Another one of those 'ridiculous' posts from accountingweb......except this one is from someone as experienced as you will probably find. I do scratch my head that HMRC claims nearly half of post is dealt with within 15 days and yet this poster still has post outstanding from March 2021 (which echoed my own experience until very recently). If anyone from PAC reads this thread perhaps a question to pose to Mr Harra when you next meet him.
Probably a selfish comment here, but I am so glad that I am retiring later this year after 46 years in the profession. My biggest gripe by a long chalk is not awkward clients, it's not the ICAEW, it's not changes in Accounting Standards or tax law over the years, it's HMRC. I have seen them go from a below average department in the 1970s and 1980s to more than below average in the 1990s and 2000s, getting seriously bad in the 2010s, but for the past three years or so (and NO!!!! DON'T blame this all on Covid) being beyond an embarrassment. I have several "urgent" letters I have sent to HMRC from March - May 2021 still unanswered, despite me following each one up three to four times, error after error with what they do occasionally churn out, longer waiting times on the phone and the knowledge and calibre of their staff is laughable. Ask a question, get an answer. Phone back a few minutes later speak to somebody else there asking the same question as the first person sounded unsure and getting a different answer, then asking other qualified accountants and doing more research to find that they were both wrong. Penalties for taxpayers who are one day late, yet nothing from HMRC when they are 12 months+ late in replying and that is not an exaggeration.....and they have the audacity, yes the sheer audacity to refer to their disgruntled taxpayers as "our customers". I was brought up with the adage "The customer is always right" and that being a customer, one can take one's business elsewhere. The HMRC system is broken. Jim Harra should hang his head in shame. As a profession, we are too reserved, too stiff upper lip and too quiet to do anything in unison against HMRC, to say "enough is enough" to fight back, for agents and taxpayers en-masse to issue HMRC with Penalty Notices each time they make a mistake or delay replying, and HMRC know that and that is why they get away with it. So with a tinge of sadness, I am about to say "adieu" to the profession I have practised in for 46 years and once enjoyed and "hello" to retirement with a smug sense of inner-warmth in the knowledge that I will no longer be dealing with the most inefficient public department in the history of public departments. "Happy Retirement" wishes gladly accepted on a postcard or a Clinton's card.
My name's Ben Elton, Goodnight!!