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Offline Jake  
#1 Posted : 29 January 2016 23:39:18(UTC)

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 30/04/2014(UTC)
Posts: 3
United Kingdom
Location: Leeds

As no doubt many tax advisers and accountants have been extremely busy helping clients file their tax returns online I heard reports of problems with HMRC's website today so had a look on their home page this even as still busy finishing a few myself.

No admission of problems with their web service to members of the public but I did notice for the first time towards the bottom of HMRC's home page the following:

We are the UK's tax, payments and customs authority, and we have a vital purpose: we collect the money that pays for the UK’s public services and help families and individuals with targeted financial support. We do this by being increasingly effective, efficient and impartial in our administration. We help the honest majority to get their tax right and make it hard for the dishonest minority to cheat the system.

Sorry, but I could not help laughing my socks off and had to read it a few times in total disbelief.

How blinkered and blind are the management are HMRC?

They go on:

HMRC is a non-ministerial department, supported by 2 agencies and public bodies.

Those two statement just go to show that HMRC and many of it's staff live on "Planet HMRC" somewhat detached from reality.

They have mad my day I simply cannot stop laughing when I read the...

We do this by being increasingly effective, efficient and impartial in our administration.

... that could not be further from the truth in almost every way you analyse it.

Lets just look a just one small example. Phone lines.

Recent reports in Government Select Committees that HMRC fail to even answer the phone to huge number of taxpayers every year...

I could easily draw up a list of failings at HMRC (as I am sure that most tax advisers or accountants that deal with HMRC regularly could) that would put any organisation to so much shame that it's senior management would be sacked and it would likely be sacked.

And lets not mention Google and other major corporations present and trading in the UK paying proportionately such a small amount on the revenues they generate in the UK. It's not Google's fault. But it is HMRC's!

The problem is that HMRC have historically preferred to pick on smaller businesses who often cannot afford to defend themselves against extremely unpleasant, often rude and often bullying Inspectors as they used to be called.

As to HMRC being honest? I asked a number of HMRC "inspectors" if they have financial incentives, and every one of them denies it categorically.

So I made a Freedom of Information Act request for details of incentive given to HMRC staff. It made shocking reading if I am honest and explains exactly why so many HMRC "Inspectors" are nothing short of bullies. And have a problem telling the truth...

And as for being "non-ministerial" that is a big part of the problem. HMRC feel as if they answer to no-one.

Just watch HMRC managers in Government Select Committees questioning about the quality of their work... they could not give two hoots. 2 fingers up to MPs from HMRC staff is certainly how it looks when you watch it...

So HMRC's statement on its home page made me laugh anyway... "Planet HMRC"...
Offline Sally  
#2 Posted : 29 January 2016 23:50:47(UTC)

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 17/10/2014(UTC)
Posts: 37
Location: Oxfordshire

Thanks: 1 times

your post made me laugh and sadly it is so true, HMRC really have no idea just how bad, if not useless totally useless, they are as an organisation at some basic, never mind complex aspects of tax administration.

Rude, unhelpful often bullying staff towards ordinary taxpayers who have to deal with them...

Phone lines... that's a joke.

Lost data...

Website failings and problems...

Crazy practices and systems...

Just like you I think HMRC's list of failings is far far longer than any list of "successes".

Will it ever improve? I doubt it as MPs are too scared to tackle the big problems at HMRC.


Offline Sally  
#3 Posted : 30 January 2016 00:00:31(UTC)

Rank: Advanced Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 17/10/2014(UTC)
Posts: 37
Location: Oxfordshire

Thanks: 1 times

so you know the "Is it down right now" website is a place to look.

However the home page is only likely to be rarely down itself.

It is the back end submission services that HMRC are notoriously bad at admitting to (or even spotting themselves).

But peoples comments further down the "Is it down right now" website is one place to look.

Perhaps we could have a dedicated forum section here on the Tax Support website where members and users could report online problems so other members know their might be the same problem affecting them?

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