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, 23 March 2017

HMRC Issues Wrong Advisory Fuel Rate

Fleet News reports that HMRC has issued an apology after fleets were given the wrong advisory fuel rate (AFR) following a quarterly update.

The new rates, which are published on HMRC’s website, initially showed that the figure for petrol-engined vehicles above 2000cc had fallen by 1p per mile (ppm), from 21ppm to 20ppm, and the rate for LPG vehicles above 2000cc had increased by a penny a mile, from 13ppm to 14ppm.

However, after the new rates had been widely circulated and employers had updated payroll systems ahead of the March 1 change, HMRC amended its figures again. This time it showed that the petrol rate had increased by 1ppm, not fallen as originally stated. The new rate would therefore be 22ppm.

The increase to 14ppm for LPG vehicles above 2000cc remained effective from March 1.

An HMRC spokesman said:
We had previously published an incorrect figure of 20ppm and apologise for the error.
However, Debbie Floyde, a director at fleet representative body ACFO and group fleet and risk manager at Bauer Media, told Fleet News:
Publishing the wrong advisory fuel rate will have caused a major payroll headache for hundreds if not thousands of fleet operators. 

What’s even more frustrating is HMRC didn’t publicise the fact it had made an error, potentially leaving some employers still using the original figure.” 
To err is human, and HMRC has apologised. However, not to draw publicise the error and leave some in the dark is not very "sporting" of HMRC!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. For goodness sake, every single day we hear of errors and mistakes from HMRC.

    Remember that next time there's all the drama from HMRC when a client has made a minor error with their tax return! (or will they let taxpayers off if they just apologise?)

    And remember it when you next read that all the HMRC high ups have been paid their huge bonuses! Utter contempt for the general public.

  2. Sneaky and nasty bunch of incompetents not publicising the 'error'.

  3. Some might say its all part of the casual corruption of HMRC nowadays...

  4. Not really related to this post but people were saying bout job opportunities at the hmrc company. So was reading reviews of the firm on indeed to see what like. A employee said there is unfair pay performance system "and biased annual reporting systems used to get rid of disabled and LGBT staff".We was put off at the discrimination and bigotry as I thought they are part of government and would do things by the book.Any staff or accountants who have dealings with them,got any opinions?

    1. (1)

      Discrimination is absolutely rife throughout the department.

      Management get away with it for a variety of reasons. Primarily because it is no longer the job of management to manage staff. It is the job of management to manage their manager. As long as their manager thinks everything is okay, staff can go hang. This means managers stifle, bully and ignore staff concerns as if it goes further, managers believe it makes them look bad in their manager's eyes.

      Can't talk with regards to LGBT staff, as I haven't seen any discrimination based on orientation (hope that's not an offensive term to use, here). Not saying it doesn't happen, just haven't seen any in my office.

      Can confirm discrimination against disabled people happens, especially those with mental health issues. Management show no understanding of the underlying conditions and they're treated as burdens, given only the most simple tasks despite ability and every sick absence is treated with suspicion and contempt. Colleagues try to assist where we can, but this is frowned upon by management. (And no, this isn't a personal gripe. I'm fortunate enough to have good health (touch wood)).

      The staff assessment system does not take into account how hard you work, as 50% of your end of year marking is based on the nebulous management definition of 'Behaviours'.

      Reliable? Hard-working? Consistently achieve/exceed your required output? Willing to go over and above the necessary to help both colleagues and taxpayers?


      Your end of year marking depends on how well you've 'Engaged' with management and management processes. Processes like PaceSetter (a laughable and widely criticised system used to record output, which was sold to the public sector after the private sector tried it and decided it was not fit for purpose).

    2. (2)

      An effective promotion system would be one that identifies intelligent, hard-working individuals, assesses abilities and promotes staff to positions where those abilities can be fully utilised.

      Guess what HMRC has?

      A system where you apply for promotion by providing competencies. Basically, a set number of words explaining a task you have completed. Ideally, this should not involve actual tax work, as they tend to score badly (the person scoring will usually have no knowledge of the type of tax work you do, so even if you've achieved something truly remarkable, they will have no way to judge). No, far better to write about some particular task you've completed on behalf of management. Of course, to be provided with this particular task, you will have to kiss management arse, frequently and with passion. Helpfully, the department does provide a set number of words you should include in your competency to improve your score (yes, using particular words actually improves your score, regardless of the task). Under the rules, you are supposed to write your application yourself, but in my office alone I can name the last six people to be promoted and the names of the four managers that wrote their applications for them.

      Both Lin Homer and Dave Hartnett (former heads of the department responded to staff concerns by replying that if they were unhappy working for HMRC, they should seek another job elsewhere (after seeing the looks of disgust on staff faces, Homer tried to cover herself but intimating she meant within the department, but staff knew what she meant). This should tell you what management think of staff.

      To summarise, we have a staff assessment system that doesn't take into account how well you do your job,

      a promotion system that doesn't take into account ability,

      and management who don't give a toss about staff.

      If you're truly desperate for a job, or an arselicker, then yes... HMRC is absolutely the place for you.

      If you are desperate and unlucky enough to end up working for HMRC, don't tell yourself it's only temporary and then do nothing. I'm surrounded by people who told themselves the job would do until they found something better... thirty years ago. Make sure you set aside time each week to apply for proper jobs. You'll be tempted not to, you'll get settled and thinks it's okay. Thirty years later you will regret it.

      My job suited me (just about enough pay, local to where I live and I'm competent enough that management leave me alone because I get the job done which makes them look good), but now with the moves to Temporary Sites / Regional Centres starting to happen, I'm applying for three (external) jobs a week.

      Fingers crossed I'm out of this joke of a department soon...

  5. Ken, I think we have may have greater insight into the reasons why HMRC is such a shambles, from the above comments.

    In particular, how strange it is that those HMRC staff with experience of tax work are frowned upon? I looked at the date and no, it's not 1st April today. Those who interact with HMRC regularly, while accepting mistakes can be made occasionally, will find this a solid explanation for the stupid 'errors', routine basic incompetence and overall sloppy 'customer' service.

    The 'yes person' culture is also apparent. It's unhealthy in any business and leads to poor performance and all sorts of other problems. And I didn't like reading the bit about staff be required to kiss management arse frequently and with passion... having only had breakfast a few hours ago.

    Overall it explains a hell of a lot.

  6. Who else thinks that HMRC managers apparently writing internal job applications for staff, leads to the wrong people being promoted (with all the consequences to the public and their disadvantaged colleagues) and, if true, should be treated with utmost seriousness? I am ready to be corrected but I believe this sounds like fraud.

  7. Every word of the above is true...i am 20+ years in this's angrily embarrassing ;(

  8. I am sure that if Ken invited an analyst to trawl through his site it would not be a surprise if management and its law breaking and/or mistreatment of staff provided most hits.

    However, nothing will happen due to the proliferation of common porpoises and the NLP of Pacesetter/Lean, both of which create an environment that brokers no dissent and mindless adherence to cental B.S.

  9. Indeed, I know of people that have been promoted to a senior level that should not even be trusted to make the tea. Shocking that many more have better experience and are far better suited to the role, but don't complete the competences in the correct way (or have their managers manager write them for them. Sickening.