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, 17 November 2016

Complaints To HMRC Soaring

Right then moving on from yesterday's cock up, where I went back in time and published an article from 2003, I am trying to be a little more up to date and write about something happening in 2016!

It seems that complaints to HMRC have almost reached their highest level since 2008/09, according to data obtained by Saffery Champness through a Freedom of Information Act request

According to Saffery Champness, HMRC handled a total of 81,066 complaints in 2015/16, over 7,000 more than the previous year (73,646) and an increase of more than 16,000 on 2013/14 (64,313).

This is the closest the figure has gotten to the record high level of 83,917 complaints in 2008/09 during the financial crisis.

The volume of complaints upheld also increased steadily from 2008/09 to 2015/16 with over half of complaints partially and fully upheld last year, compared to 37% in 2012/13.

James Hender, partner and head of the private wealth group at Saffery Champness, is quoted by economia as saying that HMRC “has bitten off more than it can chew”.
By cutting back resources and rolling out a complex digital system at the same time, taxpayers and businesses have been left with real concerns and grievances; the numbers speak for themselves.

Hender said suspicions could be raised that “frontline staff are being dragged away from their day jobs to deal with the ever growing mountain of complaints received”.

Lucy Brennan, partner at Saffery Champness, said:
Over three million taxpayers used an online personal tax account this year and, with HMRC aiming to go fully digital by 2020, more and more people are coming into contact with the new digital services and are inevitably coming up against obstacles.”
Brennan added:
As HMRC has sought to get to grips with its new strategy, many taxpayer services have been withdrawn, guidance on key issues such as on non-dom policy has been largely absent and Making Tax Digital itself has already faced significant delays.

Ironically, there is also the possibility that in seeking such large quantities of data, the administrative costs of the rising number of complaints and investigations will cost HMRC more, rather than raising additional revenue more efficiently.”
No surprises there then!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. As someone stated yesterday, there is an Autumn Statement next week, what an opportunity?

    When trust in HMRC 'management' is so oviously absent, whether that tbe trust from staff, taxpaying 'customers', the accountancy profession or the legal profession then the credibilty of the organisation and the very Laws it is charged with protecting is also absent.

    This is not a situation that any Government should tolerate.

  2. See

    A paper by PCS and The Tax Justice Network

    “Launched in Parliament yesterday, with speeches by PCS Group Chair Chris Stephens and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, this report draws on a major survey of HMRC staff and also National Audit Office and Public Accounts Committee reports. It shows that HMRC is in crisis, with low staff morale and little trust in senior management as the department presses ahead with plans, called Building our Future, to shut almost all of its offices and cut 8,000 more jobs by 2020. The resources available to HMRC today are 40% less than they were in 2000”.


    1. Damn big swamp to drain?
      All 4 wheels finally come off, no smoke without fire, might need the giant popcorn bag for this one.
      Whilst hoping for a constructive outcome, the barstewards deserve what is now coming - justice, retribution and comeuppance - take your pick folks!

    2. The link

      If the link fails click on the PCS web and the article is on the left, currently 4th down.

  3. New staff survey results out soon - massaged figures, you bet your life they will.....

    1. Would HMRC really massage figures on which public spending decisions could be informed? I mean really, that would be incredibly serious, some may say its like fraud or committing a common law offence of Misconduct in Public Office. Surely not, I can't believe it. HMRC are honest.

  4. Keep the complaints coming - its the only way HMRC may start to get the message that they are an appallingly inefficient, incompetent and mismanaged organisation - and need to change pretty fast (although we know the chances of them doing that are zero).

    As there has been a consistency to the poor 'service' and conduct of HMRC over a long period, and as HMRC continues to deteriorate, these figures reflect that people have had enough. Time to drain the swamp indeed.

    Can't help thinking that if they dealt with the numerous internal issues such as bullying, misconduct (including the covering up of the same by HR and management) and poor performance of the management then some of the matters that have a huge indirect impact on the service and conduct of HMRC would start to improve.

    Time for that independent investigation with no hiding place for the guilty - millions of pounds of taxpayers money is being wasted by that out of control Department.

  5. It doesn't matter one fuck to senior management...staff survey results are out and they are cock a hoop that staff confidence in senior management has gone up 4 %.....from 30% to 34%....sweet Jesus you couldn't make it up...34% !!!!
    They forced us to fill in this "voluntary" survey...i can assure you i did not because it just gives them an opportunity to cherry pick the Jon Thompson hmrc twitter to see the massaged results for yourself and marvel in how fucking WONDERFUL this institution is wonderful because they ram it down our throats until we gag !!!

    1. In reply to the 21.06 post that hits the nail on the head - there is another group that would have had a bearing on the survey - I refer to the sizeable number of recently recruited workers who are on temporary contracts.You will find that all have been in 'seminars' or 'workshops' where the are asked how they feel about HMRC and the benefits of working here.These sessions are always run by dyed in the wool firms person creeps and the intention is to make the participants feel they are fortunate to be at HMRC. These workshops took place at the same time that we were being encouraged to complete the staff surveys.

      btw, hopefully the posts by the bonehead using Oasis lyrics will be removed - perhaps an intention to sabotage ( it prevents the most recent comments showing on the home page) by a fast tracker with head up own arse or a Pacesetter turncoat character ?

    2. "Fortunate to be at HMRC?" Come on it's not 1st April already is it.

      As most people who have worked at HMRC in recent years would know, its an absolute hellish place to work - its the worse working environment bar none - rife with bullying, incompetence, misconduct (which goes unchallenged if the offender's face fits), over-promoted/wrongly promoted staff, unprincipled narcissistic egomaniacs and poor leadership. Further, they ride roughshod over any sense of moral decency & integrity and, forgetting their warm words, they could not care less about the principles of diversity, inclusion and equality in practice. A hypocritical mismanaged shambles unfit to be let unaware near the public.

  6. try to understand this one. HMRC follow truck for 110 miles to confirm that it was delivering as stated !!
    Even after ringing the customer named on the paperwork!
    what a waste of our money, and what a bunch of wankers!
    say thanks to HMRC for spunking your money up the wall

  7. Ken,
    Having this clown meandering across your site is depriving somevillage of its idiot.
    Suggest you have a looksee?

  8. Come on Ken, rid this this forum of this buffoon. Perhaps he/she should be applying for a job in HMRC as they serm to love buffoons.

  9. They take experienced staff off jobs and put them on something new with porr/little training. Then take new staff on to do what the experienced staff were doing with poor/little training. And complaints go up. Really????
    As for staff survey clearly results have been rigged. So some things went up a percentage. They are still abysmal results. And when the hundreds/thousands? Of new staff have been there a while the results will continue to get worse. I work with a number of new staff who are starting to see hmrc for what they really are and cant wait to leave or get promoted. In fact several people are being promoted who are incapable of doing the job at the grade they currently have or have no experience.
    Complaints- you think they wont continue to rise????

    1. There are many trustworthy staff who have been reliable, honest hard workers for many years who have no hunger to climb the ladder. These are looked upon by some a being simple. You see,coming in, sitting at your desk and working until you finish the day makes you a loser.
      To get somewhere you have to get noticed. Inventing and proposing a change to a working practice, normally through Pacesetter, is one of the most popular ways to climb the ladder.
      For example, you may pretend to be concerned that the way Caseworkers notes are recorded in the electrical casebook could be set out in a better format. Of course, you don't really believe this is so but you have seen many before you get on the promotion ladder by blagging such nonsense.
      So you then approach your manager who is buddyish with the HO/SO and propose plans for your new recording tool.The manager might be a bud of yours too. The proposal is then escalated and introduced, much to the vexation of the majority of the floor who rightly know it's a load of garbage and just for the benefit of the blagger who has introduced it.
      In the end nearly all of these proposals end up being abandoned but it will not affect the blagger who will use it as a competence along with the right 'buzzwords' on an application form for a higher grade position.
      This is the coalface of modern day HMRC.

  10. As the saying goes...You cant polish a turd. HMRC is not, and never will be fit for purpose. Its the culture of the beast. they believe they can do no wrong, and are untouchable etc. We'll be talking about the same systematic failures next year and for years to come.
    Public servants....... I don't think so. liability, embarrassment and drain, yeah sounds more accurate.
    Forget the survey, its worthless we all know the results

  11. I also hear they have abandoned Pacesetter (this is hidden in some part of their intranet, hoping not to get noticed perhaps). So what harebrained system will they come up with next?

    1. This is the first I've heard.
      Where I am based we were recently told that there will soon be a renewed Pacesetter push as we are lagging on the Pacesetter Roadmap. So we are expecting a chaotic frenzy of 3 C'ing, Go Seeing, Petting, Problem Solving and Benefits Realisation with all the fancy adornments that come with it.
      None of this aids us in doing our job more efficiently and as we have no proper training ( unless you are able to decipher the 'guidance' which is written in 1970's Soviet Block style) to carry out important tasks, it is time wasted.
      They have refused to reveal the cost of the Pacesetter project - we produce Benefits Realisation figures which is the alleged monetary gain reaped from Pacesetter but ALL of us know that the considerable losses from taking workers of their main task would strike out the Benefits Realisation gains a few times over. And this is not including the time that could be spent on proper task training.
      It's taboo to raise this in the workplace - the reply is, but Pacesetter IS part of your job. You can also be marked down for negative behaviors or not being 'engaged' by daring to question the plausibility of it all.
      I am just hoping that if it is abandoned then COMMON SENSE will replace it. And all those that have sanctioned and played along with this claptrap and the vast expense the comes with it such as paid overnight stays in hotels with expenses,train rides and jet plane flights (yes,I kid you not' it happens if you are on a Pacesetter mission from say, Belfast to Newcastle, with groups as large as 20+ going); yep, all those that have sanctioned it should have poster of themselves put up on the walls as they'd do in Cuba which is where some of these brainwashing manipulative ideas would not look out of place.

    2. Jump onboard the crisis management tombola styled merry go round !!! Sure it's panto season !!

    3. Excom have decided that the term Pacesetter should be retired but that the principles behind it will continue. So it is a case of Pacesetter is dead, long live Pacesetter. Oh well, easily solved problems which could be dealt with in 30 minutes will continue to take weeks to deal with, with eight staff discussing it as a 3C for 1-2 hours before doing anything, and a month later having another meeting to see what the result was. Well over 20 hours staff time. All so that someone can say they're clever enough to have solved a very simple problem and boast about it in their end of year assessment. I wish I was clever enough to see the benefits of all this rigmarole.

    4. stupid is as stupid does

    5. It's senior managements way of off loading their management role to the staff in a way that looks as if they are "listening and communicating" with them....and in turn senior management can get their box ticked....manipulative bastards !!!

  12. Pacesetter sort of died out a while back. They just bang on about KPI's and utilisation these days, big load of bullshit. As the post at 17:04 stated do the pink and fluffy stuff but be shite at your job and you get promoted. Do, a great job and be thought of as the lowest of the low. I was on the latter and had enough of it so left so that is another experienced member of staff gone to be replaced by someone off the street who will get minimal training and be left to answer all those telephone queries as quick as possible no matter what they spout in order to keep the call waiting times down. Good luck with that one!

  13. The sad thing is that tax collection is way way down the pecking order....22:35 is correct...the pink and fluffy stuff comes now all depends on how brown your nose and tongue are....that's not to say that there aren't some well overdue promotions for very capable staff but by God, the vast majority are useless fuckwits who have manipulated the warped system....stomach churning !!

  14. Collect and protect the revenue, it doesn't come much simpler than that, what part don't you understand Muppets?

    However complex the taxes you administer the message could not be plainer or easier to comprehend. WTF have you been doing since you were spawned from the forced marriage of your predecessors?

    To have lost direction to the extent currently exhibited beggars belief and putting the poachers in charge of things has been an utter disaster.

    Get back to your basics and drop the crap stuff in the process.

  15. 09:52 i agree with you too. I took far more pride in making sure the taxpayer(see what I did there) received the right outcome and understood what I was telling them, than I did messing about trying to make management kiss my arse for doing some other rubbish that in reality had no benefit to anyone I was serving.

  16. That's where you went wrong, along with other hard working decent staff. If you had joined in the Celebrations for some half-baked non-achievement of a colleague (who suggested something really innovative to gain promotion - like a new way to answer the phone), if you have done little or no real work but obsessed over stats, if you have been able to tell lie after lie without any sense of shame then you may have made it to senior management.

    While such an unethical bullying culture exists within HMRC, the complaints will no doubt keep soaring.

    1. I look at all the awards HMRC win and wonder "Just who are these organisations that give the awards?" I have never heard of any them. And what is the benefit of winning these, apart from a bit of incestuous back slapping?
      Get back to doing your job.

  17. The Emperor's New Clothes
    Simple Is As Simple Does

    Same book, different cover?

  18. Complaints rising, staff morale dropping, failing to identify what is owed, failing to collect what is owed, failing to prevent fraud, piss-poor local and senior management, etc, etc.

    It really doesn't who you are (Customer, Staff, Politician) and it doesn't matter what you say about how badly the department is doing, management have one response...

    "We've come a long way, but we recognise that we still have work to do".

    It's their answer to everything.

  19. Do as much "volunteering" as possible, any/all extra roles, go to pointless meetings that go absolutely fucking nowhere and you might - just might - not get a phenomenal bollocking at your next PMR.

    1. Exactly - it really does feel criminal. If only they were 'volunteering' in the truest sense of the word; the reality is people are paid from the public purse to do productive work for HMRC to meet the objectives Govt set them. While they are playing internal silly little games, tax isn't getting collected and tax credit claimants are being paid the wrong money.

      A culture such as that at HMRC, which turns a blind eye to bullying & misconduct when it suits (even law breaking goes unchecked when it suits), but punishes those staff who work hard but aren't over the top enthusiastic about brown nosing at endless rounds of UNPRODUCTIVE pointless meetings, as suggested above, tells us everything we need to know about the failing outfit.

      Until they sort out the culture, they will continue to fail. Simple as.