HMRC finally ahead of schedule ...

... in their inventive lexicographical efforts

Didn't find your answer?

Those of you lucky recipients of Jim Harra's email today headed "Goverment support for businesses affected by Omicron", but who only gave it a cursory read, may have missed the latest entries in their lexicon:

Apparently "shuttering" now means 'shutting', and "pausing" now means 'stopping' - at least in the cases of Telephony and Webchat services, respectively.

One interesting aside is the 'revelation' that 

Webchat is effective when we use it to answer simple queries, which supports customers to use our digital services. 

Supporting customers with complex queries has proven to be inefficient – for example supporting PAYE .. payments in Child Benefit and Registrations in VAT.

... so pausing most of webchat for three months from Tuesday‌‌ 4‌‌ January 2022" will presumably lead to an increase in efficiency?

 

And the latest missive (an open letter from the Treasury to the Office of Tax Simplification) from Lucy Frazer (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploa...) introduces more advanced versions of Orwell's doublespeak:

* (the Treasury) review recommends that the OTS “undertake a project to articulate its approach to and interpretation of ‘tax simplification’, including clarifying its aims as an organisation, and the success measures for assessing its progress ... aka 'you need to justify your continuing existence'!

* the report also raised wider questions about policy issues. As a result, after careful consideration of your recommendations, the Government has decided not to proceed with any changes at the moment ... aka 'keep your hands off policy, that's our domain'.

 

I'm sure they, like us, feel that they're labouring like Sisyphus ... so let's cut them some slack in 2022 - like they're honourably duty bound to do in return!

Replies (13)

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By bernard michael
23rd Dec 2021 09:53

Hugo Fair wrote:

Those of you lucky recipients of Jim Harra's email today headed "Goverment support for businesses affected by Omicron", but who only gave it a cursory read, may have missed the latest entries in their lexicon:

Apparently "shuttering" now means 'shutting', and "pausing" now means 'stopping' - at least in the cases of Telephony and Webchat services, respectively.

One interesting aside is the 'revelation' that 

Webchat is effective when we use it to answer simple queries, which supports customers to use our digital services. 

Supporting customers with complex queries has proven to be inefficient – for example supporting PAYE .. payments in Child Benefit and Registrations in VAT.

... so pausing most of webchat for three months from Tuesday‌‌ 4‌‌ January 2022" will presumably lead to an increase in efficiency?

 

And the latest missive (an open letter from the Treasury to the Office of Tax Simplification) from Lucy Frazer (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploa...) introduces more advanced versions of Orwell's doublespeak:

* (the Treasury) review recommends that the OTS “undertake a project to articulate its approach to and interpretation of ‘tax simplification’, including clarifying its aims as an organisation, and the success measures for assessing its progress ... aka 'you need to justify your continuing existence'!

* the report also raised wider questions about policy issues. As a result, after careful consideration of your recommendations, the Government has decided not to proceed with any changes at the moment ... aka 'keep your hands off policy, that's our domain'.

 

I'm sure they, like us, feel that they're labouring like Sisyphus ... so let's cut them some slack in 2022 - like they're honourably duty bound to do in return!


Yes but they won't
Thanks (3)
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By Hugo Fair
24th Dec 2021 16:30

Well that'll teach me not to use long/obscure words in my posts!

Aside of trying to provide the opportunity for a little pre-Christmas fun ('see how many other examples you can find of HMRC inventing words/phrases that sound more palatable than the message they're communicating') ... I'm surprised that no-one's concerned about the 3-month cessation of Webchat services?

Anyway, wishing a happy (and relatively restful) break to one and all.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Homeworker
30th Dec 2021 10:53

My own, limited, experience of webchat (admittedly not with HMRC) was that it was a complete waste of time. I think a robot was answering, as they did not understand the question, despite my rewording it three times!

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Replying to Homeworker:
Morph
By kevinringer
30th Dec 2021 10:58

I think it must be the same robot that is used for the voice unrecognition system that answers the phone and never puts me through to the correct department.

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Replying to kevinringer:
By Paul D Utherone
30th Dec 2021 20:09

I remember being at a tax conference a few years back where there were some technology displays, and one had a connection to the HMRC webchat robot, with a small prize for anyone that could as a question that got an answer other than "I am afraid I cannot help you with that". The prize remained unclaimed after three days IIRC

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Replying to Homeworker:
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By Clare Beazley
31st Dec 2021 12:14

Interesting. I have used webchat several times (Corporation Tax, PAYE and IHT) and found it to to be the quickest way to get something resolved, once you can actually contact an adviser.

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Replying to Clare Beazley:
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By Latinaid
31st Dec 2021 16:01

Clare Beazley wrote:

Interesting. I have used webchat several times (Corporation Tax, PAYE and IHT) and found it to to be the quickest way to get something resolved, once you can actually contact an adviser.

I agree. It's almost impossible to get an agent (for SA, I've found the only time is literally as the clock ticks over from 07:59 to 08:00, and even then you have to be quick) - but if you do get an agent, I've found them knowledgeable, and they are generally able to action things straight away. Much better than hanging on the phone for hours and then getting someone who doesn't understand the question.

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By sammerchant
30th Dec 2021 11:44

Where DO they find these idiots?

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Replying to sammerchant:
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By Hugo Fair
30th Dec 2021 12:18

Careful ... these are not just *any* idiots, they are crafted by an environment that rewards obfuscation ahead of achievement.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By sammerchant
30th Dec 2021 12:26

I thought you were going to say "These re not just any idiots, they are HMRC idiots!" (with apologies to M&S !!)

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Replying to sammerchant:
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By Paul Crowley
30th Dec 2021 12:57

+1

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By Arbitrary
30th Dec 2021 12:58

The only time I tried to use web-chat the response was that it wasn't working.

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Replying to Arbitrary:
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By Hugo Fair
30th Dec 2021 17:13

Well there you go then ... for three months (starting on Tuesday‌‌ 4‌‌ January 2022) there will not only be an increase in efficiency but of consistency - as the webchat service ceases working altogether!

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