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Where Taxpayers and Advisers Meet

HMRC-is it time to call the Army in?

etf
Posts:840
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm
Re: HMRC-is it time to call the Army in?

Postby etf » Tue Sep 07, 2021 9:12 am

Just gleaned information confirming that the tax office in Cardiff has not processed any paper self-assessment tax returns submitted for the 2020/21 tax year and are unlikely to do so until later this month at the earliest because of man/woman power issues (April, May, June, July and August). Does HMRC have a plan to catch up/could Taxationweb write an article at least highlighting that there are issues to be considered here?

As an update to my post above this district has now processed tax returns submitted in April and June so it appears a recovery plan is working well and much quicker than originally forecast (perhaps the power of posting problems on Taxationweb). I've received recent exemplary service from Nigel in that office who took ownership of my issues and dealt with them speedily.

etf
Posts:840
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

Re: HMRC-is it time to call the Army in?

Postby etf » Mon Nov 29, 2021 4:57 pm

Well it looks as though I went too early when highlighting a potential 7 1/2 month delay in my earlier post. I've just chased a letter sent to HMRC PT Operations on 8 March 2021 and they are currently working to a 259 calendar day timescale. In metric units that means they are currently answering post received in December 2020 and so it appears I'll have to wait another 3 months for a reply. Can anyone beat an 8 1/2 month delay?

In just over a week it will 9 months since I submitted a letter to HMRC (see above post). Assuming HMRC deal with post in the order it is received (never a given) that means they have 9 months post still on hand. Can anyone beat that timescale? I hope not!

etf
Posts:840
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

Re: HMRC-is it time to call the Army in?

Postby etf » Sat Dec 18, 2021 8:57 am

All letters sent to HMRC in March have now received a reply :roll:

etf
Posts:840
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

Re: HMRC-is it time to call the Army in?

Postby etf » Fri Feb 04, 2022 2:51 pm

Jim Harra's 'Walter Mitty' summary of HMRC's customer service performance is copied below. What planet does he come from?....since when have 9 month long post delays equalled decent service?....and don't get me started on chat bots. I think Harra and the MPs asking the questions would benefit from a month long secondment at the coal face to fully appreciate the real world. If they dropped all the time and resouces they are throwing at MTD (aka lets forget about tax revenue and just issue gazzillions of late filing penalties aka NRCGT revisited) and got staff answering phones/post performance levels might actually improve.

Customer service “back to normal”
The agency is increasing its compliance numbers, although it takes on average 18 months to fully train up an inspector, and it said the full benefit would not become apparent for at least two years.

It also said it will continue to nudge people away from phone-calls and letters when trying to contact the agency, instead directing them towards the HMRC website and chat bots.

Despite constant criticism of the agency’s customer service from the industry throughout the pandemic, as highlighted frequently by the AccountingWEB community, HMRC bosses said normal service has resumed.

“We are on track to deliver pre-pandemic levels of service,” said Angela MacDonald, deputy chief executive and second permanent secretary, HMRC. “Our aim is to get an on-target position, with about two million items. It sounds enormous, but we get about 1.8m pieces of post every month.”

MacDonald admitted that HMRC’s online guides were in need of improvement, and said it was often a case that if a question isn’t phrased exactly right, it will not be answered.

“We’ve invested in more innovative technology to find out what you want to know, and the artificial assistant will offer you the guidance back,” she said. “We’re at the early stages of that bot-type process.”

Harra repeated a statement he had made earlier in the year that HMRC’s “not resourced to give brilliant service, but decent customer service.”

“We have call handling up to 85%, so one in five people has to call back as their call isn’t picked up the first time. 100% would be a brilliant service, I do not have the resources to do that.

“From our customer scores we are getting a high level of satisfaction, particularly with the digital services. I'm not funded to be on a track to deliver a brilliant service.”

Despite its apparent success with customers, HMRC has the lowest staff engagement in Whitehall and still suffers from turnover. Harra said morale had improved under his watch, but accepted that current engagement levels were not good enough.


And I haven't forgotten the telephone number in their guidance that nobody answered and which they took months to correct even when they realised their guide was out of date.

etf
Posts:840
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

Re: HMRC-is it time to call the Army in?

Postby etf » Fri Feb 04, 2022 2:58 pm

Gazillions....one z...unlike the number of zzzzzzs you can take waiting for HMRC to answer your call.

robbob
Posts:3208
Joined:Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:01 pm

Re: HMRC-is it time to call the Army in?

Postby robbob » Fri Feb 04, 2022 3:18 pm

Navy and Airforce !!!! - oopo and dads army too

etf
Posts:840
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

Re: HMRC-is it time to call the Army in?

Postby etf » Fri Feb 04, 2022 3:54 pm

You know the Department is in trouble when Captain Mainwaring is seen as an upgrade on the current incumbent. :D "Don't tell him Pike"

etf
Posts:840
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

Re: HMRC-is it time to call the Army in?

Postby etf » Mon Feb 14, 2022 1:37 pm

43% of post responded to in 15 days......and yet I've been quoted up to 9 months for post to be dealt with. These statistics do not match my own experience. I wish MPs would read Taxationweb like certain Judges and raise real life problems with HMRC i.e. why can you deal with 43% of the post in 15 days but leave others to wait 9 months for a reply.


Customer service
Performance in answering calls and responding to post in 2020–21 was well below the levels in each of the three previous years.

By the fourth quarter of 2020–21, the average time callers spent queuing to speak to an adviser in HMRC was over 15 minutes (compared to less than 5 minutes in 2017–18), and just 43% of post was responded to in 15 days (81% in 2017–18).

The reasons were predictable, if dispiriting. HMRC had diverted 5,000 customer service staff to work on Covid-19 support schemes. Also 3,000 more were diverted to work related to the UK leaving the EU so that, as another hidden cost of Brexit, it had to put other parts of tax activity to one side thus building a “bit of a backlog”.

Candidly, HMRC admitted that it was resourced to give a “decent” rather than “brilliant” service due to imposed “efficiencies”, i.e., funding cuts. Worryingly, if it does not achieve these efficiencies, customers were likely to experience an even poorer service.

The committee said “yet again customer service has collapsed and HMRC’s recovery plans are not clear”.


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