At the close of the staff survey period the published response rate for ***'s group was 130 responses out of 100 people. i.e. 130%!!!!
Generally around 60 responses would be expected.
This is fully checkable as number of responses are published with the survey.
Unsurprisingly his groups scores on certain key questions were 10-15 points above the HMRC average.
The point is that apparently you can submit multiple returns on the survey (the system does not stop you), and many staff in ***'s team are fully aware he and a few close 'minions' submit multiple positive responses for his area and have been doing so for several years.
Unfortunately the past couple of years he has gone over quota a bit.....
It not who votes that counts. It's who xeroxes the ballot paper."
Are there no depths to which HMRC will sink?

Ironically, despite the manipulation, *** still managed to score 20%+ response rate on the bullying question (people who felt they were being bullied or had witnessed it) over his team of 100!!
"
The question that you may ponder is who helped the manager put in multiple responses?

Posts about Digital Evidence Capability (DEC) also are worth a read.

It is therefore clear that HMRC knew about Nellthorp for quite some time.

There are of course many questions that might be asked about the details, being an experienced auditor/fraud investigator such questions that I would ask if I were conducting a review/investigation include the following:

- who were the enablers?
- were promotions made on the basis of merit or favouritism?
- were roles advertised before they were filled?
- was there an internal cover up?
- what went on a Lawress Hall one night?


But I don't want to bore you, and I'm sure that HMRC have this well covered.

However, here is my advice to members of staff, taxpayers, MPs and journalists if they want to determine if HMRC really is rotten or not.

Ask one question of Sir Jon (sorry Sir Jonathan) Thompson.

But what is it I hear you ask?

THERE IS ONE QUESTION

THE ONLY QUESTION

HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT

IS THERE MORE TO THIS THAT HAS NOT YET BEEN ADMITTED TO BY HMRC?



Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"