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Design your ideal tax department

Design your ideal tax department

Didn't find your answer?

As part of Xero's 10 signs, we're asking members this month to design their ideal HMRC. What would it look like to you - anything from how its website works, to how January goes (or even January 2020!), what its inspectors are like, what taxes you would add/get rid of, what you would make mandatory... get involved and let us know what you would add or take away to the Revenue to make it better for you.

The best 10 answers will get rounded up into an article! 

Replies (22)

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Stepurhan
By stepurhan
26th Mar 2015 10:48

Advertorial?

"As part of Xero's 10 signs" makes this sound like this article will be an advertorial for Xero. Since this will simply be a wish list, it does not sound like it is going to provide any insights of value for members either.

So, without wishing to sound mercenary, what is in it for us?

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By Rachael White
26th Mar 2015 10:55

Hi Stepurhan, we've been doing these for the last 6 months or more now. 

This is a bit of editorial fun - the insight part is generating a conversation on certain topics, chosen by me, that is a bit of fun essentially but is also a creative way of expressing your views about things.

For example, the thread on what weird receipts people have received and the subsequent article started as fun but turned into a wider debate on educating clients. 

It's not advertorial. It's sponsored by Xero but the content and execution is chosen entirely by us. Any more questions I would appreciate if you PM'd me as I would like to keep this thread for the above purpose. Thanks! 

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By MJ-
26th Mar 2015 10:56

Just some thoughts

In regards to Agent Authorisation.

 

For clients who have not received there UTR, its not possible to register them on-line until they have this information

I would change the information criteria to i.e name address DOB and NI, this would 

 

On another matter 

 

- I would have on the HMRC website, all documents/ forms available to download for Accountants with a simple login. which would make finding documents so much easier.

 

-The new HMRC web page colours i think are bland and could be much improved with a bit of colour, after all we are in 2015 and the old Black and Blue is pretty much out the window

 

 

May be HMRC should have a shorter SLA turn around on queries. How about a 48 hour turn around rather than weeks and weeks.

just some thoughts

 

-

 

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By Sheepy306
26th Mar 2015 11:09

Fees

MJ- wrote:

-The new HMRC web page colours i think are bland and could be much improved with a bit of colour, after all we are in 2015 and the old Black and Blue is pretty much out the window

 

My god, have you any idea the size of fee that a marketing company would charge HMRC for such a difficult job? Alternatively my daughters would do it during school playtime tomorrow morning and do a better job, it WILL be pink though. And don't be surprised if there are some clips of Frozen thrown in too.

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By BKD
26th Mar 2015 11:02

Telephone calls

If the operators are busy I would like to hear an instant message to that effect, rather than waste valuable time drilling through various menus only to be told at the end "We're too busy to talk to you just now. Goodbye." At the very least, give us the opportunity to hold for the next available operator - to be simply cut off is unacceptable.

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By Anne Robinson
26th Mar 2015 11:03

HMRC

What about being able to talk to real people immediately and for that person to know what they are talking about!

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By sylou
26th Mar 2015 11:23

Combine with Companies House

So many client confuse Companies House with HMRC and why they have to submit accounts and returns to both, they may as well combine and save confusion.  :)

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By adam.arca
26th Mar 2015 13:04

God, no!

sylou wrote:

So many client confuse Companies House with HMRC and why they have to submit accounts and returns to both, they may as well combine and save confusion.  :)

 

Companies House works (mostly), HMRC doesn't

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By K81
26th Mar 2015 11:30

allocations!

I suppose it would be too much to ask to go back to the day when tax staff had allocations of "taxpayers" (pre customers!) and you could actually speak to the actual person who would actually deal with your client?

 

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By adam.arca
26th Mar 2015 13:13

Indeed

K81 wrote:

I suppose it would be too much to ask to go back to the day when tax staff had allocations of "taxpayers" (pre customers!) and you could actually speak to the actual person who would actually deal with your client?

 

 

Pre SA, the Revenue broadly operated like a professional firm and things worked (somewhat slowly at times, admittedly). Ever since the Revenue got consultants in and started talking about "workflow" and "process" and all other forms of consultant-speak, the job has gone to pot. I appreciate that we were amongst the most expensive tax administrations in terms of cost to £ of tax collected but I think it was pretty clear even then that this was more due to our complicated tax code rather than administration inefficiencies.

So my fantasy wish would also be a return to local offices, with DIs and teams of inspectors, allocated client lists and operating like a firm of accountants where we could speak to people who spoke our language rather than badly educated flunkies in far-flung parts working with poorly-scoped job responsibilities which allows them to deny that you're speaking to the right person and then transfer you to a non-existent department.

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By sarah douglas
26th Mar 2015 11:51

Go back to Local offices

Hi

They should go back to local offices and have local inspectors.  Get rid of all the call center staff when you ring them is it is pointless.  Teach them how use emails.   Stop sending out letters from various parts of the country saying you have not contacted them, more like their computer system says no.   HMRC is not fit for purpose.   Let local regional offices deal with different regions I bet more tax would be collected.    As local knowledge would be used.

 

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By pugman
26th Mar 2015 12:04

Local offices don't always help!

A few months ago I phoned the local CT office to find out the amount of capital allowances, if any brought forward for a client (the old accountant having provided no information at all).  I was told I would have to write to Companies House for that information.  I explained they wouldn't have it, so in that case I apparently had to write to the Revenue with my query and giving the reason I couldn't get it from CH instead.

I only want to know if they have claimed the full AIA on all their assets, I explained.  His reply?  "What's AIA?"

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By TaxTeddy
26th Mar 2015 13:23

A real website for HMRC

Not part of the omnishambles that is Gov.uk

Hang on a minute, didn't we used to have that?

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Me!
By nigelburge
26th Mar 2015 13:27

"What would it look like to you?"

Very, very small and a very long way away.

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By GuestXXX
02nd Apr 2015 21:50

.

 

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By andy.partridge
26th Mar 2015 15:30

Split them up

Return to Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise

Inland Revenue used to be full of grey but polite civil servant types. When they merged with the cynical and battle-hardened 'kick the door down' types from Customs and Excise there was only one culture that was going to pervade.

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By A mum and an accountant
27th Mar 2015 12:02

People you can talk tax to! Being easily able talk to someone who knows what they are doing or who to forward the call to, would be helpful rather than you can try this number and another long wait.

I also like Sheepy306's idea of a pink website with clips of Frozen thrown in.  Get the next generation of tax professionals interested at a young age!

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
27th Mar 2015 12:30

Carlsberg don't do Tax Department design, but...

Carlsberg don't  do Tax Department design, but if they did......

(Insert most of the above thread)

 

 

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By GuestXXX
02nd Apr 2015 21:51

.

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By SimonLever
27th Mar 2015 12:42

The list could be endless...

The list could be endless but here it goes:

- do not have a telephone system where you have to talk to a machine. If you don't want me to talk to you then don't have a phone number. Or at least give me the option to press buttons. Do you appreciate how embarrassing it is to shout down a phone in a busy office with 4 staff about something that should be private.

- have a secure e-mail system, like a portal, so that communications can be quicker.

- when the firm is authorised online make sure it covers all of the communication preferences for that particular tax, not " ...well your online authorisation is for online only, if you want us to be able to speak to you then you will have to get your client to fill out a 64-8"! Yes, I have had numerous ones of these over the past few months, especially PAYE

- give a direct link to a web site that works for agents. I do not want the dumbed down version of .Gov where you get small bits of information on a page and then have to go to the next page to not get the information I want.

- Get some staff who know what they are talking about!

- Explain why Brighton tax office is now in Glasgow.

- Get all of your IT systems to work and to talk to each other

....

 

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By MC1
27th Mar 2015 15:24

Design the ideal HMRC

One that has absolutely no control over its own destiny.

(Takes some thinking about)

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By SimonLever
08th Apr 2015 15:03

more...

make it easy to find out how to contact HMRC ...  have you ever tried to find the address for the collector of taxes by doing an online search? It takes you to the .Gov.uk site where you can find everything but the address you are looking for!

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