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Where Taxpayers and Advisers Meet

HMRC-is it time to call the Army in?

etf
Posts:1330
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm
Re: HMRC-is it time to call the Army in?

Postby etf » Tue May 14, 2024 7:39 am

Call the Trade Descriptions Act Police immediately....Jim and Angela are at it again!

HMRC job advert:

Your primary role will be to provide a first-rate quality service through inbound telephony calls from customers regarding their tax accounts. You may also be required to undertake administrative work in addition to telephony work via HMRCs Digital Mail Service or work with customers on Web Chat.
Following guidance, updating HMRC systems and handling customer data sensitively will be key aspects of your role to support the delivery of world-class customer service.


The Reality

By Jo Bunting
13th May 2024 15:34
I'm a cynic I'm afraid, and I don't think this extra cash will make any difference whatsoever. I anticipate making many more calls to the agent dedicated helpline only to be told, after an hour and twelve minutes waiting and listening to that dreadful music, that no-one is available to speak to me and the call being ended. This has happened to me on several occasions recently, and I'm sure others will have had similar experiences.

And the budget blowers continue to spend and waste our money on a white elephant:

HMRC's Making Tax Digital (MTD) project has overrun in costs by over £1 billion, and its still only half-baked.The National Audit Office (NAO) has issued a report, ‘Value for Money - Progress with Making Tax Digital’ which confirms that its not value for money. The taxpayer will conclude that the project has been poorly designed and mismanaged.

etf
Posts:1330
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

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

Postby etf » Wed May 15, 2024 8:26 am

Hate to think what the cumulative number of years for overdue tax refunds/correspondence would total.....Jim and Angela (still in post...how?????????????) think HMRC is worldclass.

HMRC leaves taxpayers on hold ‘for 800 years’, says spending watchdog

The annual total amount of time taxpayers spent on the phone waiting to speak to a HM Revenue and Customs adviser has more than doubled to the equivalent of almost 800 years, according to a report by Whitehall’s spending watchdog.

The National Audit Office (NAO) found that average call waiting times at HMRC have soared by more than 350% in five years, with increasing numbers of people not getting through in the first place or having their calls terminated, according to an official report that says the public is being “let down”.

It said the quality of customer service provided by HMRC had been “far below” the levels expected in recent years, and that its phone lines in particular were “not delivering”.

Taxpayers cumulatively spent the equivalent of 798 years (7m hours) waiting to speak to an adviser in 2022-23 – more than double the 3.2m hours spent waiting in 2019-20.

The NAO said HMRC’s performance when it came to its phone lines “has continued to decline”, with the department answering only two-thirds (67.2%) of callers’ attempts to speak to an adviser during the first 11 months of the 2023-24 tax year. This was down from 77% two years earlier, and is well below the target of 85%.

Those who did get through to an adviser waited an average of almost 23 minutes in 2023-24 – up sharply from an average of five minutes in 2018-19.

Meanwhile, the report revealed that more taxpayers waiting to speak to someone are having their calls ended by HMRC if the department believes it is the sort of query that can be dealt with online instead.

The tax office is trying to cope with demand by encouraging more customers to turn to its digital services first so that queries can be resolved quickly and easily online. But “fiscal drag” had pulled more people into the tax system, while individuals’ tax affairs were getting more complex – for example, because they did more than one job or worked as a freelancer – the report said.

Digital services were better suited to straightforward queries and reporting changes in customers’ circumstances, the authors said.

The report comes less than three months after similarly scathing findings from another official body, parliament’s public accounts committee. The findings may have helped prompt the announcement by the Treasury this week of £51m in funding “so HMRC staff can answer more calls and help customers over the phone”.

Gareth Davies, the head of the NAO, said: “HMRC’s telephone and correspondence services have been below its target service levels for too long.”

He added that while many of its digital services worked well, “they have not made enough of a difference to customers, some of whom have been caught in a declining spiral of service pressures and cuts”.

The consumer body Which? said the report “paints a sorry picture of a service in serious decline”, while the TaxPayers’ Alliance claimed the situation would improve if ministers ordered civil servants who had been allowed to work from home to get “back behind their desks”.

In response, HMRC accepted that customer service standards relating to its phone lines were “still not where we want them to be”, but added: “We’re making strong progress in our efforts to improve our customer service, and additional funding has been confirmed by the government this week.”

A spokesperson said: “Millions more people used our highly rated online services last year, saving them waiting on the phone and freeing up our advisers to deal with those people who need extra support.”

etf
Posts:1330
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

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

Postby etf » Tue May 21, 2024 3:13 pm

LITRG: NAO right to call out sluggish HMRC service levels

It is not possible to describe the speed of a service if that service has ceased to exist...e.g. forms 64-8 not processed 6 months after receipt. I wrote to HMRC years ago pointing out they regularly processed a NRL application and just filed the accompanying form 64.8. Received an apologetic letter confirming things will change....presumably the experienced staff are no longer with HMRC.....even put in bold on the covering letter don't overlook the 64-8....and what happens they just file the 64-8.

etf
Posts:1330
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

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

Postby etf » Wed May 22, 2024 8:23 am

Phoned HMRC helpline this morning at 8.00....told an average wait time yesterday of 40 minutes.....still holding now at 8.23....I've got six cases to discuss all of which are attributable to HMRC not dealing with post, tax returns, 64-8s in a reasonable timeframe....#Harra's HMRC will never work because he is clearly a terrible leader.

etf
Posts:1330
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

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

Postby etf » Wed May 22, 2024 8:30 am

Why do the average wait times they record (40 minutes yesterday) never tally with the 2023/24 published average of 23 minutes? I suspect they make the figures up.

Those who did get through to an adviser waited an average of almost 23 minutes in 2023-24 – up sharply from an average of five minutes in 2018-19.

Still waiting at 8.30.

etf
Posts:1330
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

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

Postby etf » Wed May 22, 2024 9:49 am

Finished my call after 1 hour and 36 minutes. Individual I was talking to had been in the game 40 years like me and agreed things at HMRC have never as bad as they are currently and he didn't think they are likely to get any better any time soon as people like him with experience are taking retirement. He had a huge amount of patience but was only able to issue reminders on top of earlier reminders...reading between the lines the older experienced dogs don't rate the leadership because they can't resolve cases just take messages for other sections who are swamped with work and fail to meet stated say 5 month timescales. Also a hint that there is a huge backlog of unprocessed tax returns.

etf
Posts:1330
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

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

Postby etf » Tue May 28, 2024 8:49 am

Accountingweb article title:

HMRC achieves world-beating levels of underachievement

etf
Posts:1330
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

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

Postby etf » Tue May 28, 2024 10:10 am

To support the AW headline in the previous post here is a summary of one of the six cases I telephoned HMRC about last week (1 hour 36 mins).

I wrote in to claim a PAYE tax refund for a client who had left the UK towards the end of a tax year. I chased by telephone 2 1/2 months later as no reply had been received. I was advised the letter had been received and filed away with no reply as HMRC did not believe a tax refund is due (the reason they gave did not make sense). Assuming my analysis is correct, not only have they denied a valid tax refund claim but they have also not responded to my letter detailing their findings leading to me clogging up their phone lines chasing a reply.

From my perspective HMRC are an absolute shambles and are a huge hurdle in making work worthwhile. Seems nobody really wants to solve this issue.

etf
Posts:1330
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

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

Postby etf » Tue May 28, 2024 4:14 pm

Also a hint that there is a huge backlog of unprocessed tax returns.

Seemingly (see below) HMRC are 6 months in arears with tax return processing but trying to pull the wool over the eyes of everyone with their X per cent of post dealt with in 15 days malarkey. Until someone gives Harra the grilling he deserves nothing will improve.

By Tornado
25th May 2024 13:30
In have one client whose 2023 Tax Return was filed some 6 months ago but it has not yet been processed. He has paid the correct SA Tax which shows as an overpayment at the moment. His wife's 2023 Tax Return has been processed correctly with a reduced personal allowance.

My client has done everything correctly, but I do not have time to chase HMRC to just process his Return. Eventually I expect HMRC will get around to processing the Return, especially as the 2024 Return will be submitted shortly.

etf
Posts:1330
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

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

Postby etf » Wed Jun 05, 2024 7:28 am

500,000 plus parents perhaps agree with the title after HMRC's latest child benefit payment fiasco.

Zero progress updates received from HMRC following my reported 90 + minute call.

Why is it so hard for regulators to ask HMRC how they have refunds on hand 12+ months....unprocessed tax returns 6+ months and yet claim to deal with 70+ per cent of post within 15 working days?

#More smoke and mirrors than Ali Bongo.


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