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.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Computer Says No

Computer Sleepy Now
The Public Accounts Committee have lambasted HMRC's tired old IT systems, stating that the systems "do not provide essential information".

In fact these systems are so tired and old, it is estimated that around £11BN of the £28BN of tax owed at March 2009 will remain uncollected. That's a tad more than the revenue that Darling kids himself he will make from taxing bankers' bonuses (£500M).

Anyhoo, the committee is of the view that more money needs to be spent on new systems.

Maybe so, but there are a few problems with this "statement of the obvious":

1 Brown has bankrupted Britain, there is no money available to spend on IT upgrades.

2 Will an IT upgrade really improve the bad debt situation so radically?

3 Are HMRC's executives and our "respected" politicians really capable of sourcing, implementing and managing a serious large scale IT upgrade? Experience tells us that they are not.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Even if they could afford the IT upgrades there is no one left to enforce the debt so it becomes just a more accurate system of calculating how much is unpaid. All anyone will get is a series of automated reminders followed up by the system writing off the debt as uneconomical to collect.

  2. Given the government's record on IT infrastructure projects they wouldn't get it right even if they had the cash for it.

  3. I wish they would let the systems we use to submit returns get old and tired instead of changing them all the time.

    I had all the figures to hand and expected the CT return on my microscopic business would take an hour at most but it took all day with their awful new Adobe based thing. Lots of problems, unhelpful error messages, slowed my PC to a crawl and refused to submit.

    Just as well I didn't leave it to the last minute as usual.

  4. As a soon to retire HMRC officer the rumour has it that only debts of over £10,000 are pursued due to staff shortages- and yet we have the Tories promising to slash Civil Service numbers by a third - so how on earth are they going to do any better than the present lot ?

  5. Having decided to print off a copy of my submitted file I find the CT calculation in the printable PDF is different, being based on standard rate while the submission PDF is based on small companies' rate. What has it actually submitted? God knows.

    Accounting web has similar comments from professionals on this croc of shit.

    The previous web based version was fine, why did they have to change it? Back to paper filing for me and many others I daresay.