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another moan about HMRC

delays delays delays

Didn't find your answer?

So a client received a P800 which did not take into account a form P87 we filed in early July claiming use of home.  I expected that it had not been processed yet, but rang to check that they had got it.

Firstly, when I called the agents helpline yesterday, after over 10 minutes on hold they told me they were too busy and cut me off.

I got through this morning after a long wait.  They have our form, hooray.  We can expect it to be processed by........  wait for it................1 February 2022!!!!!!!!

And yet still they have staff working on rolling out Making Tax a Disaster as if nothing is wrong.  They need to put ALL staff on sorting out these backlogs.

And while on the subject of agents helpline - I wish they would cut the ridiculous pre-recorded messages about what we can and can't ask them to do (some of which are wrong - we can't check where things are from our account).  I don't want to listen to it 5 times a week.

This is disgraceful.

Replies (24)

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By Duggimon
27th Aug 2021 08:56

There is no reason for them not to cut the preamble from the Agent helpline and to just trust us to know what we need to call them for.

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Replying to Duggimon:
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By Paul Crowley
27th Aug 2021 09:11

Concur
It is meant to be for tax agents
The message assumes tax agents are no different to ordinary yaxpayers who have never phoned HMRC before

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By GHarr497688
27th Aug 2021 09:09

my simple answer is don't ring them and raise a formal complaint by letter.

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Replying to GHarr497688:
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By Paul Crowley
27th Aug 2021 09:12

Which will take six months

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By Jimess
27th Aug 2021 10:52

And the rest - the last complaint I raised with HMRC took nearly 2 years to resolve.

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Replying to Jimess:
Tornado
By Tornado
27th Aug 2021 13:11

Jimess wrote:

And the rest - the last complaint I raised with HMRC took nearly 2 years to resolve.

That is good news as it seems I may eventually get replies to the numerous letters I have written to HMRC and not even received an acknowledgement for.

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By BrianL
27th Aug 2021 09:35

Don't bother with the formal complaints process. There is too much evidence that it is ineffective. A letter to your MP is more likely to produce a result.

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Replying to BrianL:
By petersaxton
27th Aug 2021 09:52

BrianL wrote:

Don't bother with the formal complaints process. There is too much evidence that it is ineffective. A letter to your MP is more likely to produce a result.


Or email the head of HMRC.
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Replying to petersaxton:
By SteveHa
27th Aug 2021 11:24

petersaxton wrote:
Or email the head of HMRC.

That's my go to. The only one that seems to work.

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Replying to SteveHa:
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By BrianL
28th Aug 2021 14:58

The reason that I suggested MPs is that the Head of HMRC might get your problem solved, but it doesn't come to the notice of anyone outside HMRC (apart from you, of course). He/she isn't likely to want to bring the increasing level of complaints to the attention of outsiders.
If all disgruntled accountants, bookkeepers etc wrote to their MPs, the numbers of complaints would become more visible and might (?) produce the systemic change that's required. The problems you all describe aren't the fault of the inadequately trained & supported folk on the phones. It's the managers & directors that are responsible for the system within which the lower ranks work, poor souls.

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By Jimess
27th Aug 2021 10:45

I have been chasing a reply to correspondence sent to the HMRC PAYE section since December 2020. Original letter - not acknowledged - several reminders - no responses. I am absolutely appalled at the lack of courtesy, even a quick phone call to say "sorry we can't do it right now but we'll get on to it ASAP" would be better than nothing. One of the reasons HMRC gave for their decision to centralise everything was to drive efficiency - I have yet to see any efficiencies from HMRC these days. I hark back to the times when we had local offices, with local inspectors with knowledge of the area, letters were turned around in 30 days, if not a holding letter was sent within the 30 day period giving an expected date for a response. This massive black hole of silence from HMRC until they decide when they are going to deal with a matter is just rude and very disrespectful to taxpayers who must jump to the deadlines given by HMRC or face penalties.

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Replying to Jimess:
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By mbee1
27th Aug 2021 10:53

Jimess wrote:

I have been chasing a reply to correspondence sent to the HMRC PAYE section since December 2020. Original letter - not acknowledged - several reminders - no responses. I am absolutely appalled at the lack of courtesy, even a quick phone call to say "sorry we can't do it right now but we'll get on to it ASAP" would be better than nothing. One of the reasons HMRC gave for their decision to centralise everything was to drive efficiency - I have yet to see any efficiencies from HMRC these days. I hark back to the times when we had local offices, with local inspectors with knowledge of the area, letters were turned around in 30 days, if not a holding letter was sent within the 30 day period giving an expected date for a response. This massive black hole of silence from HMRC until they decide when they are going to deal with a matter is just rude and very disrespectful to taxpayers who must jump to the deadlines given by HMRC or face penalties.


I'm ex HMRC and remember the days when, each month, post on hand had to be counted and you had to try and clear up everything over 14 days old. Woe betide anyone who had "over 14". Districts used to be able to call in "Head Office Relief" staff to blitz the work to ensure all the "over 14" work was done.

I've just received a reply to an enquiry letter back from HMRC and it's taken them 10 weeks to reply. Their letter is dated 30 July and the final sentence reads " I look forward to receiving your response by 30 August 2021". I've just drafted my reply the final paragraph of which reads "I look forward to receiving your response within your given timescale of 30 days".

Thanks (3)
Replying to mbee1:
By SteveHa
27th Aug 2021 11:42

mbee1 wrote:
Districts used to be able to call in "Head Office Relief" staff to blitz the work to ensure all the "over 14" work was done.

Hmm, my experience was that, for 5CI, a rather broad brush was used to sweep it under the carpet.

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Replying to mbee1:
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By Jimess
27th Aug 2021 13:34

It must be really hard for you as Ex HMRC to see how far their standards have fallen. The Inspectors and DI in our area were really keen about making sure the proper civilities were observed between the Tax Office and local accountants. I worked with an ex HMRC employee and I was amazed at how efficiently she managed her correspondence basket, and never to my knowledge missed a deadline for replies. We had to draw up a list of outstanding correspondence every week to present to the Boss, and Friday afternoons were often spent chasing up missing information. If we had to send a second "holding letter" to HMRC we had to ring ahead to the correspondent at HMRC to explain why and agree a deadline for the final response with them. It all served to develop mutual respect and it was a much nicer way of going about things.

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Replying to mbee1:
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By AndyC555
31st Aug 2021 09:52

Ah, yes, I remember 'over 14'. from my time at HMIT (as was). Those were the days.

Now I get letters from HMRC along the lines of "We refer to your letter of 9th February 2020 and apologise for the delay in replying. Please reply to this letter within 15 minutes or you'll go to the back of the queue again. When you do reply, we'll lose it or ignore it and do not chase for a response from us until at least 5 years have passed."

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Replying to Jimess:
Tornado
By Tornado
27th Aug 2021 13:21

HMRC are just a faceless body where there is only a Corporate responsibility that is difficult to locate.

Taking responsibility away from individuals removes their incentive to excel and gain the satisfaction of a job well done.

HMRC is a faceless, uncaring entity that will deteriorate into a body that can no longer get out of bed to do anything beneficial to others.

Cut the technology, bring back people with real jobs and responsibility and there will be massive changes to the efficiency and effectiveness of this organisation before it ends up dying in a ditch somewhere as an unloved complete and utter failure. RIP HMRC

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Replying to Tornado:
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By Jimess
27th Aug 2021 13:45

I really hope it does not go that far, but it does seem to be on a downward trajectory these days. But just think about it logically - no HMRC - no need for accountants who work with taxes! Selfishly, I need to work for a few more years yet, and I daresay there are many like me, so lets hope someone at HMRC sees the light before things go too far.

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Replying to Jimess:
By SteveHa
27th Aug 2021 13:58

I actually noticed the decline about the time I left in 1999/2020. Coincidence? Probably, but you never know.

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Replying to SteveHa:
Tornado
By Tornado
27th Aug 2021 14:10

The rot first set in when HMRC seemed to abandon the well tried system of training staff through the Civil Service Exam system and started recruiting Graduates who had no experience whatsoever of the jobs they were supposed to be doing.

Gone were the days when the 'up through the grades' District Inspector was so well qualified that he/she knew more about tax than you did, but was still prepared to discuss the situation in order to arrive at an equitable solution.

On reflection, I learnt a lot from various Revenue Officers.

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Replying to SteveHa:
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By Hugo Fair
27th Aug 2021 15:47

Blimey ... if it took you 21 years to leave, what hope is there for an answer to my letters!

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Replying to SteveHa:
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By AndyC555
31st Aug 2021 09:54

I left in 1997. Just after we had to start calling taxpayers "customers".

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By neilrichard
27th Aug 2021 11:04

Another HMRC moan
I filed 20 SA ( all refunds ) early April
I have now received calculations for all returns after SEIS verification
All wrong SEIS added back twice although all returns were correctly completed using proprietary software
Again numerous phone calls to ill trained staff
What a waste of time nearly six months to still get it wrong

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By BudgetB
27th Aug 2021 13:44

'Making Tax a Disaster' - love that, will be using it henceforth!!

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By Refs1
28th Aug 2021 23:08

Have just issued my first invoice for there incompetence to see what happens!

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