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, 11 October 2021

HMRC Staff Return To The Office for One Day a Week


Public Technology reports that HMRC has begun its return to the office, although staff across the department will continue to work remotely for four days a week, on average.

In an all-staff memo sent last week, permanent secretary Jim Harra said more than 16,000 staff who had been working from home during the coronavirus pandemic had returned to offices by the end of September. They included 4,300 staff who had come into the office for the first time in the week leading up to the memo.

He said that by the end of last week, he expected “all colleagues in England and Scotland who have been temporarily working from home during the pandemic, will have agreed a plan with their line manager to return to the workplace for an average of one day a week, using the discussion toolkit”.

Those returning join around 4,000 HMRC staff who have been working from offices during the pandemic. Those civil servants are considered key workers and could not do their jobs remotely.

Staff in Wales and Northern Ireland should continue to work from home, he said.

I trust that in the coming weeks many of you will have the chance to re-connect face to face with your colleagues and enjoy a taste of office life again,” he said.

Harra said the expected one-day-a-week return “won’t be the same for everyone”.

Depending on your personal circumstances, you may need more support in making arrangements, so it’s really important that you talk to your manager about what is right for you,” he said. He said National Inclusion Week, which fell on the same week as his message, was a “real reminder to us all to continue to be respectful, kind and inclusive towards each other as more of us return to our offices”.  

The perm sec said he expected there will be “teething problems” as the number of staff working from HMRC’s buildings increases.

Please help your estates colleagues and location leads, who are doing an excellent job of coordinating all this for us, by reporting any issues that you see, and being patient as we move to our new arrangements,” he said.

The returns process and the toolkit Harra mentioned has been agreed with unions.

The PCS union has told its members they should only return if HMRC meets its agreed criteria to have a plan in place with their line manager, and if it is suitable for their individual circumstances.

PCS's advice is clear: the discussions between jobholders and managers must happen, so that any concerns about returning can be identified. Where it is not yet possible to establish a set date when you will start working in the office, you can continue to work from home; and you should agree with your manager when during the coming weeks, the situation will be reviewed,” the union said.

It added that union reps have “reiterated to the department that any attempt to force members back to the office would be unacceptable”.

For its part, HMRC has given a commitment to working with staff, to take reasonable steps to address their concerns and to support them to return. We’ve agreed with HMRC that any concerns arising from the agreed process and procedures will be escalated and resolved,” it added.

Harra’s email came the same week the coronavirus furlough, self-employment support scheme and sick pay rebate schemes came to an end.

I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone for enabling the department to deliver these schemes so brilliantly, whether you have worked directly on the schemes or held the fort on our usual work,” Harra said.

He said civil servants’ “hard work and commitment” had helped to protect 11.6 million jobs and directly supported 2.9 million self-employed people across the UK.

I am deeply proud of your dedication and the huge scale of what we have been able to deliver together for individuals and businesses – so, thank you,” he added.

Tax does have to be taxing.

Tax Investigation Insurance

Having a Solar Protect Tax Investigation Insurance policy at your disposal means that should you be one of the many 1000's of businesses or individuals that are selected by HMRC each year to look into your tax affairs your own accountant (your tax return agent) can get on and defend you robustly.

You have the peace of mind knowing that your accountant's (your tax return agent) fees will be paid by the insurance without any Excess for you to find.

Tax Investigation Insurance is an insurance policy that will fully reimburse your accountants (your tax return agent) fees up to £100,000 if you are subject to enquiry by or dispute with HMRC.

A Solar Protect policy will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to:
  • Deal with any correspondence from HMRC
  • Attend any meeting with HMRC
  • Appeal to the First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal
  • Having the security of knowing that fees will be met in full will enable your Accountant (your tax return agent) to defend your position robustly

Please click here for details.

HMRC Is Shite (, also available via the domain, is brought to you by "The Living Brand"


  1. PCS Union are a national disgrace. For many years, they have protected the guilty (the lazy, the corrupt, the dishonest, the criminals) that lurk inside HMRC, DWP, DVLA, etc at the expense of the public interest.

    The delays at DVLA and the incompetence of HMRC are leading to rising public anger against PCS.

    1. There is no rising public anger against PCS as 99% of the public don't know PCS exists - why would they?

      Your theory that the mess that government departments find themselves in is due to a virtually powerless trade union rather than management and politicians is interesting. Stupid, but interesting.

      Corruption? Criminality? Evidence?

    2. With regard the rogue HMRC manager breaching data protection law by divulging personal data/home address to her boyfriend as part of her harassment and intimidation tactics, you may be interested to know that HMRC data breaches are not uncommon:

      Of the 11 data breaches that were reported to the ICO in 2019/20 (yes, we all know that HMRC makes sure most breaches never see the light of day), one included: "...the data of a member of staff were put at risk when paperwork was left on a train which included their medical notes and HR letters."

      Mr Harra said: "We investigate and analyse all security incidents to understand and reduce security and information risk. We actively learn and act on our incidents". Really?

    3. @ 11.37 - you haven't replied yet to my 'cards on table' questions on the 'HM Courts & Tribunals' thread.
      Must have slipped your mind!

  2. Dear Mr Harra

    You may well be proud of handing out taxpayers' money, but do you have any sense of shame about:

    i) the telephone calls and correspondence which went and are going unanswered by HMRC

    ii) the tax not collected due to HMRC staff home 'working'

    iii) the 3 million plus legitimate self-employed freelancers who were frozen out of government support (many because of HMRC errors)

    iv) the doubtless large scale of fraudulent furlough payments and other grants handed out by your inept organisation?

    Furthermore, as a senior civil servant, in supporting the government's panic measures, you are complicit in the self destruction of the UK economy. It won't affect you or your staff personally, it never does when one 'earns' a living off the taxpayer, but it will have serious ramifications for those working in the private sector and for society as a whole.

    You are certainly an organisation which works hard to earn the hate.

    Yours sincerely,

    A Thoroughly P*ssed Off 'Customer'

    1. I think Jimmy Horror has done his tour of duty now in HMRC.

      Wouldn't surprise me if he announced his 'retirement' shortly. Followed by a swift exit through the SCS Revolving Door.

    2. It is the job of civil servants (senior or otherwise) to support the measures of our democratically elected government.
      It is what they are employed to do.
      Just saying!

    3. The excuse of "just doing my job" has an inglorious history; senior civil servant or otherwise.

      In classic EastEnderish style: Just sayin' in' it!

    4. So are you seriously suggesting that civil servants should refuse to carry out the instructions of the democratically elected government?
      If they did you would be on here in a shot with the usual 'scumbags", "sack them all" rant.
      And your attempt to compare HMRC to the Third Reich says so much more about you than them.

  3. PCS and Mr Serwotka took a bit of a hammering in the Daily Mail this week.

    It's his fault that the DVLA are on strike. Naturally, the blame falls at his doorstep for the HGV Driver Shortage. It gives the punters someone to shake the 'naughty finger of blame' at when they cant fill up with Petrol.

    You just can't beat a good 'hatchet job' from the Daily Right Wing Press. Fills my heart with joy.

  4. Didn't the Management in one of the Manchester Offices put out a notice about people doing, shall we say ' dirty protests ' in the toilets?

    If people are going back one day a week. Perhaps it will be a bit easier for them to identify the culprit(s). Just a thought..

    1. Good grief. I remember a few years ago reading about about all the bullying and misconduct at HMRC, including details of vile HMRC staff smearing shit on toilet floors and walls.
      My question - surely, by now, Internal Governance have identified the offenders, sacked them and put them before the courts?

  5. Not sure if people are aware that "the hub" at Stratford in East London has too many staff and too few desks for them to sit at. Whereas the Croydon "hub" has many desks but not that many staff.

    The whole of HMRC's "Build Our Future" was flawed from the start. And none of those SES grades that implemented it are long gone.

    All staff knew that it would not work, but why listen to your staff? Likewise it was obvious that people would defraud the Furlough system. But as usual, no real checks put in place before payments made.

    And people are blaming the staff?

  6. Thank fuck in February after 30 years in this poisonous shithole I am out.....the last 10 years have been horrible....feel sorry for those left behind....but sadly a lot of them I don't have any sympathy for....lambs.... heading to the slaughter.
    Goodbye Hmrc.....a scum of an organisation.

    1. Good luck with your approaching retirement...

      17 years ago today, while working as a Distraint Officer (latterly known as Field Force), I was falsely imprisoned inside a taxpayer's home for a period of over 20 minutes while being subjected to threats of extreme physical violence...

      HMRC showed little or no concern for my welfare in the immediate aftermath, or at any time after...

      Incidents like that were, rightly or wrongly, accepted as part of the job and you just get on with it - in my case delivering a high clearance rate on cases (payments and levies) for several more years before being moved to a Local Compliance SME role...

      However, a cautionary tale for anyone reading this: your performance, conduct, length of service etc all count for nothing if you come up against and stand up to management bullies. That includes senior management and HR covering up for corrupt managers, such as the HMRC manager who sent her boyfriend round to my home as part of her intimidation tactics. She should have been sacked for bullying, harassment and data breaches but instead HMRC persecuted me for a number of years for speaking out, and they derived extra pleasure by trying to push me into suicide through the long dragged out grievance process (presumably hoping I would go away)...

      HMRC really do treat staff like shit and should be exposed for what they are...

    2. You still haven't replied to my questions on the 'HM Courts & Tribunals' thread.
      Please don't be shy!

  7. It seems that the spike in covid numbers (yet again) may mean that people may be asked to work from home again.

    All HMRC's fault of course.