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, 28 March 2011

Postman Prat

My thanks to a loyal reader who has alerted me about an arrangement (I assume one that is not in writing) that is said to exist between the Royal Mail and HMRC, concerning the delivery of certain crucial HMRC letters to taxpayers.

My loyal reader advises me that she has heard from an impeccable source within the Royal Mail that many important letters (threats of prosecution, distraint etc) from HMRC are held back for delivery on specfic "red letter days" (ie just before Easter, Christmas, and the New Year).

Why would this be so?

These are the periods when tax advisors, accountants, lawyers etc (ie those who would be helping the taxpayers on the receving end of such letters) are most likely to be setting down their quill pens for a break.

As said, this comes from a loyal reader who herself has been given the information from a source in the Royal Mail. Therefore, she and I would like to ask other loyal readers the following questions:

1 Have others, on the receiving end of important letters from HMRC, noticed a pattern to the dates of receipt?

2 If such an arrangement exists, in what form does it take (eg oral, written)?

3 If such an arrangment exists, how do HMRC and the Royal Mail identify which letters to hold back for "red day delivery"?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. So when taxpayers send mail to HMRC, its left unopened, thrown aside or lost.
    But they have the nastiness to set up an arrangement with Royal Mail?

    A shower of shits.

  2. I may have misunderstood your post but if such an arrangement existed it would be to stop those letters being delivered on those days.

    I think it is highly unlikely Royal Mail would be willing or able to withhold selected letters like this. That is why HMRC has, for years, in practice put a stop on these letters being issued around those dates.

  3. When I was an inspector I would issue my S9A notices on a Thursday so the "customer" would receive them on Saturday morning. It focused their minds as they couldn't contact me or the agent for two days. So guilty as charged!

  4. "When I was an inspector I would issue my S9A notices on a Thursday so the "customer" would receive them on Saturday morning. "

    That must have been a long time ago. With RPRs and 2nd class post on everything nothing gets there that fast any more.

  5. When I was being investigated worrying mail often came on a Saturday morning and a really nasty one came in just a few days before Christmas. I think it's called 'tactics' by HMRC, I call them Dirty Tricks. Nick

  6. Well, one letter is lamentable (threat of arrest/interview under caution), two is a bit fishy (Distraint), but....I have THREE OF THE BUGGERS (Distraint again): Easter, Christmas Eve and New year's eve respectively.(Honest Gov, I have them lovingly filed)
    Can't wait for August Bank holiday.....
    Well, I have a triumverate, any advance on THAT?
    P.s And oh yes, all others (piffling threats of no consequence)have arrived on a Saturday)
    It's so obvious it's laughable.
    Finally, HMRC has found something it can do 'well'

  7. 'That is why HMRC has, for years, in practice put a stop on these letters being issued around those dates.'

    Since they seem to be doing the absolute reverse, they must have CHANGED their practice.......

    Funny how they never seem to lose THIS mail!

  8. We have noticed that the initial letter for a tax investigation always seems to arrive on a Saturday.

  9. Well I work there and I can't believe any aspect of HMRC work is organised enough to pull this off. Trust me its a shambles.

  10. Do Royal Mail actually take part in the collection of mail for HMRC?....Many other government departments use a foreign company called UK Mail to collect and sort their post; a bit like Lord Sainsbury shopping at Tesco I would think.

    I have noticed that all too often mail from the pension service/DWP arrives on a Saturday; a time that you can't contact them, so you spend the whole of the weekend worrying about it...Perhaps that is their plan.

  11. I went through a spell of getting these sort of letters a while ago (all sorted now).

    Any that I recognised as being from one of these organisations I left until Monday before opening. A simple solution but it screws their simple little plan up.

  12. Is there anyone that really believes that the mess that is hmrc and the mess that is royal mail could get enough amoeba's together and organise this out of their combined disorganisation?
    This should be filed with Area 51 Conspiracy theories and Elvis works down the chip shop!
    Anyway, isn't interfering with the Royal Males a hanging offence still?
    Tax doesn't have to be taxing?????

  13. And THEN, add perfidious insult to grave injury, they put you on an unrealistic TIME LIMIT!!!
    10 to 14 days is normally their strict edict.
    So, you lose 5 days from the date of the letter (strange) straight from the get go, then you go into the weekend or LONG weekend, so thats ANOTHER 5 the time you get to speak to anybody, you are so wound up and panic stricken that you would confess to the whereabouts of Lord Lucan or the demise of Shergar!!

  14. Nearly pissed myself laughing at some of the gullible conspiracy theorists who post on here. If you really are that stupid, you deserve eveything HMRC dishes you up. informal, unwritten agreement for Royal Mail to hold back previously sent mail, so it will be delivered on Public Holidays? Yeah, that's right-idiots. Dave Hartnett speaks to me through a transmitter HMRC implanted in my brain. A flying saucer kept hidden in Somerset House. For fecks sake Ken, this sort of bollox does you no good at all.

  15. All the crap that Sky sends me seems to arrive on a weekend........hmmmm. Perhaps they've got the same deal going. Trouble is, some of this esteemed blogs posters hate HMRC soooo much, that they will literally believe anything. See 10.30 28th March. Unless that was sarcasm, of course. Which, from a mouth breather, seems unlikely.

  16. Aw Ken it's going to the dawgs, I laughed so much my tin foil hat
    almost fell off.
    It does not take a conspiracy between hmrc and royal mail to cock-up the post to the "customer".
    Get this site back between the rails, conspiracy theorists can bog off to david icke etc.
    Just wait until your salaries are paid into hmrc before tax is taken out and hopefully you get your money on time!
    That issue should get readers animated surely?
    Whatever happened to the taxpayers charter?

  17. "Whatever happened to the taxpayers charter?"

    It's in the post.

  18. And will arrive on the next Bank Holiday.......

    We're watching you from the sky.......

  19. Pacesetter the mail system, that'll totally feck it up.
    Doh! It's fecked up already....
    How about a new job for La Grande Dame and Hartnett running the privatised non-Royal Mail? You could guarantee a first class service, not.
    Don't forget, Paul Gray resigned because of back pain, caused by 2 "slipped discs"!

  20. Anonymous@ 18.15

    You said "pacesetter the mail system". I know of a Manager in the Midlands who told me that they are doing so right now. I obviously advised him to run for the hills!

  21. So, hmrc is Pacesettered and royal mail is being programmed to do the same.
    Let's have a think about possible outcomes then.....
    Outgoing mail from hmrc to the customer (taxpayer) is returned to sender, and,
    outgoing mail from the customer to hmrc is returned to sender
    Postman Pat applies for a cash paid job for the private postal company that ends up delivering hmrc outward mail services but loses out to an economic migrant from Portugal!

  22. That's outrageous. I'm going to take my custom elsewhere. No - wait...

  23. That's not surprising. When I was more involved with Tax Credit Casualties we noticed that there was a definite increase in demands for previously unnotified overpayments just before Christmas.

    But it does seem incredible that two grossly inefficient outfits like HMRC and Royal Mail could coordinate themselves to carry out such an exercise.