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Where Taxpayers and Advisers Meet

HMRC-is it time to call the Army in?

etf
Posts:1318
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm
Re: HMRC-is it time to call the Army in?

Postby etf » Tue Feb 06, 2024 9:01 am

YEAR 2 DAY 11 (376 days and still waiting)

27 Oct 2023 Repayment pending (tax return filed in Jan 2023)

I may have unwittingly hit a raw nerve yesterday mentioning Rishi in the same breath as FOI request denials..apparently an Irish journalist and one of his colleagues had FOI requests denied covering information linking the UK Government to Infosys (the company setup by Rishi's in-laws). The denial was overturned on appeal. It does add a bit of intrigue and it will be interesting to see whether the public quiz Rishi on this when given the opportunity.

As for my FOI request regarding 'repayment pending' cases nothing has been received after the FOI office holding email dated 15 January in which they said they were still working on it and would get back to me by 29 January (their original deadline was in December). Perhaps they are struggling to identify any staff working in the repayment checking department hence HMRC struggling to meet their own unambitious 12 week deadline.

# Mr Bates and the Post Office, Infosys, etf, = FOI office information denials.

etf
Posts:1318
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

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

Postby etf » Tue Feb 06, 2024 10:13 am

Crikey, Rishi must have been on the phone to the FOI office.

Same usual unhelpful reply though:

We cannot advise you of the average processing time for self assessment refunds. Our
management system records basic information to monitor productivity and workflow; we
need to know how much work is on hand to ensure we are adequately resourced. However,
work list items assigned to staff cannot be categorised, which means we can produce data
for items cleared but not what those items refer to. It would therefore take considerable time
to separate Self Assessment repayment claims related activity from other work. Similarly,
average process times would relate to efforts to clear items from work lists, but not any
particular category on those lists. For these reasons, collating the detail necessary to answer
your request in full would exceed the FOIA cost limit.

How can you set a 12 week timeframe for dealing with self assessment refunds that are checked and then not have a mechanism for determining whether you are hitting that target?

We also cannot say how many staff are employed on this work. HMRC operates a flexible
resourcing model which means that staff are moved around between different types of work
depending on need.

Clearly not flexible enough as my case is already well over 12 weeks old.

etf
Posts:1318
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

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

Postby etf » Wed Feb 07, 2024 7:23 am

And so ends the most appalling experience in my very close to 40 year career in tax:

YEAR 2 DAY 11 (376 days) Repayment issued 06 Feb 2024

etf
Posts:1318
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

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

Postby etf » Thu Feb 08, 2024 11:52 am

I've been looking at the refund issued for 2021/22 a bit more closely and the amount does not appear to have increased for the 3 and a bit months of the 'repayment pending' checking period. Is that an oversight from HMRC or are they entitled to make money on the funds they hold onto and not pay any interest supplement for the checking period?

etf
Posts:1318
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

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

Postby etf » Fri Feb 09, 2024 4:59 pm

Watched a full episode of Escape to the Country and HMRC still haven't answered the phone...approaching an hour now and still listening to 'your call is important to us please continue to hold'. Followed an unsuccessful 37 minute attempt earlier in the day.

etf
Posts:1318
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

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

Postby etf » Sat Feb 10, 2024 9:11 am

In our 'world class tax system' when did it become acceptable for HMRC to:

a) take 70 minutes to answer the phone (yesterday)?
b) take over a year to issue a tax refund?
c) have post unanswered since July 2023?
d) overspend, overspend and overspend on MTD4IT (resulting in examples like a), b) and c above because the coffers are now bare).

ANSWER-under Sir Jim Harra's watch.

I was actually on the phone for two episodes worth of Escape to the Country yesterday and was told to write in about my repayment supplement question because the process happens automatically and there is nowhere to refer it to. If supplement is due to the date the repayment is paid and HMRC's labelling of supplement period dates is correct, then how many cases have they under-repaid?

etf
Posts:1318
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

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

Postby etf » Tue Feb 13, 2024 11:01 am

Repayment case 2
Tax return filed 15 Nov 2023
91 days and still 'repayment pending' (already a week over HMRC's staggeringly unambitious 12 week target).

Sir Jim's ability to anger customers and mismanage new initiatives suggests he may be short-listed for the West Ham job at the end of this season.

etf
Posts:1318
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

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

Postby etf » Tue Feb 13, 2024 11:37 am

I used the chat facility to chase the above refund (3rd experience of chat). For the 2nd time out of three chats the initial agent left the chat before commencing so placing me back in a waiting queue. I still hold that I speak quicker than I type so I'm not sure why HMRC think this is the golden goose.

Am I missing something?

etf
Posts:1318
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

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

Postby etf » Tue Feb 13, 2024 12:41 pm

I reverted to a telephone call to chase another issue and received great service from HMRC's office in Newcastle....I felt much more satisfied after that call. I suspect it is much nicer for both caller and HMRC to actually speak with someone.

I wonder if anyone at HMRC factors in mental health and the effect working on chatbots for pro-longed shifts has on well-being.

etf
Posts:1318
Joined:Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

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

Postby etf » Tue Feb 13, 2024 2:31 pm

So nice to read there are accountingweb versions of me out there with identical frustrations:

Friday's rant - usual compaint
Spent all afternoon trying to get through to HMRC

I dont know why I'm bothering.

I have 2 clients who have been waiting a year for a refund - I've done all I should, written (even sent track and trace post) and I've phoned on a number of times.

Nothing.

As 31 Jan is now out of the way I thought I'd try today (I've tried other days with no luck)

First call was answered very quickly but he couldnt help - gave me another number.. 45 mins later still holdng on to that number.

2nd call was about a different client to a different number - wouldnt take the call 'we are busy we cant take your call'

3rd call.. same number as 2nd now its... 45 mins and still waiting.

I am able to do a 'hands free' but many so called 'customers' cant.

Whenever I read the reports of our institute's meetings with HMRC not once does this come up. The comments are all about how productive their meetings are.

Our representatives need to bring this up at every meeting they go to (bet you a tenner they wont).

I can see my clients PAYE refunds sitting there. I've written, I've phoned - been promised a reply within 6 weeks. Last time it was '28 Nov 2023' = nothing.

And they want MTD?!


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