Monday 31 March 2008

Brain Drain

Brain DrainAs HMRC continues apace with it restructuring, I am reliably informed that many experienced staff have gone or are going.

One experienced and professional inspector (with 20 year's under his belt) was so pissed off that he resigned last summer, and went on to the private sector to work for himself.

As is the nature of things, it didn't work out as well as he had hoped and he rang HMRC Human Resources to see if he could rejoin.

He was told to apply for another job in a contact centre!

The words "baby", "throwing out" and "bathwater" spring to mind.

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Friday 28 March 2008

An Inspector Calls

An Inspector CallsHMRC tax inspectors will be able to carry out spot-checks on all companies and self-employed people who run their businesses from home, as from next April. Under the new rules, inspectors will be allowed to visit businesses with no warning to "inspect records, assets and premises".

At present, HMRC must open an inquiry into a company and then give 24 hours' notice of a visit.

Needless to say these new powers are not in the interests of the taxpayer, as taxpayers will be placed on the spot with no legal or professional representation.

Criminals and suspects are allowed to have a lawyer present when the police hold them for questioning, why not taxpayers?

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Thursday 27 March 2008

Above The Law

HMRC at work
HMRC are becoming a little too full of themselves these days.

John Cassidy, PKF Accountants tax investigations partner, has stated on Director of Finance Online that HMRC has little regard for the central tenets of the English legal system, by presuming taxpayers are guilty.

He cites the recent spewing forth from the HMRC bunker of 5000 letters to offshore account holders, demanding an explanation on funds "about which it knows little".


"In many cases, HMRC only knows that someone has an offshore bank account and the funds it contains at a few specific dates.

It has little idea how much interest was earned on the deposits, where the money came from or the key question of whether there is an undeclared UK tax liability at all.

Legally, to issue an assessment for unpaid tax, HMRC must have made a discovery or, in other words, have actual knowledge that further tax is due, not just that it might be due. Yet the threat is that such assessments will definitely be issued unless informal, voluntary answers are given to the questions raised

HMRC should remember that no one, and no organisation, is above the law.

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Wednesday 26 March 2008

The Big Idea

The Big Idea
In April 2007 our "efficient", "competent" and "respected" government held an Employee Engagement Working Group (EEWG) meeting. This witches coven consisted of fourteen members from Britain's foremost government departments; the Department for Work and Pensions, HMRC, and the Ministry of Defence.

All of them well known for their high levels of "efficiency", "openness" and "staff morale".

The HMRC representative on the EEWG was Russell Grossman, HMRC's then head of internal and change communications. He joined HMRC in January 2006, from the BBC.

Grossman was quoted as saying, before joining HMRC:

"The big cultural shift for the department will be focusing on the customer, rather than just collecting tax.

It's an opportunity to mould an internal communication department into one that's a high-performing, best-practice one – rather like we've achieved at the BBC

Pass the sick bag someone!

This man's head was so clearly stuck up his own backside that he cannot see anything at all!

Anyhoo, here is what the "brains" of the EEWG discussed.

It was realised that not stapling documents together, but putting them in a reusable folder instead, avoided someone else unstapling the documents. Seemingly multiply that action hundreds of times, and you get real productivity gains.

Doubtless you think that I jest, and that I have made that up.

Surely senior government officials would not waste their time talking about such trivial crap?

Unfortunately, I kid you not!

Here is a direct quote from Grossman, whose head appears to have gone even further up his own backside:

"Performance Improvement Events for large number of frontline staff are not just about making staff feel involved. That would be patronising. The focus is on generating real local solutions…

in one celebrated example, people realised that not stapling documents together but putting them in a reusable folder instead avoided someone else unstapling the documents.

Multiply that action hundreds of times and you get real productivity gains… and quite a few less accidentally stabbed fingers

Way to go HMRC!

Grossman has now left HMRC, and is now at the director of communications at the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

Lucky them!

Are people like this, and their lame brained ideas, really what our tax payments are being spent on?

Is it any wonder that staff morale in HMRC has declined to an all time low?

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Tuesday 25 March 2008

The Avoidance Issue

The Avoidance IssueLast year's Capability Review of Her Majesty's Customs and Revenue (HMRC), the words "capability" and "HMRC" simply don't go together, by Sir Gus O'Donnell has led to an overhaul of HMRC's management structure, with a new non-executive chairman and a chief executive to be appointed.

Dave Hartnett, currently acting chairman, will become acting chief executive as part of the changes.

Still only a "Nearly Man", poor old Dave!

Needless to say, HMRC don't believe in being terribly transparent about the type of person that they want.

When asked a perfectly reasonable question about who they were looking for, an HMRC flunky wouldn't answer, doesn't HMRC realise that we pay their salaries?, he merely said:

"Somebody associated with aggressive avoidance needn't waste their time."

OK here's the "avoidance" issue again. As I have already noted, avoidance is a perfectly legal means of reducing a tax bill, and what every sensible person tries to do; eg people use ISA's, claim personal allowances etc etc.

However, as HMRC has become increasingly politicised, HMRC now tries to equate avoidance with evasion; the latter being illegal.

This attempt to link avoidance and evasion is technically and legally wrong.

Unfortunately, judging from HMRC's statement they have not yet grasped that fundamental tenet of British law.

Maybe those in charge of HMRC need to be sent on a course to teach them the fundamental principles of British law?

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Monday 24 March 2008


This post on the Working Family Tax Credits site demonstrates how the bureaucracy of HMRC wastes the time, effort and money of both the taxpayer and HMRC:

"hello, i would be grateful of any info/advice on our situation, as i am really confused tax credits, if i can briefly explain a little about us,my husband is self employed, i don't work and we have 3 children, for the tax year 2006-2007 we submitted an estimate of £22,000 when my husband submitted his tax return for the year 2006-2007 we found out that he had actually earnt 26,000, as soon as i found out the correct amount that my husband had earnt which was January this year i informed them in writing, today i have had a letter from them -

thank you for telling us about your change of circumstances
unfortunately the 31 January 2008 deadline for providing information has now passed and we have already finalised your 2006-2007 tax credits award.we sent you a final decision notice on 8 February 2008 and the law does not allow us to change this.

i am really worried about this, does anyone know if we will have to pay back an over payment directly, as we missed the dead line? or would an overpayment be taken from future awards?"

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Saturday 22 March 2008

Rock Bottom?

Rock Bottom
Morale at HMRC is now worse than ever.

Sir Gus O'Donnell's Capability Review found that in December, only 17% of middle management think the senior management is capable of leading them.

The problems within HMRC, that affect staff morale and customer satisfaction, emanate from the top.

Can things get any worse?

Until there are radical changes in senior management, things can and will become worse.

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Thursday 20 March 2008

HMRC Gordon

HMRC Gordon
I recently wrote about Craig Gordon, the HMRC employee who was being tried for fraud.

He had filed false tax claims and falsely claimed around £190K from HMRC, the prosecution was able to prove that he stole £120K. Gordon admitted to being involved in a bogus financial firm, so that he could claim a series of large tax repayments from HMRC over a two-year period.

He committed the offences while working as a customs officer at the Lothian 2 Area Office in Saughton House, Broomhouse Drive, Edinburgh between February 19, 2003, and December 16, 2004.

He has now been found guilty and sentenced to five years in jail.

However, it seems that according to an insider Gordon was being watched by HMRC for around 15 months before he was arrested.

During that period he was still issuing repayments, and the local management were instructed to let the repayments go so that he would not be alerted.

HMRC have an internal investigation section it used to called BIO (Boards Investigation Office), it is now called IG (Internal Governance - Criminal).

It is alleged that they were monitoring Gordon in collaboration with HMRC's Internal Audit Office (IAO). IAO can access and audit all the computer activity of any HMRC employee.

It seems to be normal practise for BIO/IG not to suspend an employee until they build up a water tight case against them, instead of suspending them as soon as a suspicion is aroused.

Whilst I agree that building up a water tight case is necessary in order to bring about a successful prosecution, allowing a fraud to continue for 15 months seems excessive.

Could this not have been wrapped up and brought to trial in less than 15 months?

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Wednesday 19 March 2008

Internet Villain of The Year

Internet Villain of The Year
In January I wrote that HMRC had been nominated for the award of Internet Villain of The Year.

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) was nominated for the Villain of the Year award for "failing to take the protection of peoples' personal data seriously and highlighting bad practice in protecting data by losing computer disks containing confidential details of 25 million child benefit recipients."

Guess what?

Yes, that's right, they won!

My heartiest congratulations to HMRC for their well deserved award, made last Friday, of Internet Villain of The Year.

The Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA), which represents internet service providers across the UK, holds an annual awards ceremony in which it names the "internet hero" and "internet villain" of the year.

This year, Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) won the villain award for managing to lose the personal details of 25 million people.

A well deserved award!

Well done HMRC!

Did they turn up to collect it?

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Tuesday 18 March 2008

HMRC's Stealth Tax

HMRC's Stealth TaxRecently Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) introduced a register for Accounting Services Providers (ASPs) - auditors, external accountants (any person who by way of business provides accountancy services) and tax advisers - whose business is not supervised by a designated professional body.

All such individuals are required to register by 1 October. However, given that this is an HMRC edict, nothing is ever quite that simple. HMRC have added an "administrative deadline" of 1 July for the receipt of applications to ensure processing; remember we work for the convenience of HMRC, not the other way around.

In the event that an ASP is not registered by 1 October, then that ASP will not be able to trade legally.

HMRC have added a little extra piquancy to their proposal, by levying a registration fee of £95. I guess that if this scheme works well, HMRC will add "registration" fees to a number of other tax areas eg; buy to let landlords, company directors, self employed etc the possibilities of HMRC making money out of "registration" schemes are endless.

In fact HMRC have already come up with an additional fee, how surprising!

Where the ASP provides Registered Office facilities, and/or provides company formation services and/or company secretarial services, there is an additional fee of £50.

This fee entitles the ASP to a "fit and proper test". Contrary to the title, this is not some form of medical assessment. The "fit and proper test" ensures that the ASP is known to HMRC by the ASP supplying the following information; NINO, Passport Number, UTR Number, VAT Registration Number and Bank Details.

So that everyone is clear as to what is happening here, let me summarise, the HMRC are to charge £50 for making an ASP do all the "leg work" of providing details that probably HMRC already have anyway.

The question arises, why don't the ASPs charge HMRC for the time and trouble that they will have to expend in gathering/submitting information to HMRC?

We can assume that all of this information will then be collated onto a CD, which will then be "lost".

Some of you may be asking, aside from the obvious revenue generating potential of this scheme, how HMRC is justifying this to the ASPs.

HMRC's official rationale for this is to minimise the risk of tax/accounts professionals being involved in money laundering, and with international terrorists. An interesting justification, unfortunately it does not stand up to rigorous intellectual scrutiny.

What dishonest, money laundering, terrorist ASP will ever apply for registration with HMRC in the first place?

This scheme will simply cost ASPs a lot of time, effort and money as they scrabble around trying to satisfy another pile of unnecessary questions from HMRC. It is of course a nice little earner for HMRC, aside from the registration fees, they will also make a killing with fines as individuals struggle to comply with the reporting requirements.

This is a stealth tax!

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Monday 17 March 2008

HMRC Guardian Angels

HMRC Guardian AngelsFollowing on from last year's Datagate fiasco, when HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) lost the personal details of 25 million people, HMRC has recently appointed 37 staff to protect information.

Jane Kennedy, financial secretary to the Treasury, in a written parliamentary answer stated that every one of HMRC's business units now has a data guardian "to strengthen the management of the department's data assets".

She said that 24 of these guardians are based in London, two in Tyne and Wear (where the data was lost) and 11 based in other locations.

Ms Kennedy noted that "guidance was provided on the competencies, experience and knowledge that the role would require".


"Support for the HMRC data guardians has included awareness events, written material and access to additional support and guidance of departmental security specialists."

The minister for disabled people and MP for Stirling, Anne McGuire, stated that stronger arrangements are now in place, for discs sent to the National Audit Office.

"Rigorous courier arrangements and a requirement that physical transfers of data must have the specific authority of a member of the senior civil service [are in practice]."

The question arises as to whether this is merely an exercise in window dressing, or a genuine and well thought through plan (proactive rather than reactive) by HMRC to strengthen its internal security procedures.

Are these "Guardians" well qualified IT professionals, or junior civil servants with low level IT qualifications?

The fact that "support" and "training" is being offered to the guardians indicates that they are not that well qualified for the task.

The civil service, given the well publicised disasters re IT (eg failed NHS system, datagate etc) has a well deserved reputation for being less than well endowed with people who have substantial, professional IT, computing and systems experience.

Why do they not make greater use of encrypted mail, and abandon the high risk courier option?

It seems very much that this is a window dressing exercise, designed to show a stable door being closed. Regrettably the horse has long since bolted.

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Friday 14 March 2008

The Taxman Cometh

The Taxman ComethThose of you who missed the Monday night screening of Tonight on ITV, where the incompetence of HMRC was exposed in all its "glory", can catch it again here:


One of the cases covered on the programme concerns Matt Matharu, a former cab driver from Kent, who was bankrupted by HMRC because HMRC refused to believe he had paid his taxes.

His problems started after he changed careers in 2000, to become a graphic designer.

Tax was deducted automatically from his salary, but although he told HMRC he was no longer self-employed, last year it sent him a bill for £12,000 based on his previous tax records.

Her Majesty's Revenue &Customs took him to court and, last August, he was officially made bankrupt. A month later HMRC finally admitted that it had made a mistake.

Mr Matharu was then given a revised tax bill.

Can you guess how mauch that was for?

88 pence!

The bankruptcy was overturned last month, but HMRC is still demanding £45 interest on the 88p, and over £2,000 in costs.

Well done lads!

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Thursday 13 March 2008

A Nice Little Earner - The Fujitsu Contract

A Nice Little Earner - The Fujitsu ContractYou may recall a while ago that I wrote about a comment on Youtube, alleging that there were security shortcomings relating to the processing work on tax credit forms that had been outsourced by HMRC to Fujitsu in Netherton.

I have been given a little more background information about this.

New Tax Credit forms are processed in Netherton, Merseyside, by the IT services provider - Fujitsu Services.

The process is relatively simple:

-each page of an application is captured and stored using image character recognition

-when the system can't recognise the text, it is sent to a human keyer (for manual input)

I am advised that Fujitsu (as at April 2007) charged HMRC 16p per image/per page. This charge, I understand, will decrease each year that the contract runs.

The NTC form used to be 16 pages long, it has now been reduced to a "mere" 12 pages. Therefore each form, using April 2007 charges, earns Fujitsu £1.92.

Multiply that by the number of forms being submitted, and you have a very nice income stream.

The same system is used to process CIS forms, and possibly will also be used for child benefit.

My contact advises me that manual keyers should be security cleared. However, I am advised that during a busy period anyone who can type at a reasonable rate is employed. This apparent security weakness, if true, needs to be looked into by HMRC.

Has HMRC conducted an internal audit of the process?

If not, why not?

A question also arises over the top heavy organisation chart of Fujitsu, seemingly there are five site managers for a site that contains less than 200 staff.

Is this really necessary?

Have HMRC conducted a cost benefit analysis, comparing outsourcing costs to in house processing, that justifies the outsourcing of this process to a third party?

I wrote to Fujitsu asking for their comments on the draft of the above story, they have not answered. In the event that they do comment, I will post it on this site.

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Wednesday 12 March 2008

HMRC's Gordian Knot

HMRC's Gordian Knot
There has been a veritable avalanche of newspaper articles and TV reports about the proposed changes to the so called "non dom" rules, which are planned to come into force from the 6th of April.

The majority of the reports and articles focus on the so called "wealthy non doms", who in the eyes of some are paying far less than their "fair share" of tax. Some believe that the imposition of the new rule will ensure that they will be made to pay what they "should".

This argument of course ignores the fact that these individual invariably generate wealth and prosperity for the country via their businesses and activities.

However, leaving the "wealthy" aside, this proposed legislation will affect others as well.

Under current "non dom" rules, income and capital gains from overseas investments and assets are only liable to UK tax if remitted or brought into the UK.

Under the proposed new legislation, drafted by HMRC, unless overseas income is below £1,000 the "cost" of choosing to be taxed on the remittance basis will be £30K a year (where the non dom has been resident in the UK for seven or more years) as well as the loss of the personal allowance and the annual capital gains tax exemption.

The alternative to the £30K fee is to pay UK tax on worldwide income and gains. This of course means that you have to be registered as a taxpayer in the UK.

However, there remains the thorny and politically embarrassing issue of illegal immigrants:

- The Home office estimate that there are 310,000 - 570,000 illegals in the UK
- Migration Watch estimate that there are 515,000 - 870,000 illegals in the UK

It is safe to assume that none of these people are registered in the UK tax system, therefore once they have been here for 7 years they are classified (under the proposed new rules) as "non doms".

This means that they will have to pay £30K.

Needless to say, this will not happen.

Now here is where it becomes rather messy for the government, by not paying the £30K fee and by not registering for tax the illegals will be committing offences under the laws relating to money laundering.

At first glance this may seem to be irrelevant, if they are illegal they should be deported and the problem is solved.

Not quite, for you see an offence under the money laundering rules is a criminal offence which requires a jail term.

The jails are already full, and the illegals are meant to be deported.

This rule change will cripple the government's drive to reduce the number of illegal immigrants living here.

As Alistair Darling presents his first budget today, he might want to think about how he can unravel this Gordian knot of his own creation.

Happy Budget Day!

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Tuesday 11 March 2008

Cry Freedom

Cry FreedomIn theory, we live in a transparent democracy where information about the activities of the state and its organs should be relatively easy to access. Indeed, the Freedom of Information Act is meant to improve that transparency.

Not so it seems over at HMRC.

On the HMRC site you can view an online version of the National Insurance Manual.


Here is a link to the page about NI Fraud.

Can you spot the "slight" problem here?

Good isn't it?

Poor old HMRC really haven't grasped this "freedom" thing, have they?

Seemingly HMRC do not believe in freedom of information, HMRC believe that information should only be disseminated on a need to know basis.

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Monday 10 March 2008

The Fists of Fury

The Fists of FuryHMRC felt MPs' fists of fury last week over the recently announced bonuses to be paid to senior HMRC staff.

The bonuses went up by an average of 60% during the year. This was in spite of the fact that HMRC is in meltdown; complaints about tax credits have risen, VAT processing targets have been missed and personal data belonging to 25 million people was lost.

The Treasury Select Committee said that the payments were "completely unjustified".

Michael Fallon, who headed the probe, said:

"Sadly in some areas, such as the Value for Money Delivery Agreements, we have found them failing to lead by example.

If they can't get this right, how can any other department be expected to

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Philip Hammond waded in as well:

"From the tax credit chaos, to the missed targets, to the lavish bonuses paid to HMRC staff, it is clear that the chancellor (Alistair Darling) and his predecessor, Gordon Brown, have failed to deliver competent leadership."

The coup de grace was wielded by Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable:

"It is clear that the days of prudence in the Treasury are well and truly over.

With millions of personal records lost, a tax credit system in chaos and the debacle of Northern Rock, why on earth does the Treasury think it is appropriate to increase staff bonuses by 60%?

However, HMRC don't agree. One of their spokesmen said:

An HMRC Spokesman

"In line with the wider civil service, bonuses are paid to encourage and reward performance and to enable HMRC to improve its service to taxpayers and the government.".

An interesting argument, unfortunately here's where the real world and HMRC's "Lah Lah Land" differ.

In the real world bonuses are paid after service levls have improved, and after targets set have been met. To pay a bonus before any targets have been met undermines the incentive point of the bonus, and makes a mockery of the bouns system.

They just don't get it do they?

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Friday 7 March 2008

Complete Chaos

Complete Chaos
Well I am pleased to say that HMRC is now openly admitting what I, and the rest of the country have been saying, namely that it is in complete chaos.

East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton was told as much by an HMRC official, when he rang to ask about a late filing penalty.

Mr Loughton told MPs about the conversation during Treasury Questions this week.


"Yesterday I had cause to ring the late-filing penalty helpline of the Inland Revenue, having filed my tax return and had the cheque cashed on 30 January.

The very helpful lady I spoke with said that she could not help me because the address she had for me was 12 years out of date, and for my wife 17 years out of date, despite our filing tax returns every year.

She ended up by saying:

'As you are an MP, perhaps you will take away from this call the complete chaos we are in
.' "

Impressive isn't it?

Mr Loughton asked financial secretary to the Treasury Jane Kennedy:

"Do you share that view and, if you do, why are so many of your colleagues getting paid a bonus?"

Kennedy replied:

"I am sorry to hear your report of you experience with the self-assessment process. I shall take it away and investigate, but I point out that, despite the problems on the day, HMRC dealt with a very large number of cases.

As you know, people always leave it until the last minute, and HMRC experiences a huge surge in the number of self-assessments. All I can say is that I will investigate your case and look into exactly what reports you have made to HMRC in recent years

Ah there you have it, it's our fault for filing our tax returns at the last minute!

You see, in the world of those running HMRC, we exist to make their lives easier not the other way around. That is of course rather ironic, given the fact that our taxes pay their bonuses.

Kennedy also ignores the rather obvious problem wrt Mr loughton's case; HMRC have got records on both him, and his wife, that are years out of date. That is nothing to do with him filing his returns at the last minute.

As usual those running HMRC try to obfuscate those asking pertinent and relevant questions, by trying to blame those asking the questions.

I am afraid that things are going to get a lot worse.

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Thursday 6 March 2008


GuiltyOh dear oh dear, how embarrassing for HMRC and those that claim to run it!

It seems that HMRC are, as I have said before, indeed guilty of a criminal act in buying stolen Lichtenstein bank account details.

Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, one of the definitions of Money Laundering is as follows:-

1. A person is involved in Money Laundering if he or she:
  • conceals, disguises,converts, transfers or removes from the UK criminal property

  • enters into or becomes concerned in an arrangement which they know or suspect

  • facilitates [by whatever means] the acquisition, use or control of criminal property by or on behalf of another person

  • acquires, uses, or has possession of criminal property
HMRC, and those running it, are guilty as charged.

So, who will bring the court case against them?

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Wednesday 5 March 2008

Situations Vacant

Situations VacantI recently asked why it is that Dave Hartnett was still only "acting" head of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Now I know why.

HMRC, in the face of plummeting morale, are changing their complex and incomprehensible management structure to try to bring in some elements of corporate governance and efficiency from the real world.

As such, they are splitting the old role of Chairman, between a new full time position of Chief Executive and part time non executive position of Chairman.

I would ask as to why didn't they have this structure in place before?

Anyhoo, HMRC has scanned to "talent" pool within its organisation and found that it is sadly deficient; therefore the posts are being advertised in the real world.

Perversely, the vacancies are not advertised on the HMRC site, or on the Civil Service site.

Can anyone tell me when they will advertise for the position of Finance Director, which is soon to be vacated by Stuart Cruickshank?

It all seems rather muddled and vague.

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Tuesday 4 March 2008

Morale Collapses

Morale Collapses
In November of 2007 HMRC conducted a staff survey, to find out their views and attitudes towards the organisation that they should be proud to work for.

20062 members of staff (63%) responded, the results make grim reading for the senior management of HMRC and the government; morale is sinking fast. One response particularly stands out, 30% of staff of HMRC did not know that the role of HMRC was to administer the UK's tax and customs system.

What is HMRC for then?

The full results can be accessed here. However, here are a few highlights:
  • 33% are not proud to work for HMRC, the figure for June 2007 was 23%

  • 41% are not satisfied with their job, in June 2007 it was 37%

  • A mere 17% would recommend the HMRC as a good place to work (it was 30% in June)

  • 72% think that working for HMRC has got worse, and 53% think it will be even worse in one year's time

  • A staggering 70% think that change is not managed well

  • 78% think that it is changing for the worse

  • Quite alarmingly 30% of staff of HMRC did not know that the role of HMRC was to administer the UK's tax and customs system. What one earth do they think that HMRC is meant to do then?

  • 50% think that the integration of HMRC has been a bad thing for their customers (that's HMRC's word to describe taxpayers)

  • 55% believe that they are not valued

  • 52% do not have confidence in their senior managers
A truly dismal set of findings, one that HMRC and the government should be very ashamed of and worried about.

The question is, are the government and senior management of HMRC able and willing to improve the situation?

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"

Monday 3 March 2008

HMRC Broke The Law

HMRC Broke The LawIt seems that I am not the only person who believes that HMRC broke the law, when it paid $100K for stolen information about bank accounts in Lichtenstein.

Harry Travers, partner at London law firm BCL Burton Copeland, said:

"HMRC shouldn't be buying stolen information any more than the police should be breaking into people's houses.

In criminal proceedings, it is almost inevitable that evidence obtained through conscious illegality will be excluded pursuant to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act

Are HMRC now above the law?

Tax does have to be taxing.

HMRC Is Shite ( is brought to you by "The Living Brand"