HMRC appoints accountant as new chief executive

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HMRC has announced former Ministry of Defence (MoD) permanent secretary Jon Thompson as the department’s new chief executive.

While Thompson’s predecessor Lin Homer was often criticised for her lack of experience in senior financial roles, as a qualified member of CIPFA, Thompson’s career features a number of high-ranking finance positions, and his Twitter profile lists accountant as his profession.

Thompson will steer HMRC through its making tax digital plans, and he inherits an organisation facing criticism from the Public Accounts Committee with disgruntled staff facing redundancy.

Thompson said: “While it will be a wrench to leave the Ministry of Defence, I am excited to be taking up the challenge of leading the delivery of the...

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“and he even lists his

“and he even lists his profession as accountant on his Twitter profile”.

Seriously, who wrote this complete bollocks of an article?

Jon Thompson is a qualified accountant (CIPFA) and has been successful in some very senior positions within the public sector and also worked at Ernst Young for a while in public sector consultancy. He is an accountant and not just because Twitter says he is.

I actually think this is a good appointment for HMRC.

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25th Feb 2016 08:02

response = bollocks

cheekychappy wrote:

“and he even lists his profession as accountant on his Twitter profile”.

Seriously, who wrote this complete bollocks of an article?

Jon Thompson is a qualified accountant (CIPFA) and has been successful in some very senior positions within the public sector and also worked at Ernst Young for a while in public sector consultancy. He is an accountant and not just because Twitter says he is.

I actually think this is a good appointment for HMRC.

Article was fine. I got the twitter connection and did find it surprising given his posts.

Good appointment for HMRC.

Maybe cheeky woke up on the wrong side of bed

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Twitter mention shows his potential relationship ...

While I understand your point about mentioning Thompson’s Twitter profile, I felt the link provided the quick opportunity for some to learn about the man. 

I also thought the Twitter bio was interesting because despite his government positions he still considers himself an accountant, which could suggest HMRC's future relationship with the profession.  

Thompson’s financial credentials are listed throughout the article, as is his Ernst and Young position. In reflection of your comment, I have inserted the CIPFRA reference higher up in the article. 

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26th Feb 2016 14:04

Thomson's experience and past appointments

Richard Hattersley wrote:

 I have inserted the CIPFRA reference higher up in the article. 

That particular designation is not recognised, and we do like response accuracy on accountingWeb.

Sorry, I digress

Sadly the content of Facebook and Twitter is 99%  . . . . .  I not sure why journalists keep quoting the content, expecting that information to be treated in any other way than good old fashioned gossip and hearsay.

As has been said by cheekychappy, this could be a good appointment for HMRC customers - but only time will tell.

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25th Feb 2016 08:37

He seems to be doing a lot of useful work

“Excellent discussion with diversity champions in MoD today. How to remove barriers and how to create an inclusive  culture”

Here’s hoping that removing barriers and creating an inclusive culture helps to answer the phones.

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By hje
25th Feb 2016 10:22

Given

the crisis the MoD is in with its outsourced functions,budget overspending, operational issues, particularly in recruitment, he'll fit right in.

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25th Feb 2016 10:29

Yes, but ...

He may have experience of the technical tax aspects, but there is nothing in his job history to suggest that he has experience of listening to his "customers" and providing the services which his "customers" (I include agents along with taxpayers) actually want.  He needs to do a much better PR job than his predecessor.

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25th Feb 2016 11:07

Hopefully he

won't turn out to be a Jon Thomas.

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25th Feb 2016 11:44

What more do we need?

As long as HMRC is "diverse" why should we worry about anything else?

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26th Feb 2016 12:01

HMRC appointment

Yet another member of the "civil servant" fraternity appointed to a senior position.

when will govt realize that in order to resolve the issues with HMRC [i.e difficulty of contact and speed of communication] you need somebody who has not spent his time in the " ivory towers" of Whitehall.

with regard to the recent PAC comments on HMRC`s performance, hopefully the new appointee`s background will result in better deals being stuck with the likes of Google than his predecessor.

sorry, I am not that optimistic anything will change until individuals from a commercial background, preferable SME`s, are appointed to these positions of control. At least these individuals have practical experience of where to look for the tax fiddles and avoiders. 

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26th Feb 2016 12:22

lack of micro-entity experience

I haven't yet read the bio but my concern would be the lack of micro-entity experience. Does HMRC have anyone on their panels/in their focus groups who can speak with any authority about how really small businesses work?

HMRC seem to think it's the digital/techy side which is an issue - it's not. No professional accountant is going to say the MTD agenda is not a sensible idea. It's the quality of the data which will be uploaded that will be the issue. They clearly have very little understanding of the work involved to make many clients' records half-way sensible - let alone all the accounting adjustments needed to provide a figure on which tax is eventually paid.

Don't they understand that if accountants (who stand to benefit from increased fees for those clients who don't try to 'go it alone') are saying this will not work as it stands, they need to look at it again?

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26th Feb 2016 13:09

Remember, Please!

Circa 49% of the UK's "Real" Economy on Main Street, is SME; for profit.

NOT, government bodies and the Civil Service.

Additionally, a majority of ICAEW and ACCA members do not audit PLCs, QUANGOs, NGOs and regional, county and/or local authorities.

Now I am sure my old chum, John Webb (CIPFA Publishing Editor: C.V. http://www.cipfa.org/policy-and-guidance/the-journal-of-finance-and-mana... ), will forgive me, however the real world of For-Profit SMEs is well outside the ambit of CIPFAs core competence.

Since, no doubt Mr Thompson has his eyes on an eventual title, for "Government service" etc, etc.

Who pays for the current charade of government?

Well, we and our clients do, strangely enough and we and our, mainly SME clients are receiving a very raw deal indeed and little value for our money. Particularly so, since the big battalions of mega-corps, who are the most favoured clients of the top ten, pay little or no tax and agree "Deals" on the tax due.

As I have insisted before in these threads: the whole process of Treasury, Government and HMRC-facing representation of the profession, is so sadly in the dubious hands of CCAB and the top ten practices.

Try telling my client who telephoned this morning early, in a furious panic.

He is in the middle of an IVA: HMRC were the major creditor. They demanded his 2014-15 SA liabilities be included. OK, done. The ISP and I worked very closely together, despite, I must say, HMRC, to achieve this IVA.

Now, since the client's 2014-15 personal tax liabilities had, at the insistence of HMRC been vested in the IVA, then all the client was bound to do was pay 50% of the 2014-15 liability forward by Jan 31st as his first instalment on the 2015-16 liability.

Simple?

Not for the great Gods HMRC it aint!

Client paid; received threatening letter last week. I duly telephoned the "Dedicated Agent Helpline": eventually, after three cups of tea and three reasonable paper planes (grin!), I actually spoke to a person. Who suggested HMRC had raised a new UTR (Didn't inform the client of myself, of course). HMRC have allocated the declared income on his SA100 TWICE she stated!!

Then the killer: "You should hear back within FOUR TO FIVE WEEKS!"

This morning he received yet another letter, threatening to send in the bailiffs!

I am so glad I shall be retiring finally shortly...

 

 

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26th Feb 2016 13:19

Quarterly Digital Accounts

I really hope that he will see sense and exempt small and medium sized businesses from having to file quarterly digital accounts in 2018.  For small accountancy practices with all small and medium sized clients this will be a physical impossibility.  Added to this if we have trouble getting clients to let us have their paperwork within 9 months of the year end how does HMRC think that they will let us have their paperwork quarterly.

It will obviously be much easier for those clients who are VAT registered and we file their VAT Returns but even then those using the Flat Rate Scheme only let us have details of their income quarterly so it would mean extra work for them too.

The majority of my clients do not use computer software and some don't us a computer at all and just present bags of papers. 

This is just another case of HMRC living in their Ivory Towers and knowing nothing about how the rest of the country operates.  Small businesses are what keeps this country going.  The self employed work very hard and do not have the luxury of having bookkeepers or the time to do more than they already do.

I feel inclined to simply file NIL returns for 3 months of the year and then the final quarter as an annual one.

I gather that HMRC plan to have computer software to help us in the task of filing but if it is as bad as their PAYE BASIC tools God Help Us!!!

I urge everyone to sign the online petition against the quarterly filing of digital accounts and also to write to their MP and also to encourage their clients to do the same

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26th Feb 2016 13:47

Je rire !

Sara Corbett wrote:

I really hope that he will see sense....

In your dreams.

He's a civil service appointchick.

Sadly.

 

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26th Feb 2016 14:26

Quarterly reporting

Sara Corbett wrote:

I urge everyone to sign the online petition against the quarterly filing of digital accounts and also to write to their MP and also to encourage their clients to do the same

All of my clients like to know where they are on a quarterly basis. They are already reporting VAT on that basis, and I work out their ball park tax liabilty as we progress through the year from linked spreadsheets when requested. The problem only arises when some of them may be expected to do this without assistance.

I don't know why you want to shoot yourself in the foot

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26th Feb 2016 14:55

Quarterly Digital Accounts

You obviously have a much bigger practice than mine and I am not shooting myself in the foot.  I am trying to stop my clients (and me) a lot of extra work simply so that HMRC can get tax paid quicker!

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Not exactly working at the coal face was he? Just another (un)civil servant.

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By Mehmet
26th Feb 2016 15:18

Give him time until 5th April 2017 and then we can judge.

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27th Feb 2016 12:44

HMRC appointment

It seems we have a consensus. HMRC appoints employees and applies strategies which appear to ignore the operationl needs of SME`s and the self employed.

With over 30 years experience managing the financial affairs of the "small business", If the new appointee wants to make contact with me  I am  more than happy to tell him what really goes on in the SME world and the inept performance of HMRC, both recent and historic

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02nd Mar 2016 09:41

He will last as long as....

one of Katie Prices marriages.

 

He will get his gong n pay off. The Government will hope he just goes quietly.

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