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.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Service Standards Fall


The ICAEW has published the results of its survey into its members' views of HMRC's Customer Service Standards (conducted between May and July of this year).

The survey indicates that standards are falling.


"We are extremely concerned that overall service standards seem to continue to fall."

Key issues being:

HMRC acknowledges that tax agents are an essential part of the UK tax system. Agents need to be able to communicate with HMRC easily, efficiently and reliably. However, overall service standards have fallen steadily as HMRC continues to seek to reduce its costs and improve its efficiency.

ICAEW questions whether HMRC can meet its aspiration to 'provide an increasingly efficient and high quality service' while reducing staff numbers: the evidence from the ICAEW survey and elsewhere reinforces ICAEW's concerns.

HMRC should concentrate resources on:

- better trained staff
- nominated staff having ownership of problems
- email access to HMRC.

Communication with HMRC is one of the biggest problems for agents. It is difficult to get through on the telephone, the people answering the phones have insufficient knowledge to be able to resolve queries, promised call backs do not happen and letters remain unanswered.

In 2010, 71% (2009, 63%; 2007, 55%) of respondents reported in at least five of the last ten calls to HMRC, they needed to have further contact in order to resolve the enquiry.

In 2010 61% (2009, 50%; 2007, not asked) of respondents felt that the level of
knowledge of HMRC knowledge staff was rarely or never sufficient to answer an enquiry.

34% of VAT queries took longer than three months (2009,21%; 2007, 20%) to receive a full reply.


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  1. The level of knowledge of some agents also leaves a lot to be desired.

  2. well said anonymous @ 15.52

    I had an agent tell a customer that they could deregister for VAT if their turnover fell below the turnover limit for 1 quarter ....

  3. 15:52 @ 17:48

    OK, you have had your digs and I am sure that the points you make are valid. However I do not use an agent but the service I have received from HMRC other the last year has also gone down hill.

    So the question is what are you going to do about it?

  4. Today saw guidance issued to the HMRC Contact Centres, stating that advisers should 'manage customer expectations' by not offering call backs from the service offices - unless the customer 'demands' this. Also the same guidance has stated that it "may take up to four weeks for the customer to recieve the call back".
    Service Standards are definitly decreasing rapidly.

  5. Anon @ 15.52...

    The level of knowledge of many HMRC managers also leaves a lot to be desired... which might explain why HMRC is well and truly up shit creek without a paddle!!!

  6. "The level of knowledge of some agents also leaves a lot to be desired."


    "The level of knowledge of many HMRC managers also leaves a lot to be desired."

    There is a common theme here... the more your salary is the less you actually know about anything useful. Messrs Strathie, Hartnett et al, are you listening?

  7. “I had an agent tell a customer that they could deregister for VAT if their turnover fell below the turnover limit for 1 quarter”

    Did you really? Or is that merely the second hand story you were told by the “customer”?

  8. The fact that posts made on here from what appears to be HMRC staff are simply throwing mud back towards agents shows the level of arrogance they have.

    The level of service provided by HMRC is constantly being shown to be bad. The best thing for them to do is cut out the contempt they have for the general public, pull their fingers out and get the problems sorted. It looks like there is going to be a large number of HMRC staff laid off over the next few years and quite frankly it is a good thing. Lower staff numbers may make the service even worse but it is already at an unacceptable level and those who are left may realise that crap service wins you no support.

  9. 10:27.

    Go fuck yourself. You think it's bad now? Wait till your Daily Mail wet dream vision of the future comes to pass.

  10. 10:27 - you are one arrogant twat.

    21:49 - agree entirely with you.

    10:27 - you still here? Well piss off, 'cause no-one gives a toss what you think.

  11. 10:27 here, I seem to have hit a couple of raw nerves. Good, I will wave to you while you are waiting in the jobque.

    And for 21:49's benefit, I do not think the service is bad now. I know it is and so does everyone else.

    As for 22:29 well I am still here but how long will you be?

    Have fun.