Strike threatens tax-day disruption. By Matt Henkes

Britain’s largest civil service union is balloting around 280,000 workers for industrial action in response to government job-cuts.

If the 24 hour strike goes ahead, it is likely to affect over 200 government departments, and will coincide with the deadline for self-assessment tax returns on 31 January.

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) said that workers are unhappy with the forced redundancies and below inflation pay offers. It added that the use of external consultants was “spiralling out of control”.

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Comments

Outside Consultants

Robert Clubb | | Permalink

Most practitioners either have, or could give valuable insight into exactly where HMRC are and continue to go wrong.

Top of my 'Agenda' is that they don't listen to anyone (paid or unpaid) and simply carry on getting it wrong.

There needs to be a fundamental change in HMRC's willingness to listen, from the top to the bottom. Their statements maintaining that they do are misleading.

k.bonney2's picture

Long delays and outside consultants

k.bonney2 | | Permalink

Long delays

I submitted a client's late 2004/05 return by post on 8 September 2006. On my return to work after the Christmas break I found amongst my post the usual acknowledgement form from HMRC dated 21 December 2006. Over three months to process a return!

Delays like this can lead to more unnecessary work as this case demonstrates.

My client's return showed an underpayment of £800. Acting on my advice he paid this straight away in early September.

My client rang HMRC in October. They informed him he had overpaid by £800 and would he like a repayment? Well what would you say? You can guess the rest.

Outside consultants

The use by government departments of consultants seems something of a news story just now. I shouldn't be at all surprised if a good number of these consultants are really 'disguised employees'. I myself have a client who is working for the NHS but is doing so through a personal services company. We shouldn't be so quick to criticise government depatments for using 'consultants'. If it saves them 12.8% in employer's NI contributions they are able to devote more of their budgets to front line services (or more consultants, perhaps).

Long delays

Anonymous | | Permalink

Given that I was told yesterday that our local area tax office is now only just processing SA returns received on 6/10/2006, and a return received on 31/10/2006 is not likely to be processed before the end of the month !

ie three months I was under the impression that they were already on strike. Has any one else encountered such delays ?