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.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Another Sorry Tale of HMRC Institutional Incompetence and Inefficiency

HMRC have been given a sound, and well deserved kicking!
"1. Well, here we go yet again.

2. I used the phrase “Well, here we go again” with a sense of frustration, bordering on despair, to open my decision in NI v HMRC [2015] UKUT 160 (AAC), a case in which I criticised Her Majesty Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for both its decisionmaking processes and its conduct of appeals in relation to tax credits claims. That phrase has been echoed in other tribunal jurisdictions where HMRC’s conduct has come under similar critical scrutiny: see e.g. Pandey v Revenue and Customs (Income Tax/Corporation Tax: Penalty) [2017] UKFTT 216 (TC).

3. So, yes, in short this is yet another sorry tale of HMRC institutional incompetence and inefficiency which could well have led to injustice, were it not for the persistence of the Appellant.

A summary of Upper Tribunal’s decision 4. I am allowing the Appellant’s appeal to the Upper Tribunal. The First-tier Tribunal (“the FTT”)’s decision involves an error on a point of law. That Tribunal’s decision is set aside. Fortunately I can make the decision that the FTT should have made and do so. Although this is now a supported appeal, I am giving my reasons in some detail as a warning to Tribunals handling tax credit appeals as to what to look out for in other cases......

..I readily admit that the statement in the grant of permission that “regrettably on past experience the fact of the matter is I am not at all confident that all relevant evidence was presented to the Tribunal by HMRC” was ‘economical with the actuality’. The truth was I had no confidence whatsoever that HMRC had complied with its disclosure obligations under rule 24(4)(b) of the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Social Entitlement Chamber) Rules 2008 (SI 2008/2685).....

..Bitter, albeit anecdotal, experience in other appeals makes me conclude it is more likely that HMRC mislaid the documents than the Royal Mail lost them..."

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. The whole system is a mess and clusterfuck in extremis!
    For HMRC to be referred to at Tribunal in such a way supports this contention.
    Only trouble is...?
    Well, you cynics can provide further answers, shurely?

  2. Nothing surprises me with this mob anymore. As is often said, if HMRC are prepared to break the law against their own staff, and if this is covered up with the apparent backing of the most senior management, it explains a lot about where the whole culture is nowadays.

    Time for that investigation, prosecution of HMRC criminals/ law breakers, root & branch reform and a new governance structure.

    1. Reminds me of when a disturbed, cowardly uneducated HMRC manager sent her violent boyfriend round to my partner's home...all in the knowledge of HR and the CEO.

  3. When I reported various allegations, including law breaking involving HMRC manager, Antony Moss basically said this was a sign of mental health instead of dealing with the facts. No wonder they aren't trusted.

  4. OT or not?
    "institutional incompetence and inefficiency"
    A brief search of shipping and international logistics websites indicates a growing concern at the ability of HMRC systems being capable and its people competent enough to deal with modern "JIT" practicalities. An example being whether the 4% "examination" (tailgate vs. turnout?) selection of cargo shipments (export/import and former EU aquisition/dispatch) can be sustained within current facilities and abilities. Particular concern has been raised about slowing down of the supply chain process with particular relevance to perishable cargo.

    I would tentatively suggest that a fuck up of large proportions looms over the horizon given the proven inability of HMRC to manage anything these days, e.g.;
    Reliance on Toyota based roblem solving smolke and mirrors application,
    crap I.T.,
    crap management,
    demotovated non-engaged workforce,
    diluted experience of Customs, Excise, VAT and even basic tax applications surrounding international cargo movement,
    belief in honesty and accuracy of trader based systems,
    etc. etc.

    Oh dear, a level 5 hurricane approaches, batten down the hatches, when the sea hog jumps, man the pumps.

  5. Time for a 'problem solve' meeting ! Get the biscuits and cake ready ! The style of meetings in the telly show W1A reminds me of HMRC (but with the 'glamour' of the broadcasting world). W1A is a comedy - HMRC is just tragic.

  6. Don't forget the number of experienced staff in their sixties who, having had no reassurance where their jobs will end up, are looking to end their careers after 30+ years. A perfect storm indeed!

  7. Oh dear, well had the 'pleasure' of calling HMRC today.

    Voice recognition technology now in use!!! We'll see how that goes but given HMRC's track record of divulging tax payer data to unauthorised third parties, I have huge concerns.

    Eventually got put through to a clueless and extremely rude call centre operative and wanted to discuss 2 pieces of correspondence received on the same day, under separate cover:- 16/17 tax calculation and also a threatening letter saying 16/17 tax return must be received. Is there no beginning to their talents??? A gormless sounding operative tried to communicate but clearly didn't have a scooby doo...

    I was then informed I didn't have to complete future tax returns. What a great way to close the tax gap!! These idiots are the type who, if running a flower shop, would close on St Valentines Day. I questioned why (as self employed) and the male operative was perplexed at my question...the computer says no...

    If the call centre operative's 'customer service' is a guide to the typical HMRC performance nowadays, then it would seem the message is maybe getting through as to what an awful place it is to work (hence low quality bargain basement disengaged, demotivated staff are all they can get)...a toxic HMRC bullying culture which has left staff suicidal & broken and to which the CEO just shrugs their shoulders.

    Maybe Jon Thompson should stop eating all the pies...and get a grip of this failing outfit which we pay the arrogant, egotistical, incompetent so-and-sos so much to 'run' really does take the biscuit...nasty, cowardly cants...

    1. I do not blame these call centre operatives as you call them....they get next to no training at all...then they are thrown to the public and told to follow a printed set of's called progress.

    2. Agreed - it's HMRC's version of progression. Will probably get Jon Thompson and other Senior Management a big fat bonus on top of the obscene pay they collect.

    3.'s all quantity not quality...production first check later...looks good on the stat sheets....but to the detriment of the taxpayer....progress at it's finest.

    4. But, but, whatever happened to QA/QC and Triage, customer service and taxpayer charters, world class organisation?

  8. HMRC are so incompetent...

  9. Staff Survey Results Out...surprise..another brilliant spin!!