Channel 4 commissions HMRC documentary | AccountingWEB

Channel 4 commissions HMRC documentary

Channel 4 has commissioned a three-episode fly-on-the-wall documentary series about HMRC, set to be aired in 2015.

The documentary will feature three 60-minute episodes and will follow Revenue inspectors and investigators on the frontline as they try to collect tax and catch evaders. 

Tiger Aspect Productions, the team behind the documentary, said it spent a year securing "unique and unprecedented" access to HMRC. 

The series promises to...


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Realistic.....?    10 thanks

AndyC555 | | Permalink

To be truly realistic, the camera crew would have to be kept waiting when they arrived, then shunted round a few officers who passed them on to someone else before eventually being told by someone called "Brian" that there was nothing that could be done but that they'd pass a message on to the appropriate person.


No, I'm joking of course.  I used to work at HMIT (as it was then) and I remember being asked "how many people work in your office?" to which I replied "about half of them".

squay's picture

ID checks    3 thanks

squay | | Permalink

I wonder if the camera crew were asked to prove their identities when they arrived. I can see it now. "But you called us". "But we have to check who you are". "You know who we are, we the camera crew". "Are that's what you say; you could be imposters"! 

stepurhan's picture

Purpose of visit    23 thanks

stepurhan | | Permalink

HMRC reception : Please state the purpose of your visit

Film Crew : Documentary

HMRC reception : I heard "VAT registration" is that correct?

Film Crew : No, Documentary

HMRC reception : I heard "Getting Forms in Welsh" is that correct?

Film Crew : No. Can we just speak to someone?

HMRC reception : All of that information is available on our website.

Locutus's picture

Well done, that really made me chuckle

Locutus | | Permalink

stepurhan wrote:

HMRC reception : Please state the purpose of your visit

Film Crew : Documentary

HMRC reception : I heard "VAT registration" is that correct?

Film Crew : No, Documentary

HMRC reception : I heard "Getting Forms in Welsh" is that correct?

Film Crew : No. Can we just speak to someone?

HMRC reception : All of that information is available on our website.

ArsalanShah's picture


ArsalanShah | | Permalink

script written by Stepurhan for HMRC Documentary.You might get a knock on your door to find out 'Congratulations you have been selected' !!

How bad?    4 thanks

the_Poacher | | Permalink

We all hear the horror stories about how bad things are now in HMRC. Fast chance that we will see it in a documentary - Lin Homer will ensure it is a whitewash

bookmarklee's picture

I happen to know that magicians have been targeted

bookmarklee | | Permalink

By the divumentary makers as some of the "unexpected characters"

Does HMRC Really help the people who pay taxes?

vdeepan3 | | Permalink

I doubt it.. recently HMRC is not very flexible and threatening to wind up the companies if there's late payment. It is understandable , but HMRC should be flexible with the small business who fight for survival and try their best to pay the taxes. 

carroccio1958's picture

Er hello ......    1 thanks

carroccio1958 | | Permalink

" Last year HMRC collected over 460 BILLION ..."

As the uk gdp is circa 1400 billion that is about right . But tbe way it is phrased suggests that all this came solely from tax avoidance /evasion crackdowns ..... if that were the case George Osborne woukd no longer have a deficit priblem to report on Wednesday.

Jaundiced /slanted reporting leading to wrong conclusions manipulated to gild the lily .

Disgusting HMRC PR    3 thanks

chatman | | Permalink

Disgusting HMRC PR disguised as a documentary. Will they show the crack down on non-wealthy tax payers? Will they talk about the sweetheart deals such as with Vodafone? I doubt it.

stepurhan's picture

View first, then judge    1 thanks

stepurhan | | Permalink

Whilst it may actually be that the documentary will come out as HMRC PR, I prefer to view it before making judgement. It has really bugged me in the past when MPs have stood up to denounce TV programs, only to later admit they haven't actually seen them. It's like describing Ulysses by James Joyce as pretentious and unintelligible without having read it. (I have read it. It is pretentious and unintelligible. However, the impression that I took away from it was of a highly intelligent man that just didn't know when to stop showing off about how intelligent he was).

kenfrost's picture

Be Careful What You Wish For

kenfrost | | Permalink

I refer to what I said in February :

"Documentary makers (especially "reality" TV shows) are very skilled at making fools of those who appear in them eg; The Hotel Inspector, The Call Centre, Come Dine With Me, Permission Impossible etc."

wonder how long    1 thanks

justsotax | | Permalink

they will have to stake out the hmrc officers to get 180 mins of 'action' footage... 

johnjenkins's picture

I wonder if    2 thanks

johnjenkins | | Permalink

a Ltd Company gets a knock on the door asking for the £25k outstanding corporation tax and the director says sorry mate ain't got no dough cos you lot owe me £50k in CIS tax over the last 4 years.

I notice only 3 episodes. I reckon it's already been filmed and HMRC are seeing what comments they get so that editing can be done accordingly.

Will we see the prat who issues wrong notices of coding, of course not.

Will we see the idiots at Long Benton who refuse to send out CIS printouts, of course not.

All we will see is pictures of a comedian and radio presenter saying what silly billys they have been. We might even see bits of fraud court cases.

Give me border control any day.

Taxpayers Stories

LizzieAckerman | | Permalink

In response to your interest, we are looking to hear from taxpayers for our series, please find more information below:



Tax Trouble? 


Award-winning programme-maker, Tiger Aspect, is producing an observational documentary series on tax for Channel 4 and we would like to speak to anyone with an ongoing tax problem. 


Filmed over the course of 2014 the series of three programmes will follow tax payers as they deal with a broad range of tax issues.  Whether you’re a plumber struggling to pay income tax, a small-business owner trying to keep the tax wolf from the door, an IT contractor who’s taken part in avoidance scheme,  or maybe you’ve been hit by a working tax credit overpayment claim we want to hear your story.


The series will also film with HMRC to see how they are trying to close the tax gap and what their greater targets mean for tax payers. 


Please contact Ruth Newton on  [email protected] or 0208 222 4891 for more information.


All information is off the record at this stage and doesn’t oblige you to take part in the series.

"...avoidance scheme"

Trevor Scott | | Permalink

There's an episode in itself. Government corruption of going after people who act within the law by using an established legal mechanism.

And then there is.....Money Laundering Regulations; the failure of HMRC/SOCA to act upon reports giving them the exact information needed to raise legitimate tax assessments or put criminals in jail.