Tuesday 1 August 2023

HMRC is Drowning!


HMRC, is in chaos. Staff numbers have been declining for years, while the demands on the agency have increased. This has led to a situation where taxpayers are struggling to get through to HMRC on the phone, and letters are taking weeks or even months to be answered.

In a recent letter to the Chancellor, leading industry figures warned that HMRC is "drowning" and that taxpayers are "too". They called for an immediate injection of resources to help the tax office get back on track.

In a recent report, the Committee of Public Accounts found that HMRC's response times had "deteriorated significantly" in recent years. In 2021-22, only 39.5% of mail was responded to within 15 days, compared to 70.3% in 2019-20. The average speed of answering calls was also up, from 6:39 minutes in 2019-20 to 12:22 minutes in 2021-22.

The report also found that HMRC's systems were "not fit for purpose". This is leading to problems such as taxpayers being sent incorrect letters, and payments being delayed.

So what's gone wrong at HMRC?

There are a number of factors, but one of the main ones is understaffing. The number of staff at HMRC has fallen by around 20% in the past five years. This is due to a combination of factors, including budget cuts and the retirement of older staff.

Another factor is the increasing complexity of the tax system. The government has introduced a number of new taxes in recent years, which has put a strain on HMRC's resources.

The pandemic has also played a role in the chaos at HMRC. The agency had to deal with a surge in demand for services during the pandemic, while at the same time many staff were working from home.

None if this will be resolved:

- HMRC management is tin eared to the problems of taxpayers

- the government will never get a grip on this until a cabinet position for HMRC is created

- the wide open maul that is MTD will suck in and waste what little resources are left.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Another sneak manoeuvre. Could the mega rich individuals do anything about it? They were stuck here.


  2. The issue isn't just understaffing.

    The problems go back to April 2005, the inception of HMRC, and all the batshit crazy ideas that the CEOs and SLTs subsequently implemented - while they received gongs for failure and the taxpayers funded 'golden goodbye' handouts for the self serving ****s.

    Chief among their failures - failures which led to human suffering (taxpayers, agents and staff) - were the decisions to enable a staff bullying culture and, of course, the 'Building Our Future' programme.

    On top of the real pain inflicted, those issues led to a mass exodus of skilled and experienced staff. Most received a bumper severance package, others were grimly bullied out and forced into the gutter. HMRC management are lovely, decent people really...

    Those exiting staff were never replaced, either in numbers or skill. HMRC is still massively understaffed, but the people who have been brought in over recent years are largely inexperienced and uneducated and lacking in inspiration. It's a recipe for the problems we endure.

    "Did you fail to land a job a Maccys? Why not, come and work for HMRC".

  3. They're a delightful outfit.