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Where Taxpayers and Advisers Meet

HMRC-is it time to call the Army in?

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

Postby etf » Fri Sep 02, 2022 11:25 am

Threads like this will in years to come be a record of probably the worst period of HMRC performance ever.

For those at the top to even be considering cutting HMRC staff shows how unhinged/out of touch they are with reality, particularly when they are looking at bringing in MTD4IT (which will create a meltdown unless the not so nimble 9 perform the job they are employed to and call Jim to a halt).

By snickersinatwix
02nd Sep 2022 09:52
Last week I received a reply from HMRC self assessment department to a letter I sent on 19 August 2021!!!!! SO over a YEAR later.
And even then they totally disregarded what I said in the letter, said I had provided the wrong info and would need to do it again.

So half an hour on the phone and they agreed we had sent the correct info and it would be reopened. We can expect a reply within 12 weeks apparently.

So I say it again. GET YOUR OWN HOUSE IN ORDER HMRC BEFORE YOU BRING IN THESE HUGE CHANGES WHICH WILL CAUSE MANY CLIENTS ADDITIONAL UNNECESSARY COSTS AND ADMIN.

And yes I am cross


PS Performance wasn't great back in 1984 (I spent the first year of my career generating written reminders to HMRC), but at least you could establish the name of the person responsible for the outstanding response once the written reminder had been ignored and telephone contact made. No 30 minute waits on the telephone either back then.

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

Postby etf » Tue Sep 20, 2022 12:10 pm

I'm sending some run of the mill correspondence to HMRC today. I'll update when a response is received so I can show how I fare compared to HMRC percentages which I struggle to recognise. Happy to congratulate HMRC if a reply is received in 3 weeks (approx 15 working days).

We also improved the proportion of customer correspondence that we turned around within 15 working days from 29.7% in April 2021 (61.9% within 40 days) to 65.4% in March 2022 (79.5% within 40 days).

bd6759
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Re: HMRC-is it time to call the Army in?

Postby bd6759 » Tue Sep 20, 2022 1:31 pm

It was bad enough when you were running 1 echo chamber, but 3? Can’t you use twitter for stuff like this?

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

Postby etf » Tue Sep 20, 2022 3:21 pm

No, sorry, I don't use it.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on MTD4IT though. As big as Paul Gascoigne in Italia 90 on accountingweb, but not a peep on here.

I can't understand why it is necessary for the majority of landlords as self assessment tax return reporting seems to work quite well. It is the type of scenario you were given on your first management development training day to see whether you could prioritise tasks in the right order. Jim Harra has the place falling around his ears and yet he continues to plough on in a direction that will create off the scale chaos having learnt nothing from the unwanted 30/60 day CGT reporting accolades he has been awarded with.

I think the NRCGT reporting thread demonstrates my original concerns were correct (even though you disagreed), viz HMRC eventually extended the filing deadline helping those working in a rainforest in Borneo.

Time will tell whether I have called these other areas correctly.

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

Postby etf » Mon Oct 24, 2022 1:47 pm

I was on the cusp of doffing my cap to HMRC as my letter's response (see earlier post in this thread) arrived this morning. Sadly the accompanying payable order was sent/made payable to me and not to the client per the instructions on the departure form. Okay HMRC staff are human and mistakes can be made, but having waited the customary 10+ minutes for someone to answer the phone I was advised that it will take a further 12 weeks for a replacement payable order to be issued as there are now post backlogs.

I think the above is possibly code for Jim Harra diverting even more staff from real work to help introduce his equivalent of Kwazi's economic plan (aka MTD4IT). Will he carry on with his blinkers on ignoring the sage advice that is indicating his plan will cause chaos?

Another rhetorical question!

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

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

Postby etf » Fri Oct 28, 2022 10:26 am

Jim Harra still in charge!

Is HMRC broken?
So many issues not being dealt with

HMRC ignoring post
We have a number of ongoing issues not being dealt with by HMRC, despite chasing constantly on the deadlines HMRC provide. Here are some examples:



1. SATR submitted 31/8/2022 with repayment details included. No refund issued and showing online as available, so claim made 16/9/2022. Follow up call on 20/9/2022 to ensure this would be processed. 26/10/2022 still no refund, call HMRC and told the Referral team had noted that this has not been dealt with on time. Another referral made and expected date 23/11/2022 to update.

2. SATR submitted 20/9/2022. Not showing online. Call to HMRC on 28/9/2022. Referral made and told the return woudl be captured by 8/12/2022 - really???

3. Client due refund. HMRC showing as issued to card - previous card used by tax payer to pay SA. Account closed for over a year, and card doesn't exist. Repeated calls from us and client, and latest - we can't trace the funds so cannot refund the tax payer. Complaint raised to be dealt with by 23/11/2022.

4. HMRC send letter to client earning over £ 60k, stating they HMRC overpaid them UC and asking for it back. Client isn't a UC claimant and never received the funds in his bank.



Something is significantly broken. Are other experiencing the same?





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By Duggimon
27th Oct 2022 10:16
The last two codes I've requested for authorisation have arrived after expiring.

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By claudialowe
27th Oct 2022 10:22
Yes! I did lose 30 mins of my life yesterday completing a survey for Kantar about my dealings with HMRC over the past year. With the score ranges being 1 for shocking and 5 for wonderful, all of my answers except for 3 scored a 1. Nothing scored higher than a 2.

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By Wanderer
27th Oct 2022 10:36
HMRC are at an all time low.

1. Anything involving a human takes months / years to get actioned, then is often not dealt with properly.

2. Many things involving computers don't work, don't get actioned or are completely impenetrable. So then you left to try option 1.

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By Tom Cross
27th Oct 2022 10:38
The system isn't broken. It's completely shatttered. It has been for some time. However, keep a look out, when the New years honours are announced. I'm sure Jim (Harra) will be suitably awarded.. If not next year, it's only a matter of time.
Meanwhile, the nuts and bolts of HMRC are a bit like the old Morecambe and Wise episode, where Eric admits 'I've got all the right notes, they're just in the wrong order'

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By Open all hours
27th Oct 2022 12:27
Like you, I’m sure JH will be rewarded for his repeated failures. Really don’t know how he can draw full salary knowing that he is ultimately responsible for such a complete mess.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
27th Oct 2022 10:52
They have got to the doom cycle of a failing organisation.

Once you are making loads of mistakes and doing things slowly or not at all, this massively increases the number of contact points to the organisation...........which in turn reduced the ability of the organisation to function effectively, multiplying the mistakes and slowing things down further.

If you have to call 6 times to get something done, that's 5 other things not happening.

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By bluebaron
27th Oct 2022 11:06
Still waiting for a VAT number for a VAT registration done nearly 3 months ago.

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By yvettemr
28th Oct 2022 10:07
At the beginning of October we were advised that they'd only just started to deal with July registrations!

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VAT
By Jason Croke
27th Oct 2022 11:10
Everything is broken and it is all driven by an attitude that fails to accept any failings or shortfalls whatsoever and that attitude comes from the top.

Over on the HMRC Agent Forum, tax agents are frustrated on just about every tax you can imagine, the HMRC response is "we have referred your query to a specialist in that team" and then no responses comes back or they come back 2 months later with either no answer or asking another question before they can give an answer. It's painful.

For VAT registrations, HMRC's official response to delays was to call the VAT registration team, but that team doesn't answer the phone and ignore emails. The new agent VAT registration system is most certainly broken.

I did a VAT group submission yesterday and according to HMRC, they aim to get back to me in February 2023. 4 months for a VAT group consisting of two companies both already VAT registered, should just be a case of flicking a button to cancel the numbers and issue a new one. 4 months!

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By murphy1
27th Oct 2022 13:13
The timescales are outrageous!

Something needs done, and quickly

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By Mr Hankey
27th Oct 2022 11:10
I seem to be having a real problem with repayments this year. I've had several returns where I've:

- Entered the client's bank account details on the return, and nothing happens.

- I then login to my agent account, can see the repayment sitting there, request online for it to be refunded to the client's bank account, and nothing happens.

- I then phone the agent line, request the refund to the operative, and nothing happens.

- I then write a letter saying I keep requesting refunds, and nothing happens... and guess what...NOTHING HAPPENS!

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By Wanderer
27th Oct 2022 11:24
Historically your other three methods have worked (sporadically) but this one has never, ever, resulted in the refund being made:-

Mr Hankey wrote:
- I then login to my agent account, can see the repayment sitting there, request online for it to be refunded to the client's bank account, and nothing happens.

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By Moonbeam
27th Oct 2022 11:27
Small employer client has been told she owes £340 odd, but there's no detail on her PAYE account and she's one of those who is squeaky clean and always pays when due.

She was also told that her payment of PAYE was late last month and naughty naughty.

But her bank statement shows she paid on time.

She's tried calling HMRC PAYE section but can never get through.

Your post has given me comfort that I can tell her they're a bunch of wallies.

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By murphy1
27th Oct 2022 13:14
We have a case like that too!

I worry that clients will begin to think it is us, but we are doing everything we can

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By Justin Bryant
27th Oct 2022 11:29
Yes, but then why would you expect HMRC to be any better than all the other deteriorated, underperforming public services since around 12 years ago? There is a common theme here I think.

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By Tom Cross
27th Oct 2022 13:04
Hit the nail on the head. A succinct summary.
The NHS is clearly suffering other fools, gladly, too.

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By JacquiMBurns
27th Oct 2022 14:09
Because HMRC USED to be OK....until the pandemic. Since then, you wait hourse on the phone, links in computerised forms don't work (depite their tech team saying it does), letters do not get responses for months, etc. They now even send out letters in response to Notifications of Options To Tax saying they no longer acknowledge them - as it is the client's responsibility to ensure they are correct - which take months to arrive or sometimes are challenged by HMRC. The only thing they did immediately was deregister a client for VAT which the client then told me he didn't want to go ahead with & I can't get hold of the re-instatement team!!!!

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By Justin Bryant
27th Oct 2022 15:29
Well, hospitals, GPs and most other public services used to be fairly OK I recall in the 1990s and early 2000s. You need to ask why that's not the case since around 12 years ago (and not just since Covid - which admittedly generally made an already bad situation worse, but the problems are clearly at the core due to underinvestment and mismanagement by HMG at least in that 12 year period and Covid merely exacerbated that - had Covid happened in 1990s I doubt it would have had such an exacerbating effect due to the overall relatively better investment and management of public services back then).

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Jennifer Adams
By Jennifer Adams
27th Oct 2022 14:05
It's not just HMRC who are 'broken' but the Dept of work and pensions as well. Trying to get through on the phone is impossible. I keep getting an engaged signal.

Client wants to check his pension record but cant create a government gateway as the computer says his NIC is wrong (it isnt..he's had the same number through various jobs for years and years.)

So we sent a paper application and a letter comes back (within 5 days which isnt bad) saying 'our records indicate that your personal details need updating' and gives an HMRC phone number.

So I phone the number and you've probably guessed... nothing wrong. All correct.

HMRC lady says it's probably because no one has checked the number for years (self assessment returns have been submitted for years).

So we wait a few days and try the government gateway again... nothing.

I try to phone the DWP and cant get through... constantly engaged.

I'm going to have to write again.

>> this saga is a lesson for all. I always recommend new clients to check that their state pension record is up to date but now I'm going to suggest clients check every year.

>> actually it's not the state pension record that is worrying - client was turned down when trying to rent a van because whatever credit reference company they use came back with a refusal - NI number was wrong apparently

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By Tom Cross
27th Oct 2022 14:56
The common denominator in all of this and, much of the UK's 'issues' stem from the Civil Service - as Justin suggests 'the public services'
I'm old enough to be able to recall the 1970's when this sector was held in high esteem. These days, I just worry where all this will end. Each and every Government department, without exception, is smitten with the same issues.

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By Mr_Flibble2
27th Oct 2022 14:25
Still waiting for HMRC to process returns for a deceased client submitted in May 2021. Complaints just ignored and letters unanswered. Trying to get anything done that isn't automated or to correct an HMRC error is an exercise in utter frustration currently.

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By Southwestbeancounter
27th Oct 2022 15:33
We get exasperated with HMRC on examples such as yours on a daily basis too which is quite soul destroying after a while!

The only thing I would specifically watch out for on your list is point 4. We had exactly the same a week or two ago - client earning around the same with the same circumstances had received a genuine looking letter from HMRC/DWP (can't remember which) saying that he owed overpaid UC money with code to log on to HMRC to check. I independently logged on to HMRC used the code and the client's DOB and found they did, in fact, 'owe' the money. It transpired their phone/PC had been hacked some time previously, someone had (somehow) used our client's details to make a false claim for UC which HMRC in the meantime had found was issued incorrectly and needed to be repaid. The client got straight on to HMRC and somehow it transpired what had happened and it is currently being sorted out but it has caused him no end of issues so hope your case is 'just' HMRC inefficiencies rather than anything more sinister!!

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By bettybobbymeggie
27th Oct 2022 15:43
Client of mine got a Debt Management letter chasing his 31st July 2022 payment - which he made by cheque (together with a second cheque for his wife, same envelope). Both cheques cleared his bank account so we know the knobheads have his money. I write to the DM people (I don't call anymore it drives me mad) and tell them the cheque number, amount, date - basically enough info for them to locate the funds and allocated to my client's SA account. HMRC then respond to my letter by calling me - a call I miss but they leave a number. I return their call and wait on the phone for 45 minutes. I then write an angry letter telling them they have the info they need, they don't need to call, just read my bloody letter and do as I bloody ask.

I can't wait to retire.

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By Wanderer
27th Oct 2022 15:53
That's (one of) this year's newly introduced inefficiencies. Several of us have reported it on here. In my client's case cheque cleared his bank account on 7 July. Finally credited to his HMRC account this week. In the meantime DMU were chasing him. He did get an apology letter some time ago, but still took about 6 weeks from then until it appeared in his HMRC account.

Yet another example of HMRC inefficiencies that quadruple their (& our) workload. If only they dealt with the simplest of things, like this, properly, then it would give them so much more time to properly deal with other matters.

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By GHarr497688
27th Oct 2022 16:08
I applied for an MTD Exemption in August with no reply. Chased in September as a complaint - no reply. Now being dealt with by my local MP. Shocking . When I write to HMRC I do not receive to get a reply anymore.

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By JacquiMBurns
27th Oct 2022 17:54
Absolute classic today by HMRC!
I had a message that they had phoned about 1 of my client's VAT - no name or extension left (of course) so I rang in &, amazingly, a human came on the phone after only 10 minutes which probably should have alerted me to the farce about to take place. I had said I was calling from their agent & was told there was not a 64-8 in place (although they are on our clients' a/c. So I said Ok & thanked her nicely. I then rang back and said I was the internal bookkeeper & the different person I spoke to went through the security again. I told him I had just had a call from our agents saying the lady who had answered earlier had said she couldn't talk to them as there was no 64-8. His reply 'well the one I have here mentions ______ as your agent.' 'Ah, so you have one then' said I. 'Yes ' said he. To which I replied 'well I am sorry for the slight deception but I must confess I am actually calling from the agent's office'. He then went into a bit of a rambling speech about how they relied on people to be truthful, etc. I replied that his colleague had not been truthful in saying she could not talk to me because there was no 64-8 in place, whereas he had found it immediately, & that truthfulness WAS a two way street AND that HMRC owed a duty of care to its users whereas my duty is to my client! I could feel the heat from his blushing right down the phone! We then proceeded to have a perfectly decent conversation about what the phonecall was about & what I would do to assist in resolving the problem being as the client was deregistered back in March this year. He was very polite & forthcoming giving me dates & everything I needed to pass on to my client. :)

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By claudialowe
28th Oct 2022 08:55
I had an interesting conversation with HMRC yesterday about the third client who had paid July tax by cheque and was being chased for payment. He 'fessed up and said that due to staff shortages they were only just beginning to allocate July cheques in the past fortnight. I queried why chasing letters had been sent out before the cheque allocation - he agreed with me that it would have saved everyone (them included) so much time if the letters had been put on hold until the allocation was complete. So 3 people's time wasted for no good reason.

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By JCresswellTax
28th Oct 2022 10:00
I'm surprised you have to ask, of course it is broken, pretty much always has been.

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

Postby etf » Fri Oct 28, 2022 4:30 pm

However, I am not sure what monetary value I need to put in the first question about tax payment.

any advice greatly appreciated.
Have been waiting on the telephone for an hour and finally gave up.
It is so bloody obvious to anyone who deals with HMRC that they are unable to cope with even mundane tasks like answering the telephone, and making call backs (not just within prescribed timeframes...but at all). Real life experiences like that copied from the capital gains tax section from Joe Public offer a snapshot of how crap things have got. And just imagine what will happen when Jim Harra introduces MTD4IT and the whole world and his dog will want to contact HMRC for guidance.

I received the following from my professional body this week. How is not answering the phone for an hour and promising call backs that never happen an improvement? Can someone not give Jim a gentle shake and ask him to observe what is happening in the real world and act accordingly?

CIOT and LITRG representatives joined HMRC and other representative bodies at the periodic Representative Bodies Steering Group meeting. HMRC gave an update on performance, explaining that while performance was improving, they recognised they are still behind target in many areas. Attendees highlighted various issues with HMRC’s services and the ability to resolve issues. On Making Tax Digital, MTD for VAT will become ‘business as usual’ from 1 November, and there have been various communications about turning off the current submission portal. On MTD for ITSA, the pilot continues with those who account on a tax year basis before extending the pilot more widely. We also discussed the ongoing ‘raising standards’ agenda and simple assessment. Finally, we raised with HMRC the mental health issues being faced by agents, largely due to HMRC’s poor service levels, and the wider pressures on agents including workloads and recruiting and retaining staff.

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

Postby etf » Tue Nov 15, 2022 9:51 am

By Mr J Andrews
14th Nov 2022 10:10
What's the point ? We've all known for years that HMRC are not fit for purpose under its current ''leadership''. Anyone who may have read Jim Harra's priority for 2022 - in Civil Service World - to get the tax system back on an even keel may have thought this an April Fool's Day quip rather than a New Year Resolution. And the Revenue's standards certainly aren't going to improve in 2023.
How newly appointed Atkins can put right, what and where her predecessor clearly failed is nigh on impossible whilst the stench of no accountability within the Revenue's hierarchy remains.
Accountability apart ,the dumbness of Quasi Kwarteng's proposal to abolish the OTS, the lemming like pursuit of ridiculous MTD thresholds and reintroduction of ''Working Together'' are , perhaps Victoria Atkins' priorities in clearing her in- tray

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

Postby etf » Fri Nov 25, 2022 4:14 pm

This Jennifer speaks my language. Perhaps we should all email Jim Harra per Michael's suggestion. I did it when 6 answer phone messages were ignored and it did work. His email address is as follows: jim.harra@hmrc.gov.uk.

By Jennifer Adams
24th Nov 2022 13:05
Another day - another day spending hours on the phone trying to get through to HMRC.

This time I steeled myself with a mug of strong coffee before trying to get through to the 'HMRC Indv & Small Business Compliance - Customer Compliance Group'. I am chasing the update to a letter I sent in January (as I was told to do in the enquiry letter received) to which I have never received a reply/no acknowledgement/nothing.

This time it went straight to music rather than the 'everything is on the website' etc

Client has paid £3000 on account and that money is still sitting in the self assessment account (why has no one picked this up at HMRC?)

I rang in April and again in June and actually got through to a person to be told it was being seen to.... it's nearly Christmas and nothing.

After 10 mins waiting I give up again as life is too short and at my age the stress is too much.


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By Michael C Feltham
24th Nov 2022 14:50
Jennifer:

Do what I did, after a coupla hours wasting time with the Agent's Helpless Line.

I have a favourite dictum, to which I have abided for many years, which is:

"Don't talk to the monkey; talk to the organ grinder!"

Thus in the final event, after phone calls, letters (unanswered etc) I wrote to Jim Harra.

Emails flying backwards and forwards from senior honchos, but shortly, agreement with my core points (Three Year Written back tax rebates refunded and carry forward of the huge capital losses on cessation).

And, I now have the letter from HMRC to prove it!

As with ALL government agencies, HMRC are a complete shambles.

Welcome to Third World Britain!

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

Postby etf » Tue Dec 13, 2022 5:51 pm

I submitted a P85 refund request in September and received a refund for the client in October....so far, so good.

Unfortunately, the P85 had requested that the payable order be made payable to the client and sent to her address and not payable to me and sent to my address. Having resisted the temptation to bank the refund and head to St Lucia, I have since made three phone calls to HMRC, to be told today that the replacement payable order will not get issued until 2 February. This means a human error at HMRC results will result in my client receiving her tax refund over 3 months later than should have been the case.

Yet more compelling evidence why Jim Harra should get his staff working on outstanding post/answering telephones in a timely manner. It took 30 minutes for the phone to be answered....just unacceptable.


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