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.

Monday, 25 February 2019

HMRC Goes To War Against Its Own Contractors

As HMRC continues to claim retrospective tax on loans, it is sweeping ever more people up in its retrospective tax net.

One group now under siege are HMRC's very own contractors.

The Telegraph reports that HMRC is “ruthlessly” hounding its own employees for potential six-figure bills as part of a crackdown on tax avoidance schemes.

Around 50,000 contractors are being targeted by the tax office for using so-called disguised remuneration schemes, which involved receiving income in the form of tax-free loans from an offshore trust, throughout the Noughties and more recently.

It has now emerged that HMRC engaged contractors who were being paid in loans and is now pursuing them for the unpaid tax.

One contractor, who worked for HMRC over two spells, anonymously told the Telegraph that, based on the bills received by her peers, she expects she could be asked for almost £140,000.
It feels like the Government has gone to war against you. This is all about wearing people down and getting them to give up.
Sir Ed Davey, a former Government minister, said:
This is astonishing considering HMRC’s ruthless and unreasonable pursuit of people in this situation, when they didn’t break the law and followed professional advice.

What’s more, the evidence we’ve received also shows that these people declared all their arrangements in their annual tax return, so contrary to their claims not to know, HMRC were indeed aware contractors working for them were using these schemes.

In December, the House of Lords Economics Committee criticised HMRC’s approach to recouping the tax owed, describing it as “retrospective” and saying it was failing to distinguish between "contrived tax avoidance by sophisticated, high income individuals" and relatively low earners who made "naive decisions".

A spokesman for HMRC said:
HMRC has never endorsed or participated in disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes. It is possible for contractors to use disguised remuneration without the participation or knowledge of their engager.
Yet, HMRC were told by their contractors that they were using these schemes?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. If you're an ex-HMRC employee and feel mistreated and/or have information you would like to share, please upload anonymously through our HMRC whistleblower portal:

    Thank you!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I left 2009. Can you still submit?

  2. Plenty of corruption and violence inside hmrc. Whether many will have the bottle is another matter...I
    I want those who committed Misconduct in Public Office for covering up violence (if HR are reading this, that's you!!) to be prosecuted. Enough is enough. #hmrccorruption

    1. Anyone seen the Valentines day post by Ken? Some interesting names outed on there....

  3. The overzealousness of HMRC continues. I have some concerns about this Loan Charge fiasco. The charges were raised as a Discovery assessment, the window for standard enquiries will have been welded shut.

    The BBC published an interesting article yesterday:

    I quote "The Loan Charge Action Group says for years contractors fully declared these loans in their tax returns, but this retrospective measure means thousands face large demands for payment, and are facing financial ruin".

    This might seem insignificant, but I beg to differ.

    There was a legal case at the end of last year, Beagles Vs CDC which I have copied below:

    More detail here:

    Page 17, Point 74: "74. That finding was not consistent with the FTT’s own findings of fact (at FTT Decision [24]). Those findings must, in our view, amount to a discovery. Whilst we accept that it might be possible for an officer to discover the same insufficiency in a return more than once if it is for different reasons, it is not, in our view, possible for an 35 officer to make the same discovery twice for the same reasons. The insufficiency cannot “newly appear” to the officer for a second time (to use the words of Viscount Simmonds in Cenlon)."

    If this information has been told to HMRC already, then it didn't newly appear did it.

    Perhaps the people on the receiving end of the shite should lodge an appeal based on the ruling of this case.

    Directly to Sir Gobshite, maybe Paul G from the Guardian and the BBC can be copied in. No grounds to make a Discovery assessment, as you have already had this information for years.

    Just a thought from an informed amateur.

    Darling Theresa has a lot on her plate at the minute. Yet more incompetence from HMRC wont be thought of favourably.

    HMRC aren't answerable to me, but they are answerable to the House of Lords and MP's at Public Accounts Committees. People who can make careers disappear.

    Have a nice day

  4. and another