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, 21 April 2011

Thuggish Bailiffs


Here is an extract of a letter sent out by HMRC, chasing up overdue tax, as published in the Mail:

"Since I last wrote to you, most of those still owing tax have paid, making their contribution to the vital services we all depend on.

We still haven't received your tax payment, and my team are now focusing attention on the rapidly reducing number of people like you who have yet to pay. Not paying your tax on time has serious consequences. We must collect this tax from you to pay for the hospitals and schools we all rely on.

We will do that by taking your possessions and auctioning them publicly. We don't like doing this because people have told us it is embarrassing for them and it will cost you so much more to pay this way.

For instance, if your car is worth several thousand pounds, it might sell for only a few hundred pounds at auction, a flat-screen TV costing £2,000 would typically sell for about £200-£300, and an £800 laptop would sell for about £100.

To avoid this, please call one of my team on the number at the top of this letter to pay by debit or credit card. Some people who have a problem paying their tax bury their head in the sand. In fact, many people find that speaking to us helps.

George Mudie, deputy chairman of the Commons Treasury committee, is unimpressed with this and intends to raise the issue with George Osborne.


"It is not for the Revenue to behave like thuggish bailiffs threatening to seize people's property. It is inappropriate and immoral to use such threatening, harassing language."

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  2. The state is becoming more of a bully everyday.

    To the faithful HMRC apologists; Yes, you are part of the state's machine and NOT a company or business dispite what your managers/executives tell you.

    The state in this country is becoming even more like the old Soviet Union, I wonder if this is because the political elite are building bit by bit the new EUSSR which will create a giant socialist superstate.

    The state has become the enemy of the people.

  3. I fail to understand how they can have any confidence in their IT systems getting its sums right given the constant cockups experienced. Is it legal to attempt to enforce an incorrect or non-existent debt, which appears to be a regular happening?

  4. "...many people find that speaking to us helps."
    Obviously drafted by a twat who has never tried to engage with the glorious 103rd via phone, at a premium rate too!
    Tax does not have to be taxing.....
    Well what the feck has gone wrong then?!

  5. If I ever found myself in a position to be getting letters like that and did not owe the money I would treat any attempt to take stuff as an attempted burglary and deal with the person(s) as such.

  6. what a bunch of fuckwits

  7. Despicable languange from a bunch of 3rd rate twats.
    It's all wind and piss and meaningless threats of course, but that is little consolation to the percentage of folk who are intimidated by these bunch of wankers.
    As for the 'shame on you for not paying your share towards our hospitals and schools' tactics, this is the most pathetic line ever.
    With every new example that comes out about this bunch of losers they make themselves look more stupid. Sack them all and start again -starting at the top.

  8. So HMRC are basically stating that they are going to flog your gear for roughly the same price that toe rag burglars make when they fence their ill gotten gains. It tells you all you need to know about the kind of organisation it has become.

  9. I kenw that old style Customs and Excise Officers had power of entry and indeed, more powers than a Police Officer.....Have the old Inland Revenue staff been given these powers too? ....I always thought that no one could enter your home and take your chattels to sell to pay off a debt unles a court order was granted.

    If one refuses to let a tax officer into one's home, can they just come in if they choose to?....Can they just seize goods whether the tax bill has been proved to be correct or not?
    If one is daft enough to let one of these people(sic) into one's home, can they just put a charge on your goods?
    Does this mean that HMRC are judge, Jury and Executioner in the world of tax?

    How has the population of our great nation allowed this type of state bullying to come into being?
    Do these powers bring us into line with the rest of the EUSSR?

    Perhaps someone, such as a lawyer, a solicitor or a taxation specialist, with the right kind of professional knowledge could enlighten me regarding the aforementioned points and for that, I thank them in anticipation.

  10. Like your average Joe Citizen I used to swallow the line about taxes paying for schools, hospitals, police, and our brave armed forces.
    Now, unless I am very mistaken the Muppets, glorious 103rd brigade or spawn of Satan (you takes your pick) have been in one way or another responsible for:-
    The Mapely scandal,
    IT scandals beyond the comprehension of the average person,
    pacesetter "running" the "show",
    SA failures,
    Underpayment/overpayment failures,
    a tax gap that is more olike chasm,
    overpaying a failed IT guru when they had to re-employ him,
    103rd out of 103,
    Hairnet in India and Vodafoon deal,
    LGD Straithie and abysmal performances in front of tame committee's
    MTIC gone wild,
    Cigarettes, Alcohol and Oil being smuggled like never before.
    Oh yes, and a phone system that makes no contribution towards improving the customer experience.
    What is the common denominator, besides the twats in charge that is?
    It's the £bn's of your hard earned tax that you pay that they are wasting in amounts you couldn't imagine - the problem is Joe public, they don't give a flying feck about you or I!
    Happy Easter!

  11. Find the biggest Easter Egg you can.

    When the muppets call to the door plonk the egg over their heads and tell them to f**k off.

  12. Oh yeah, I forgot,

    It's time to play the music
    It's time to light the lights
    t's time to meet the Muppets on the HMRC Muppet Show tonight.

  13. Dear Tonk,

    Although I am not a solicitor, I have experienced these kinds of threats from HMRC thugs.

    I do not believe HMRC cannot force entry into your home without going through due process via court.

    These letters must have a conversion rate of payments which is why they do it. I usually find they start ignoring you if you challenge them on their claim against you - you become too much hassle and there are easier prey to go after instead.

    These are low-down, dirty and disgusting tactics and HMRC just use the excuse that they 'made a mistake' to get themselves out of trouble.

    This nonsense has got to stop.


  15. FFS @ 22:49
    I see the tame HMRC arse licker had to have their say, totally missing the point as they do.
    I wonder if the pantomime dame or hairnet hartnet et al read this blog to see how low they have brought their department.
    I would think it more likely they have instructed a few of their loyal apologists to monitor, report back on any comments from employees and post pathetic comments such as that offered by FFS. I wonder how far up the greasy pole this will get them as at some point the government will say enough is enough and sweep away all the senior execs, if only to protect their own arses. Where will that leave their loyalist sycophants and acolytes.

  16. To 22:49

    You are right in your statement.

    Unfortunately due to increasing incompetence HMRC often chase debts in this manner even though the debt has been paid. And do not think for one moment that people on PAYE are immune.

  17. 22:49 21/4!
    You need a reality check chum!
    Either you have been living abroad in a tax haven for the last decade or so, or, as is more likely, you have your head so far up the rear end of your manager you can't see daylight!
    RATART (right amount of tax at right time) applies to refunds as well you dozy f@ckwit!
    Now crawl off back under the slimy stone you slithered out from you despicable creature and stop insulting the integrity of the human beings that use this site.

  18. You are right to highlight this Ken. I completely agree that people who don't want to pay their tax debts should be allowed to get away with it. Instead of paying taxes it is absolutely right that they should spend the money that should go to schools and hospitals on nice things for their home, safe in the knowledge that nobody can touch them. Only a heartless cynic, or an HMRC apologist, might suggest otherwise.

  19. 10:57,

    I do not see how this article advocates not paying tax due. It is about HMRC making false claims in letters.

  20. Dear Anon;

    I suspect nobody on here would disagree with your statement that, "If you owe tax you should pay it." The key word in your statement is "IF."
    People are merely questioning whether a) the tax demand is always correct especially in light of the recent number of cases that have shown HMRC don't always get it right, and b) whether the type of letter with all the attempted emotional blackmail contained therein is the type of wording one would expect from a professional organisation; I suspect it is more the kind of language one would expect in a school playground.....A letter would only need to say something along the lines of tax remains unpaid dispite previous requests for payment and now, unless full payment or an arragement in made within fourteen days, legal action will take place......Threatening to send the boys round is neither professional nor right in a democratic society that has the rule of law at it's heart....No one, especially an arm of the state, should be able to enter ones home and take your goods without safe guards being in place; traditionally, that yhas been the need for a claimant to have their case tested in court and, if proven, a court order would be issued. The problem is, as I see it, is that HMRC can basically ask for any figure they want, they can expect you to PROVE yorself innocent rather than them prove your guilt, they can then judge the case themselves on the basis of their own evidence and then authorise themselves to enforce the said decision.....This must be wrong in a democracy with the rule of law as the cornerstone of that system.

    Regarding PAYE, People on PAYE are still responsible for their own tax affairs and if HMRC believe not enough tax has been paid, they can and will take similar actions....Remember, each individual is reponsible for their own tax affairs, you cannot delegate this reponsibility.

  21. Someone like FFS @ 22.49 is probably responsible for the content of the letter. Having identified the problem (people not paying their tax on time or at all), the full gamut of Pace setter problem solving tools will have been engaged, the 3C, the problem solving 'O' and a decision taken by a manager completeley indifferent about the legal position that 'the ends' (people actually paying their tax) justifies 'the means' (the at best misleading informationb and threats in th e letter). And Pace setter bonuses all round and an article on this 'success' in the latest Revenue mag.

  22. We do not know the background to this letter. How many less-threatening letters had been ignored by this taxpayer before matters came to this state?

    Nowhere does the letter mention HMRC officers entering homes by force. In this sort of situation they would quickly find themselves in chokey if they forced entry as it would simply be illegal. The myth about Revenue or Customs Officers having more powers that the Police is...a myth.

    Surely the taxpayer still has the right of appeal to an independent Tax Tribunal if they dispute the debt? Once that has been exhausted and the guy still refuses to pay what are HMRC supposed to do, write it off? If the taxpayer wants a full court hearing before such a debt is enforced it will only end up making the debt bigger as I would hope HMRC would ask for costs if they won (on top of the added costs of bailiffs etc).

  23. Mmm. almost got back on plot.
    Have another go.
    That is agreed by all reasonable mortals.
    Now, if the employees, rightly, vote their dear management into 103rd out of 103 (last!)
    the "customers" truly believe their experience to be crap when dealing with HMRCISSHITE
    the professionals (legal, fiscal, commercial etc) agree HMRCISSHITE
    and slowly, even the politicians of the select committee are believing that not only is HMRCSHITE, but that its management lies!
    you and the rest of the arselicking brigade can believe WTF you like, the majority of us are not interested in your smoke and mirrors approach or your pacesetter blinded view of the otherwise transparent truth of the situation, the glorious 103rd is way beyond its sell by date.

  24. "I would hope HMRC would ask for costs if they won (on top of the added costs of bailiffs etc)." Rarely. They can't get the money they are owed so they negotiate a lower amount. The last thing they want to do is add more on top.

    "A letter would only need to say something along the lines of tax remains unpaid dispite previous requests for payment and now, unless full payment or an arragement in made within fourteen days, legal action will take place"
    That would cost too much to enforce and so many people ignore the letters it would make it clear how toothless the Rev are. They know HMRC can't afford to take them to court and if they ignore them they will go away eventually. They are reduced to begging and threatening. In reality they will hardly ever go through with it. Much easier to write off billions than enforce the debts.

    Taxation in this country is an honour based system now where most of the plebs pay and the rich & corrupt laugh about it.

  25. Negotiate a lower amount, seems reasonable, just depends how many zero's are in the amount being "discounted" yeah?
    So how many of the little peoples threatening letters make up a Vodaphone discount - ask Hairnet!
    Taxation is at the heart of the country, without it there is nothing.
    Trouble is, the Muppett Show is "running" the tax system with all the efficiency of a Toyota maufacturing strategy, i.e. WTF do we do now?!

  26. The letter was written by a committee. One was enthusiastic about the paying for hospitals line. Another wanted to stress that others had paid. Another fancied outright threat of disaster - although got carried away and threatened to deliberately undersell. Another went for good cop - call us, it helps.

    The letter is a mess. As well as being a very nasty mess.

    What is wrong with - Further reminder, sums outstanding, needs to be paid, will be referred for enforcement without further notice, apologies if you have already paid, contact us if you have difficulties, etc. If they don't have a template, just delay paying any utility bill, and they can see how a professional organisation deals with this sort of thing. Simples. No need to even approach a whiteboard.

  27. So, HMRC made todays Breakfast TV on BBC.
    Article was in relation to the number of complaints made by, you guessed it, people who received similar letters.
    Also included strangely were letters from people who didn't actually owe this despicable bunch of thieves anything, they were owed money by HMRC, but, you guessed it, the IT system got it wrong. Sorry we threatened you to pay us money we owed you, there that's OK now.
    Also managing to find its way into the article was the abhorrent system for "customers" to enjoy the experience of trying to communicate with this monolith. it seems 2 months is not by any means unusual in trying to get through and find someone that knows WTF you are talking about.
    Tax does not have to be tasking - my arse!

  28. If the RTI PAYE system proves to be the complete clunker that everyone expects it to be then I do not give HMRC much of a future as a department. As the current systems can not handle the 25,000,000 annual Employee records it has to process at the moment what chance do you give it of handling the 300,000,000 records that will be winding their way through BACS every year. When this particular sucker goes down (taking Universal Tax Credits with it) then the crap will really hit the fan. Instead of your tax affairs getting screwed annually due to their incompetence they will now be able to do it to you on a monthly basis. I expect the political outcry will then become un containable particularly with elections beckoning in 2015. HMRC will be broken back down into its component parts and scrubbed from the face of history. Hopefully many of the consultancies and IT companies that currently leech off the taxpayer will be taken down with them

  29. "Hopefully many of the consultancies and IT companies that currently leech off the taxpayer will be taken down with them."

    No they will be paid billions extra to make the change "work". Look at the missing disks fiasco - those responsible made more in profit in 6 months than they expected to in 6 years. Years later we still can't get things delivered to the right place or on time despite paying at least 10 times more than we did for every item of post.

  30. MOS 24/4 p.47
    New threat by tax "thugs" in second wave of letters
    Labour MP George Mudie, Deputy Chairman of the Commons Treasury Committee urged ministers to outlaw the threats he said " I think it is a disgraceful way to treat taxpayers particularly a man in his 80's.
    HMRC was last night unable to say how many of the letters had been sent.

    I am not surprised, I would like to know how many went out to people who didn't even owe them money or were actually due a repayment but the IT hasn't caught up yet let alone the post!!!
    Talk your way out of this one Straithie, it will take more than political geekspeak to put this to rest.
    Straithie on the way out to a new post, running a central government callcentre, only trouble is they are all Eastern Europeans, but they have all got national insurance numbers and know how to submit an SA reclaim and dissapear only to rise phoenix like with a new identity and another job in the call centre.
    Hairnet gets knighted but stabs himself on HM Q's sword in the process.
    Excom resign on mass.
    HMRC becomes the IRS and Customs and Excise becomes UK Customs, note the absence of any HM prefix.
    Then I wake up...

  31. They/we should be writing this letter to the big big big companies that avoid corporation tax but can't be named on here for some reason because they are caught by the spam filter.

    Not to pensioners/etc.

  32. "..the big big big companies that avoid corporation tax but can't be named on here for some reason because they are caught by the spam filter..."

    No comments are in the spam filter that are not spam.

  33. Maybe there is a secret super injunction in place!!!

  34. If any member of the public thinks HMRC are using thuggish bailiffs then you ought to see the thug like behaviour dished out to some of the staff - it is known about by senior management. I am certain some of those senior management are part of the chattering classes at the weekend and masquerade as decent members of society when they demonstrate they are anything but - they are to be judged by their actions not their holier than thou pretence.