False economy for HMRC to use 2nd Class post


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This basically shows total incompetence by HMRC. 

Anthony Dennison v The Commissioners for HMRC - Find case law - The National Archives


Replies (6)

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David Winch
By David Winch
08th May 2024 12:42

I know of an important letter from HMRC dated 27 March 2024 which was received on 5 April 2024. To be fair there was the Easter weekend, so if we exclude Saturdays and Bank Holidays the working days were 28 March and 2, 3, 4 and 5 April.
So if we assume the letter was posted the day after it was dated then it did arrive on the fourth working day after posting.
The letter required significant action to be completed within 30 days, i.e. by 26 April 2024. In this case within 21 days of receipt of the letter.
It is unfortunate that HMRC apparently have no system for routinely either posting such correspondence by first class post (or even emailing), or allowing further time for the matter to be dealt with.

Thanks (2)
Replying to davidwinch:
By FactChecker
08th May 2024 23:31

You're either being extremely generous in your model of the actions performed by HMRC upon your 'important letter', or you've stumbled upon an area in which most unusually they have improved their performance.

For most of the last 30+ years, the chances of a letter reaching the GPO (as was) within a week of the letter's 'date' was close to zero ... I could never get a single definitive flow of the procedure, but it involved being sent to the print-room and then later (after signing) given over to the manual post-handling system staff who would perform arcane rituals before eventually delivering large batches to the back door of their local(ish) sorting office for delivery in the outside world.

Obviously the technology has changed, but have HMRC's processes speeded up?

Thanks (2)
Replying to davidwinch:
By FactChecker
09th May 2024 16:07

Well the postie's just been ... and I can confirm (on a random sample of 1) that you have NOT stumbled upon an area in which most unusually HMRC have improved their performance.

It was only a 'Notice to complete a SA tax return' (although the postie hissed at it when he saw the HMRC logo emblazoned on the proverbial brown envelope) ...
BUT the letter is dated 06 April 2024 - and was delivered today, 09 May 2024!

BTW the footer has a ref to HMRC 11/23, so it took them at least 5 (maybe 7) months to get from agreeing the wording to sending it to the print-room.

Thanks (2)
Ivor Windybottom
By Ivor Windybottom
09th May 2024 12:36

I've just seen a Notice to file a TR for a family member. The Notice is dated 6 April, but was not received until 7 or 8 May.
I don't believe 6 April is actually the date when the letter was generated, but by repeatedly using false dates it undermines the credibility of all dates used by HMRC.
Alternatively, if the Notice was genuinely printed on 6 April then it brings into question how quickly letters leave the HMRC print room, notwithstanding their use of second class post.
I've seen better run drinking events at breweries!

Thanks (2)
By More unearned luck
09th May 2024 14:44

HMRC acknowledge their own shortcomings in SAM10020 when in comes to deciding if notices of appeal have been timely made:

"In practice, to allow for the print and issue of Notices of Liability, 37 days should be allowed from the date the charge is recorded on the taxpayer record. For tax years 2009-10 and earlier, the time allowed is 35 days."

rather than 30 days after the date on the notice of assessment etc.

Thanks (2)
Replying to More unearned luck:
By FactChecker
09th May 2024 16:10

Just as well that today's NTF (see above) wasn't a Notice of Liability then ... or their generously extended deadline would've left me with max of 1 day to reply!

Thanks (3)