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, 22 December 2008

Bankrupting For Britain

Bankrupting For Britain
Official figures reveal that the number of personal bankruptcies triggered by HM Revenue and Customs is expected to be almost 33,000 this year. In 2006-07, before the economic turmoil, the tax authorities bankrupted just 12,134 people.

Source The Telegraph.

Way to go HMRC!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Two points.


    You really need to start doing a bit more of your own research, Ken. You're an accountant; stop taking the writings of a bunch of humanities graduates at face value!

    In this case, even the Daily Mail has managed better than the Torygraph! At least they've included a vital piece of information: the figures are for bankrupties in which HMRC is/was A CREDITOR, not where HMRC petitioned for the insolvency. There will unfortunately always be a lot more insolvencies during a recession (hence the rise!) and because of the way these thing happen, HMRC will very often, if not usually, be A CREDITOR, as one or more of the unpaid bills will be for tax. This doesn't mean that HMRC was the creditor that instigated proceedings.


    Why oh why do you persist in claiming to be standing up for HMRC employees when you frequently demonstrate this to not be the case?

    A crucial piece of information you've missed out is that The Telegraph's source for these figures was The Conservatives! By omitting this you utterly gloss over the fact that the article is just another example of politicians and the media using civil servants as a political football. In fact, by omitting to mention that 30,000 is the Tories' ESTIMATE (I'm not saying it's wrong but it's certainly not unbiased), you exacerbate the political football effect by giving the figures an air of respectability and impartiality. In fact, the only adjective you use in relation to the figures is "official", further distancing it from the fact that it's just more party-political maneouvering. Haven't you ever heard of "lies, damn lies and statistics"?

    You may claim that you're just criticising the government and senior management but by presenting already biased statistics in an even more biased way, removing the one caveat in the Telegraph article that prompts a reader to examine the claim critically, and referring only to HMRC (rather than said ministers and senior managers), you once again reinforce the negative image of ALL HMRC staff in the mind of a casual reader.

    It's time you laid your cards on the table and admitted that your agenda is merely to attack the organisation that has the nerve to tax you on the profits of whatever it is that you do for a living! :-)

    Rant over. I shall look forward to more in the New Year. In the meantime, Merry Christmas! :-)

  2. Oops! Forgot to include my source. Much as it pains me to cite the Mail:

  3. I've let Paul Dacre know that a member of the HMRC/Treasury media relations department has recommended his paper:)

    Happy Christmas everyone!

  4. I understand HMRC are no longer automatically the 1st creditor in line as I think was once the case.

    Slightly off topic - but if anon is going to quote The Daily Mail I shall go even more downmarket and quote The Sun. What about this case, can it possibly be true?

    PS You should give a prize for the 1st tax-related link from The Daily Star.

  5. True or not, I wouldn't be surprised if it soon features on this blog! :)

    At risk of remaining a little off-topic, the order in which an insolvency practitioner must distribute available funds is as follows:

    1) Their own fees
    2) Debts to preferential creditors, including outstanding wages and pension contributions
    3) (For a company liquidation) debts to parties with a floating charge over an asset
    4) unsecured debts
    5) any interest payable on debts
    6) Shareholders (in a company case) get anything that's left.

    Secured debts are unaffected by insolvency, so the charge-holder (i.e. bank) gets paid before any of these when the asset is sold.


    Where insolvency took place before 15 September 2003, certain types of tax liabilities were classed as preferred debts (category 2), but since that date the Crown has been an ordinary unsecured creditor. (http;//

    In short, xoggoth: yes, you're right. Any creditor owed at least £750 can petition for liquidation proceedings to commence, however.

  6. I am looking for statistics of how many (bankruptcy/insolvency/ winding-up orders) proceedings were instigated by HMRC (personal & business), The Office of National Statistics does not have this information.

    Any ideas withough having to read every entry in the London Gazette?