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Has HMRC been infiltrated by aliens?

Just one of the possible reasons for standard of literacy in latest "MTD Update for Agents"

Didn't find your answer?

For once this isn't another rant about MTD itself ... just a reaction to the time I've wasted reading (& re-reading) recent publications from HMRC, like the one referenced above.

Sentences like "We are updating the ASA subscription journey with more service content to help agents understand how the information being supplies is used by HMRC" contain an obvious typo (there are many of these throughout the 10-page document) ... but, more importantly, I've no idea what a "subscription journey" is.

However my favourite (in this Further Updates - Summary of Changes section) is ... "Tax services hidden in expandable accordions so agents can choose what they want to see information on."  Again I've no idea what an "expandable accordion" is (other than what used to be known colloquially as a 'squeeze-box'), but I'd like to order one if it can be used to hide Tax services within it!

The whole thing is littered with this gobbledydook ... e.g. "Improvements to the front-end customer journeys .. a change to the BTA to add a VAT tile, which will allow the customers more functionality for their VAT services"?!?

Is it my age (possibly)?  Or is the communicative aspect of these documents now seen as an irrelevance?

Replies (24)

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By Paul Crowley
26th Mar 2021 14:49

As far as HMRC are concerned I expect only 2 people involved
IT subcontractor trying to explain the extra millions in cost and the Actual HMRC person who spent hours reading it and trying to put into plain English, failed and told the subbie to just stick it on the website cos nobody reads this nonsense anyway.

The more the website is cluttered in complete balderdash, the less is the likelihood that a taxpayer finds something helpful.

Why do I need to tell clients never start searching the HMRC site, ALWAYS put the question in google

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the sea otter
By memyself-eye
26th Mar 2021 14:58

A subscription journey is the travel experience that customers embark upon in their quest for life fulfilment of their inner chakra........

enjoy - it will get worserer

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Replying to memyself-eye:
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By Hugo Fair
26th Mar 2021 15:09

I've never met you but can visualise the contented smile as you continue to count down the days! I'd say 'lucky you', but I'm sure you've earned it. Meanwhile, back in the murky pond the gloom descends (literally and metaphorically).

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
the sea otter
By memyself-eye
26th Mar 2021 16:12

I cannot reveal my public persona- lest my probation officer finds out!

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By Southwestbeancounter
26th Mar 2021 15:09

Ha ha! What a load of utter rubbish!

I actually Googled 'expandible accordion' as I was intrigued and got the expected info on musical instruments etc but also this:
https://design-system.service.gov.uk/components/accordion/

So it appears that a lot of that is written in design language for computer programmers not for accountants or the general public/business owners at all!

Hope they enjoy their subscription journey before they touch base with HMRC customers!

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Replying to Southwestbeancounter:
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By Open all hours
26th Mar 2021 17:50

And therein lies the whole problem. Accountants are last in line for consultation when a whole new tax service is being designed.
Cart and horse come to mind.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
26th Mar 2021 15:34

Language like that is always a cover for people who don't understand what they are doing and cant write.

The higher the buzzwords ratio the lower the brain size of the author.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By Paul Crowley
26th Mar 2021 16:05

+1
A bit like negative reserves

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By frankfx
26th Mar 2021 15:35

Does Jim Harra proof read the missives, launched in his name?

"ASA subscription journey'

What phrases were rejected, as part of the continuous improvement quality assurance Oddesey , before that one was plucked from the Hectortheshorous of Ambiguity?

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Routemaster image
By tom123
26th Mar 2021 15:37

Notwithstanding typos, I can kind of see:

Tile = part of screen to be clicked on.
Accordion = some kind of virtual file structure or tree.
Journey = development route.

Even so..emperors new clothes.

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Replying to tom123:
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By Gone Sailing
26th Mar 2021 18:36

tom123 wrote:

Even so..emperors new clothes.

Apostrophe! ;)

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Replying to Gone Sailing:
Routemaster image
By tom123
26th Mar 2021 19:45

or many emperors!

(oh, and sorry - !)

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RLI
By lionofludesch
26th Mar 2021 15:37

Surely all accordions are expandable.

That's how they work.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
the sea otter
By memyself-eye
26th Mar 2021 15:53

Didn't Honda make an Accordion?

Maybe not.
Anyway my real ale delivery is imminent, I must uncouple my spiritual self - so I can embark on my journey of inner fulfilment!

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By Paul Crowley
26th Mar 2021 16:10

"Tax services hidden in expandable accordions "
So an absolute exemplar description of HMRC thought processes

We have tax services: what shall we do with them?
Find a way to hide them

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By northernmonkey
26th Mar 2021 16:30

I had completely the same thoughts when i read it! Can't stand this modern 'management speak'.

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Replying to northernmonkey:
the sea otter
By memyself-eye
26th Mar 2021 17:23

It's not modern: remember when staff went on 'bonding' week-ends involving ex SAS types who believed staff had to build a bridge in as river 'oop norff' from two bits of old tree to "Gell"?
years ago I went a company paintball day out - all the staff wanted was to gun down (in a colourful and painful-for me- paintball way) the 'bosses'

The company still went bust.

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Replying to memyself-eye:
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By Carole Baldwin
28th Mar 2021 15:51

The only "bonding" on the one course I attended took place after a night in the bar when managers who had left their wives at home attempted to "bond" with all the young female employees.

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By Whatisname
26th Mar 2021 17:46

I am just so glad to be retired!

To those of you still having struggle with this load of rubbish - my thoughts are with you...

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boxfile
By spilly
27th Mar 2021 07:42

Isn’t there a Plain English society or similar that gives awards to the best & worst companies and public bodies? Maybe we could nominate HMRC for this - it might help to make them aware of how carp they have become.
I bet Jim Harra wouldn’t put that trophy on his Zoom-bookcase background.

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Replying to spilly:
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By Jo Nokes
27th Mar 2021 08:26

You are correct, it’s the Golden Bull award, among others. The winner makes HMRC seem like an amateur

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By Carole Baldwin
28th Mar 2021 15:47

You are not supposed to understand, merely obey without question. HMRC will interpret legislation to suit themselves no matter how absurd their interpretation is. I concluded years ago that HMRC's recruitment policy consists of finding the least intelligent, most incapable, most unqualified and useless person for every roll, and give them the job.

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Replying to Carole Baldwin:
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By Hugo Fair
28th Mar 2021 18:04

Is that why the sandwiches at their meetings tasted so awful? : )

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Carole Baldwin
28th Mar 2021 19:20

Probably British Rail excess stock. Those sandwiches had probably travelled to Scotland and back six times before you got them.

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