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, 10 January 2011

A Million Here, A Million There

As HMRC continues to trawl through 17.9M open case files, further tax over/underpayments have come to light.

The Sun reports that on top of the 6M over/underpayments already being followed up by HMRC, a further 1M have been identified.

Matthew Oakshott, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, is not impressed and is quoted:

"HMRC just lurches from one crisis to the the next. Any business that ran its affairs like this would have gone bust years ago."

All very well, maybe, but it is the politicians who created the mess by merging IR and Customs, by creating an overcomplex tax system and by appointing an executive committee that is clearly out of its depth.

Headline grabbing soundbites or not, it is up to the politicians to sort the mess that is HMRC out.

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

What is TAXWISE?

TAXWISE is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Taxwise

Tax Investigation for Dummies, by Nick Morgan, provides a good and easy to read guide for anyone caught up in an HMRC tax investigation. A must read for any Self Assessment taxpayer.

Click the link to read about: Tax Investigation for Dummies

HMRC Is Shite (, also available via the domain, is brought to you by "The Living Brand"


  1. Just out of interest, can someone here tell us exactly what they would do to 'simplify' the tax system? It's a sentiment repeated ad nauseam here, but never with any detail attached.

    I do hope it's not simply a way of saying "We think that big business, the comfortably-off and (dare I say) management consultants should be taxed less, and the burden thrown on VAT on poor people".

  2. I have asked this before. Ken believes we should get rid of anything "complicated" like corporation tax, stamp duty, capital gains tax etc and introduce a flat rate of income tax.

    "I do hope it's not simply a way of saying "We think that big business, the comfortably-off and (dare I say) management consultants should be taxed less..." Yes that is exactly what it means.

  3. Do we need a simplified tax system?

    Why not start by getting HMRC to employ competent staff and see how things go from there.

  4. We have got competent staf, just not enough of us.
    If management would let us get on with the work instead of dreaming up more stupid work systems like lean, pacesetter etc, give us time and resources to actually work the post instead of always clock watching because we can't meet their impossible targets

  5. As the last commenter said, we have competent staff; it's just that we also have layer after layer of managers who vary from the incompetent to downright thuggish.

  6. Another million cocks ups and no one gets the boot?
    Pressure needs to be applied just like it was to the head of Northern Ireland water for heads to roll.

    If departments cant do the job whether its NI Water or HMRC then senior individuals need to get out.

  7. Re "detail", often stated eg in 2008

    Now, 3 years on, persnal allowances should be about £20K to my view.

  8. "If departments cant do the job whether its NI Water or HMRC then senior individuals need to get out."

    What would getting rid of the most senior people actually achieve?

    You will still be left with the people who designed and implemented the new systems that seem to be at the root of a lot of the current problems. You will still be left with team leaders and lower management causing misery and distress to front line staff in call centres.

    They guy running NI water has gone but the problems will still remain.

  9. Hmmm, let's see:

    "- cut out erroneous taxes such as CGT and IHT"

    "Erroneous"? A mere coincidence that those taxes (once disregards are taken into account) are paid almost exclusively by the well-off?

    "- increase personal allowances to around £10K"

    OK, with you there.

    "- levy one rate of tax at 20%"

    So this would be fair because the Duke and the dustman would pay the same? Are you channeling Nicholas Ridley?

    "- make up the shortfall in revenues via VAT"

    Ah! Make up "the shortfall" by using a tax which disproportionately disadvantanges those at the bottom because it bears no relation to ability to pay.

    Well done, Ken! Spoken like a true management consultant!

  10. How about merging Employees NI and Tax. What's the point in charging both anyway?

    How about getting rid of Employers NI altogether so that employers aren't taxed for each person they employ? This money can then be used by employees and employers to create pension funds. The government doesn't segregate this money anyway.

    How about a personal allowance that coincides with the much abused figures relating to relative poverty. So that, for example, if the poverty level is considered to be 15k then no one should have to pay any tax up to a slightly higher level than this.

    I don't understand, though, why increases in VAT are said to affect the poor when most of the necessities are zero rated?

    When "Tax simplification" is referred to. My understanding was that the sheer number of taxes should be reduced as each tax has a unique way of administering it. This is an extra burden (cost) that businesses don't need. It is also used by tax inspectors to levy even more tax because no small businessman can be expected to learn about them all, and will therefore make mistakes.

    I would like to add that Tax is not the be all and end all of society's problems. I believe that Empathy (Education) is.

    Please remember that if I have a good year this year and pay loads of tax and then have a really bad year next year and actually lose some of the money I made the state will not refund some of the tax I paid. You see when I take a risk and win the state wins too but when I take a risk and lose then the state does not.

    How does that make sense and how, therefore, are we all in it together?

    Finally, How about a state that understands it should not spend more than it receives.