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.

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

HMRC's Abysmal Performance - Targets Last Met 2018


It is the flavour of the month for businesses and the civil service to blame their failings on Covid.

However, as HMRC's performance stats show, its performance has been shite for longer than Covid.

The speed of calls answered on the Covid helpline was a stark contrast to the agent dedicated line, where the average speed of answer was 12:04 minutes in 2020/21, and agents faced further heartache when the line was withdrawn in March 2020. 

The average call waiting times throughout the past year were outlined as:

  • 17:34 minutes during March 2021
  • 15:23 minutes during quarter 4
  • 12:04 minutes over the whole financial year

As per the ICAEW Tax Faculty:

“The last time that HMRC met its targets of average call waiting time of less than five minutes and no more than 15% of callers waiting for more than 10 minutes was 2017/18, which suggests that there are fundamental problems.”

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Nothing new here then!

    Same old...same old...

  2. Probably not enough bullying from senior managers and their boyfriends to get the times down!!!!

    1. In my opinion it's all down to the snowflakes who work in the public sector these days.
      When I was a junior civil servant I had both of my legs chainsawed-off by line management and still achieved all of my targets for the year.
      The staff nowadays don't know how lucky they are.

  3. Worked 16 years at HMRC but had to leave due to incompetence of senior management never got a pat on the back and 16 years down the drain. The senior management here was shocking how these people are in these senior roles and getting paid all this money is beyond me as not fit for purpose. As soon as i walked out the door the stress was gone. Never looked back since and life is so much happier. Just wish i left a long time ago can't work with the people they have in charge who dont listen to anyone. However i feel sorry for the front line staff who done amazing jobs. Senior management should be ashamed of there self's absolutely useless. Someone in civil service needs to seriously look at HRMC

    1. Can't agree more. Bullying by SLT is rife as words are cheap and always verbally communicated - never in writing so no course for redress for the team leaders and other lower grades.

    2. 100% true. I know of HMRC staff left suicidal by the management. It's literally criminal what goes on in there.

    3. If what goes on in HMRC is "literally criminal" then why do members of staff, past and present,and the union not report these matters to their solicitors or the police.
      An honest question which nobody seems willing or able to answer.

  4. Bottom line is there’s not enough staff doing the core work.

    Blending call centres with the back office has been an utter shambles, experienced caseworkers are leaving in droves rather than have a head set on all day doing a job they’d never apply for. New terms and conditions have only increased the exodus. Not a week goes by without notification of more people leaving or taking early retirement.

    Where once there would be an investigation if the work was over 15 days a 6-month target is now more realistic and still the staff are being forced onto the phones. A lot of calls are chasing up why we haven’t responded to a letter sent 3 months ago, we aren’t allowed to tell them that we rarely do casework now as the mantra from high above is more people on the phones. We aren’t even allowed to give an accurate timescale anymore; we can only tell them their case will be looked at ASAP!

    2 years from retirement and I’m counting the days till I can leave…

    There is a solution but it will never happen, recruit more staff to work in the call centre and move the caseworkers back into doing the job they were trained for – casework!

    The cost could in part, be offset by getting rid of all the higher up non jobs that are expanding at a rapid rate.

    1. Much of what you say rings very true with me, although I was in another directorate.

      I've been retired a couple of years and it is a relief.

      When I reflect on it, having done more than 30 years in the front line, I can see that a culture had been created in which Middle management were like modern day slave drivers.

      Selected for their unquestioning obedience to higher management. Accepting and chasing unrealistic targets and relieved that they had put the hard graft behind them, immediately having their eye on the next promotion without ever having to master their new position.

      It wasn't always like this. When I started - and largely for the first 20 years, the SEO grade had very experienced, older staff who understood the tax or duty regime, applied their knowledge and management fairly.This all deteriorated and accelerated in the last 10 years.

      Rapid career advancement was made possible if you cosied up to the right people, said the right things.

      Somehow, the ratio between workers and management fell out of alignment. Far too many chiefs......

      I fruitlessly waited for the pendulum to swing back. It never did.

      I wish you well in your retirement- you deserve a good retirement leaving the dismal culture of HMRC behind. You have done well to survive it and not to have sold out.

    2. The 'rapid career advancement' to which you refer is,in my opinion, the ticking time-bomb which could eventually bring HMRC crashing down. In my geographical area I know of a number of mediocrities who have gone from Officer to Grade 7 in less than a decade. In years gone by it would taken an exceptionally talented individual at least 25 years to advance that far, probably more.
      These overpromoted stooges are now completely out of their depth, managing staff in work areas they know and care nothing about, spending their days updating their CV's in anticipation of the next promotion.
      So the UK's tax authority now has 2 tiers of management, senior and middle, who are basically uninterested in anything to do with tax and it's collection other than personal career advancement.
      What could possibly go wrong?

  5. It continues to get worse and as a result I am leaving but I will have a good laugh when my prediction comes true.......there will be an increasing amount of jobs for complaint handlers.

  6. They are strategically incompetent. Having nearly 20 years of experience in my section, my colleagues and I were removed from our work and bumped through two other lines of business, starting in 2018. Two lots of training and never fully consolidating in our new roles, we have watched the work we once did passed to inexperienced staff in another part of the country.