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.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Hang On A Minute!

My thanks to a loyal reader who sent me a copy of an article posted on the HMRC intranet last week by The Director Corporate Communications, Stephen Hardwick.

It is on a strand called 'Hang on a Minute!" which basically answers criticism from the press on various HMRC issues.

Here it is:

"The Independent

In an article headlined 'Exposed: Taxman's illegal war against Britain's small businesses' , The Independent claimed HMRC is deliberately using late-payment fines to generate extra revenue. 

HMRC's Reply

HMRC does not use small business penalties to boost revenue. We do not want penalty payments either from businesses or individuals. We use penalties purely to encourage on-time filing and to be fair to the vast majority of taxpayers who file on time. 

HMRC supports small businesses as shown by the £7.71 billion of small business tax we have deferred to help with cash flow problems. 

We treat all taxpayers the same irrespective of their size and nature."

Well then, I leave it to you (my loyal readers) to express your opinions about the accuracy (or otherwise) of the above.

Tax does have to be taxing.

UK EXPATS: Reduce tax on UK Pensions
HMRC QROPS provider. Unlock your UK pension and access a 25% lump sum today.

Quote ID code "ABC" when contacting a QROPS specialist.

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. I really wish investigative journalists would ask LAs and Coroner's Offices across the land through public ( FOIs, how many suicides have been reported as a result of direct, indirect or incidental associations to HMRC.

    1. There is certainly a high rate of mental health suffering caused to staff employed by HMRC. The culture of bullying is a significant factor in many cases no doubt.

  2. "Suicide as a result of incidental associations to HMRC" ? hmmmmm. For those English speakers amongst us, incidental means, erm, incidental.... ie "happening or likely to happen in an unplanned or subordinate conjunction with something else".

    I would suggest that most suicides have incidental associations to HMRC ( If the suicide is employed, self employed etc).

    Perhaps they could also ask if people killed in Road Traffic accidents have ever received a coding notice?


    1. I understand there have been many cases of suicide linked to the child support agency over the years. Seeing as HMRC is no better than them in a lot of what it does, I would not be too quick to make clever comments.


    2. One of the definition of incidental; "being likely to ensue as a chance or minor consequence". A perfectly reasonable use considering that HM coroner's of the Establishment might only refer to the HMRC is purposely loose and euphemistic terms when in fact the connection is much less tenuous. Calling someone a "fool", when instead they have tried to outline the degrees of reference is rather

    3. Oh and er, you'll probably have a go at me as well for an accidental possessive apostrophe and a missing s on definition. So I'll save you the bother. ;-) in case you wish to stray too much from the topic in hand by the original author.

  3. If you can't contact HMRC by telephone (68% of calls unanswered in 2009 OFFICIAL), can't visit a HMRC office (closed) and can't find what you need on the HMRC web site ... who creates the delay?

    Or perhaps, is that why there are specialist teams in Cardiff ?

    (And I agree HMRC staff too quick with bullshit comments – KNOBHEAD)

  4. Could you take these balloons seriously? This is an outfit that lost millions of peoples details including National insurance numbers and bank/savings account details. and then blamed it on an Admin officer who ended up banged up in a hotel for months like Howard Hughes.
    And every year in staff surveys comes last or near the bottom. Low morale-lack of communication.
    They dont give a shit about small business.

  5. Just heard Dame Lesley Strathey has died, well that will save the country a few quid on her pension then!

    1. "Just heard Dame Lesley Strathey has died, well that will save the country a few quid on her pension then!"

      I guess that's proof enough at how slow HMRC is. Wikipedia was updated with the news on Monday.

  6. As per usual, nobody actually bothers to read what HMRC says IN THEIR online Terms and Conditions.... but it is worth noting...

    53.1 HMRC makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information contained in the publications and services stored, served and accessed by this web service, but this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for formal advice from HMRC. The materials contained on this website are provided for general information only and do not constitute any form of advice."

    SO one has no option but to 'ignore HMRC online advice' and 'seek formal advice from HMRC'.

    Despite what a number of HMRC numpties have had to say on numerous occasions hereabouts...

    ... who created the delays?

  7. HMRC "without warranty of any kind"

    "We do not warrant error free, that defects will be corrected..."

    The HMRC Disclaimer

    "The HMRC website and material relating to Government information, products and services (or to third party information, products and services) is provided 'as is' without any representation or endorsement made and without warranty of any kind whether express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of satisfactory quality, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement, compatibility, security and accuracy."

    "We do not warrant that the functions contained in the material on this website will be uninterrupted or error free, that defects will be corrected, or that this site or the servers that make it available are free of viruses or represent the full functionality, accuracy or reliability of the materials."

    a fine endorsement of why anyone should use the HMRC web site!

    If we fill you with shit then its your fault and we'll penalise for doing so when you don't know and can't find out!

    Excellent dude.

    But most of all I lurv...

    "or that this site or the servers that make it available are free of viruses".

    Spot on.

    Who creates the delays?

    1. I must admit I'm having a difficult time trying to follow your logic. As it seems to jump a few spaces, rather like giving a detailed essay of the JFK assassination: "At frame 313 we see a shot to the front of President Kennedy's head....." etc etc. then asking a concluding question "Who impeached Nixon?"

    2. If you don't trust the HMRC website then don't use it.

      The delays are created by less actual HMRC staff being able to advise you, because there have been front line staff cuts of about 50% over 5 years. You've answered your own question. The delays have been caused by the incessant staff cuts, pushed for by governments of all three primary colours. Which the public accepted as it made a great daily mail headline.

      So, you created the delays. Give yourself a pat on the back

    3. you really don't get it do you... WE AGREE WITH YOU.

      It's called sardonic cynancism.

      But no, HMRC staff, blinkered vertical thinkers can't see anything that isn't put in front of them.

      We didn't create it, as we all know the GOVERNMENT and POLITICIANS and particluar a certain Mr Brown created the delays... NOT HMRC STAFF left.

      Oh and HMRC and Govt are insisting everything goes 'online'... that generally means usng the HMRC web site (or don't you understand that either?)

    4. Sardonic whowhat? Think you turned the air blue there.

      Dress it up how you like. If you weren't intending to have a pop at those who are still left in the department for not being able to cope with the demands of having to deal with approximately 6000 pieces of written correspondence each year (3 pieces per hour, when most customers demand a 'full written explanation' of everything that has happened over the last 6 years regarding HMRC's failure to provide a 24 carat platinum bespoke personal accountancy concierge deluxe super duper service to them when that person hasn't contacted HMRC to advise a single change of circumstances since 1986 and to compound it have probably moved address so that they disappear without trace leaving HMRC unable to contact them even if they wanted to) in any given year you wouldn't be posting here.

      I do understand that there is a push to go online, however it doesn't stop people who are self-assessment who don't want to deal with on-line services from doing so.

    5. That's 6000 items of post each by the way. If I was an accountant and charge £30 per customer no matter how simple/complex their query was I'd be on £180,000 by now but I'm on about 1/10th of that.

  8. @ Anonymous Jan 17, 2012 11:20 AM

    Er, I mentioned this yesterday (Monday) on this site - check out the previous story our humble host posted.

    1. You did indeed but I trust Wikipedia more than HMRC staff.

    2. You really are a crock of shite aren't you?

      If you trust Wikipedia more than HMRC staff then why in your first post were you alluding to HMRC staff being slow on the news when the person was in fact correct in the first place?

      Get a f$£%$£g life. HMRC didn't eat your hamster, it didn't invent the illuminati, I'm sorry but santa also doesn't exist, the easter bunny is a product of the hare club for men. They really do kill insects to make cochineal. The only way you can generate 1.21 gigawatts of electricity is a bolt of lightening. You will need a bigger boat. Bill Clinton did have sexual relations with that woman. When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

      Oh, and the basic rate band of tax for non savings/dividend income is 20% but as it appears you have a disposition to ignore statements by HMRC just calculate your tax on the basis that the basic rate band is anything but 20% and complain to HMRC sometime in the future once you've figured out how to loosen the tinfoil hat.

    3. And seeing as you trust Wikipedia more than HMRC staff, you won't mind when Wikipedia itselfe goes 'on strike' for a day.

      Does this mean that during the 24 hour blackout you will be happy to accept that Lesley Strathie is alive, on the basis that someone from HMRC says that they are dead? If so, I must introduce you to my pet cat. He used to belong to a fellow named Erwin Schrödinger. You and the cat will enjoy a long life together... or not.... who knows?

    4. I seem to have hit a nerve and yes I do support the strike that Wikipedia is taking part in. Because it is a just cause. Unlike HMRC staff who were just thinking of their own pockets.

    5. Yes because HMRC staff who go on strike don't lose any money for doing so do they?

    6. I don't know do they, we only have their word for it.

    7. People like you are QED that if you challenge a conspiracy theorist. They will only come up with more logical absurdities to obfuscate the conversation. It's a complete waste of time and energy,

      It's pointless even trying to suggest that you make an Freedom of Information Act request to the treasury department asking about the number of civil servants who took part in industrial action who were still compensated for it by the government in some way or another because if they said none, you'd just assume they were 'in on it too'.

    8. But surely those who took a days leave lost nothing!!!

    9. Using simple arithmetic tought accross the United Kingdom, it is obvious toteven the most cretinous person who is still of sound mind and body that Those who took a days leave lost 1 day of their annual leave entitlement.

      Those who went on industrial action for one day lost 1 day of their contractual pay.

      However, given the fact that when a day of industrial action is announced, it's almost impossible to request a days leave (even if you're not in the union (on the basis that any employee is free to join a union and participate in the industrial action even on the day of the action itself). The number of those who had been granted a days leave by that point could not have been significant.

    10. "Those who took a days leave lost 1 day of their annual leave entitlement."

      But if they did their xmas shopping on that day it would save using a days leave later and therefore they have not lost anything. In fact they actually gained cos the shops would have been quieter.

    11. An HMRC full time worker at £6 an hour will have lost £44.40 gross pay for taking one days strike.

      An HMRC full time worker at £7 an hour will have lost £51.80 gross pay for taking one days strike.

      An HMRC full time worker at £8 an hour will have lost £59.20 gross pay for taking one days strike.

      An HMRC full time worker at £9 an hour will have lost £66.60 gross pay for taking one days strike.

      "But if they did their xmas shopping on that day it would save using a days leave later and therefore they have not lost anything. In fact they actually gained cos the shops would have been quieter."

      This is what is known as clutching at straws. You are suggesting that 2 million trade unionists individually took a calculated effort to go on a one day strike on November 30th? The rest of us didn't selectively decide on a shopping frenzy.

  9. Am I the only person here who thinks that Richard Littlejohn has been posting on this forum using only his left hand recently?

    The sentiments given here lately are pure Daily Mail reader ecstasy. In other words. They have convince themselves beyond ecstacy that they are 'hard working grafters' who don't complain about anything and put in 'a full days work for a full days pay' - whilst simultaneously idling away on blogs such as this (in the daytime I might add) complaining that the nanny state which they despise so much is suddenly not mollycoddling the so-called middle class enough when it comes to their own specific needs.

    1. One of the benefits of being self employed is that you can general do what you want when you want. And do not have people looking over your shoulder trying to work out what to threaten you with next.

    2. Yep, the other benefit being that when your business goes tits up you can selectively blame endless red tape etc.

  10. @08.59

    "I understand there have been many cases of suicide linked to the child support agency over the years. Seeing as HMRC is no better than them in a lot of what it does, I would not be too quick to make clever comments"

    A masterpiece of chopped logic and complete bullshit.

    You, Sir, ARE A CRETIN.

  11. I am at the receiving end of an HMRC investigation and will be killing myself today, HMRC staff are the scum of the earth!

    1. Just before you kill yourself....let me correct your statement.....HMRC "senior management" are the scum of the earth!