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.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Bunged Up!

As has been noted on this site for yonks, HMRC have an enormous backlog of unresolved tax cases.

Now the National Audit Office (NAO) has publicly spanked HMRC for failing to deal with this backlog, which stands at a staggering 18 million unresolved income tax cases.

The NAO believe that around 50% of these cases might involve underpayment or overpayment of around £4.4BN of tax.

Could it be the restructuring that HMRC has endured over the last few years, and will continue to endure, is actually making things worse?

Could it be that a means to reduce future backlogs and the workload of HMRC would be to simplify the tax system?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Those on the top will never admit that they have made HMRC unfit for purpose, so try & resolve this, they will just stamp down harder on those below.

  2. Hahaha .... simplify tax all you want but given Tweedledum and Traitor Clegg want to sack everyone in HMRC (hyperbolé) it's only going to get worse.

  3. No two ways about it... as also frequently commented upon this site, HMRC is in meltdown and heading for collapse. Gordon Brown you must feel so proud!!

  4. Why not just "Z" all 18 million cases... problem solved at a stroke, no more embarrassing stats plus no-one gives a s**t anyways!

  5. The people who earn big salaries in HMRC, get them to clear it. Instead of sitting on their bums trying to look important emailing people asking for stats.
    If some of these clowns spent less time at airports drinking coffee waiting on the flight to the next "team meeting" or "training course".
    I know a Senior Officer who had to fly to Scotland or somewhere to have his Personal Development Evaluation nonsense agreed becuase that is where his manager was.
    Usless bunch of muppets.

  6. I've had a tax credit over payment issue rumbling on for about 7 years now. HMRC seem in no hurry to do anything about.
    I send them letters asking questions, they reply as if they've read a different letter from an alternate dimension with answers that bear no relation to what I've asked !

    I fail to see how they can ever resolve anything in this way ?

  7. 18 million cases uncleared with potentially £billions of taxes over/underpaid... yet not a single mention on the (internal) Intranet about this embarrassment and incompetence!!!

    Getting an official kick up the backside from the National Audit Office for wholesale incompetence and mismanagement means absolutely nothing to ExCom, apparently.

    HMRC are treating the whole thing with contempt. They should not be allowed to get away with this!

  8. just received our latest statements for working tax credit and child tax credit, once again totally incorrrect figures to those we submitted, once again when trying to call we get told by a amchine they are busy and call back later. Have previously spoke face to face with a HMRC employee who said internally the telephone service was know as the "Fob off line"!
    In the last week we were sent a letter saying they had altered our figures but with no explanation as to why, only that we may again have to repay them some money after they had just decided to send us some from the previous year, despite the fact we are still repaying a previous overpayment (work that lot out!). We did manage to get though on the phone on that occasion (still took a while) only to be told they had got mine and my partners details mixed up and had now corrected it, why on earth did they not say that in the letter instead of pissing about with letters that only cause distress and worry.
    I would like the head of HMRC to contact me personally (fat chance of that, another goverment untouchable and unaccounatable) and explain how she can fuck things up so well, this is the HMRC the one department that should be seen to be perfect in all it's dealings, instead it makes mistakes left right and centre then is untouchable when it comes to redress.
    If any one is self employed and thinking of claiming credits I would advise to stay out of it, they will cause you more misery than you will ever get than have not enough money to live on.
    The heads should try ringing there own helplines and speaking to adifferent person (if they get though that is) and explaining the same thing over and over again only to get a different answer each time and be left wondering what is really going on.
    A letter writing campaign by myself saw me seven replies all from different people but the same standar letter which had no bearing to the questions I had asked.
    Sack them all, uselss waste of shites.

  9. The easiest way to get through to the jokers at the top is email them direct. The address is easy, first name, dot,surname eg

  10. But do not expect a reply unless you can in some way further their careers.

    You may have some luck if you arrange to meet with your local MP and ask them to contact HMRC in writing, it is harder for HMRC staff to ignore an MP as the MP has access to the people above them.

  11. For long enough HMRC has been stats obsessed to the extent we no longer care about what the 'customer' (that's a laugh as well) wants. We've been told HMRC will provide what the customer (that word again) needs, not what they want i.e. no service whatsoever. Call Centres are a joke, staffed by people with 4 weeks training and virtually no knowledge of anything. They even 'flip' them from one business stream to the other and expect to provide a world class service!! The service offices are snowed under with all the WMI's (fancy emails) from the Call Centres as they haven't a clue what to do with anything that they are asked. The new computer system is so crap I wonder if someone was bribed to accept it as it's clearly not up to the job that's asked of it. All in all, if you want something done contact your MP and ask him to write instead. You might get an answer then.

  12. I would endorse the comments about being able to contact the top bods at HMRC as a way to get your complaint referred more quickly. Note I did not sya 'dealt with' more quickly, as they will not respond directly, just refer it to one of their (may) complaints teams. Copying in your MP and/or the press is sound advice as well.
    For the benefit of readers the list below is list of directors (the usual suspects)of HMRC with their area of responsibility. Readers should note that not all staff at HMRC have external email, a point I discovered following a Freedom of Information request. I have provided the 'result' of that also.;;;;;

    Bernadette Kenny – Director General Personal Tax
    Chris Hopson – Director Customer Contact
    Peter Michael – Director Central Policy
    Jane Frost – Director Individuals
    Mike Shipp – Director PAYE SA and NIC
    Simon Smith – Director Customer Operations

    Statistical information on the number of HMRC staff who have GSI email accounts, broken down by grade
    No Of Staff with GSI email Access.
    Admin Assistant
    Assistant Officer
    Higher Officer
    Band T
    Senior Officer
    Band 10
    Grade 7
    Grade 6
    SCS 1
    SCS 1a
    SCS 2
    SCS 3
    Total HMRC Staff
    Those with External email (GSI as above)
    Those with only Internal email

    One final thought. Users should consider using the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Acts to their full potentila to obtain information from HMRC. There are legislative response times for HMRC to deal with requests under these regimes and any breaches can be referred to the Information Commissioner as a complaint/breach. In my view the more pressure is put on HMRC and it's bungling management, and by as many ways as possibly, the sooner this department will be broken up.

  13. To the 27 July 2010 07:53 poster.

    If HMRC was broken up we would probably end up with more than one failed deparment to have to deal with from a business point of view. I assure you one is plenty thank you.

  14. To 27 July 2010 07:53.

    You forgot Steve Lamey - Director of Benefits and Credits. One of the highest paid directors of a completely failing directorate.

    His will be

    He is paid £260,000 a year to fail the department.

    I get paid 6% of that to have the great privilege of providing actual customer service instead of bogus excuses to parliament and the media.

  15. I was having trouble with my Tax credit - read your column and comments about email addresses - I emailed Steve Lamey, Lesley Stathie and my mp... Within 4 hours I was called by a complaints officer who had access to all the government databases - all sorted in 5 minutes - 0ne number had been scanned incorrectly on my claim form. And now I have a direct line number and a name and my money should be here within days...
    Thank you xxx