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 July 2011



The ICAEW Tax Faculty has been warned by HMRC that there has been a delay in sending out some of the mid-year self assessment statements to taxpayers. As these may be needed for the 31 July 2011 payments, practitioners may wish to contact their clients to see if they have their statements.

In the absence of a statement with a payslip, form SA361 can be downloaded from the HMRC website. This facility will be available until 15 August. Alternatively, payments can be made electronically or by telephone.

Fair enough that HMRC have issued the warning.

However, there are a few points worth raising here:

1 The statements have been issued twice a year for a number of years now. Therefore it should be a simple matter of routine to issue them. Why the delay?

2 Why keep the download facility only open until 15 August?

3 The delay and extra administration caused by this delay will add to the workload and costs of taxpayers and their agents.

Why has there been a delay?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. "Why has there been a delay?"

    Maybe they have used up the paper budget and are not allowed to print any more letters for a while.

  2. Could Strathie not collate and package some of these SA361s while shes at home? Is it not just a case of putting the SA361 and its guidance notes into a brown A4 Window Envelope?

    Give her something to do.

  3. How come they keep ending up with all these problems when they have been Pacesettered?
    Is it because Pacesetter doesn't let them think outside the box?
    Oh, and BTW, Pacesetter is not going to go away they are in for the long haul.
    Run for the hills!

  4. Doesn't the SA302 tell people what they are likely to have to pay on 31 July? Only reason that would be incorrect is if other debts were outstanding or someone had a credit elsewhere for whatever reason.

    Must try that with my credit card company some time if for whatever reason my statement doesn't reach me even though I know it's my responsibility to pay on time.... "I didn't pay nuffink towards my bill even though I bought a new Bravia TV - you never sent me nuffink so faw I didn't have to pay this month".

  5. @20.06 Youre missing the point mate. We all know that the responsibility is on the taxpayer. Well done. The point is wtf is going on in there that they cannot coordinate a basic function like posting a statement to a "customer". This is basic stuff. It happens the same time every year. Can someone in there put it in the diary for next year?

  6. @22 July 2011 10:28

    I suggest you contact the private outsourced company that carries out this function on behalf of HMRC 'on the cheap' and ask them why.

    It only affected a subset of people which suggests that either a corruption occurred in transmitting the data or after it was received as if it occurred within HMRC it would have most likely impacted the whole self assessment system.

    This is where FOIA requests come in to their own.

  7. "Could Strathie not collate and package some of these SA361s while shes at home?"

    Probably too complicated for her I'd imagine.

  8. The truth is that the printers rang out of stationery and the July statements now wont go out till August - by which time POA2 should have been paid by 31st July.

  9. I work in a Contact Centre, and my manager, in private, informed me the the statements haven't gone out as 'they have ran out of paper'.

    The fact that it 'only' effects UTRs which end between 70-99 are affected goes some way in backing this up.

    I suspect a hotseat question will be answered in about 6 weeks time officially confirming this.

  10. @22 July 2011 22:08

    They look after almost the entire IT estate of HMRC but They forgot to order more stationery?

    That sounds as bad an excuse as some of the ones given by taxpayers over the phone and letter for not fulfilling their legal obligations.

  11. But HMRC is leading the way in the Civil Service WRT paper, aah, yes, of course, if you use less paper, you have less paper to recycle and therefore reduce your carbon footprint whilst saving the forests at the same time - brilliant!
    If you don't like it submit online - you get more time that way to get your returns in.

  12. Is it not just a ploy to get taxpayers to pay online? Backdoor management again!!

    They have done this for the past 4 years with employer payslip booklets. The line to take is always to apologise and push the online payment option. It's like working for the National Apology Helpline!

    Different story when an AO makes a mistake though, eh??

    It truly has become an embarrasment working for HMRC.

    Atleat we have the Vision to embrace! Vision, Purpose, Way! Fuckwits! ;o)