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, 7 February 2011

Plain Speaking

The Low Income Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has called for there to be a simplification of the language used in HMRC's forms and communications.

LITRG notes that HMRC have carried out numerous research projects to assess the needs of their customers. However, LITRG note that turning the feedback into reality has not happened.

They note that last October President Obama signed the Plain Writing Act 2010, which requires the US federal government to write all new publications, forms, and publicly distributed documents in a "clear, concise, well-organised" manner.

LITRG believe that were a similar act to be enacted in the UK, it would save LITRG countless hours of commenting upon badly drafted Government forms, leaflets and general guidance.

It would also give "the unrepresented taxpayer a fighting chance of helping themselves when trying to cope with HMRC obligations. It would certainly reduce error to a considerable degree".

Please feel free to post your examples of "confusing language" that you have encountered in HMRC communications.

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  1. "Working to design"

  2. "fighting chance" "reduce error" "clear and concise"

    What planet are these Low Income Tax Refrom group people on.
    Its Gordos HMRC theyre dealing with here.
    Not some professionally run accountable government department.
    Some people.

  3. This is from manual IPTM 1420. Clearly somene feels that industry should also simplify their language!!

    "The intention of the income bond package is to provide what looks from the customer’s point of view like an income each year, actually based on surrenders, part surrenders, or individual cluster policy maturities, and a return of capital on maturity of the bond. Humorists have suggested the use of the phrase reflects Voltaire’s view of the Holy Roman Empire."

  4. Yawn - boring no one cares and shame on you Ken for missing the big story of today.

    If you want to know about another embarrassment for HMRC, just ring their Press Office and ask what the number 103 means to them.

    Hope you get to the BOTTOM of this!

  5. The usual confusion. "Customers" and "Taxpayers" in the same article - which is it? Until everyone understands that HMRC is a PUBLIC SERVICE, funded by the PUBLIC and that HMRC is NOT A BUSINESS and therefore HAS NO CUSTOMERS, the confusion, indecision and incompetence will continue. Maybe then the bullies and liars that were recruited from the commercial call-centres can be retrained to understand the words "Integrity" and "Honesty". If that doesn't work, tell them to bugger off back to their old job at Vodaphone. Abolish call handling targets so that the job can be done properly and make supporting the PUBLIC (who pay the wages) the ONLY priority. And while we're at it - ban bonuses, a stupid, divisive and ineffective motivator. By the way - shouldn't a business have Articles? Show us yer articles!

  6. Abolish call handling targets? At least leave management something to m********e over!