HMRCs Agent Update

Thoughts on their advice?

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Good morning guys,

I thought you might be interested in HMRCs Agent Update. They have released some tips ‘for when you must use post’ to get in contact with them. 

Some of their tips include: 

  • Using the right and full postcode on the envelope 
  • Using letter headings so they get to the right department 
  • Adding key topics to the front page so they get to the right team 
  • Only including supporting documents when needed 
  • Not to use the word ‘complaint’ so it doesn’t go to the complaints team 

I know the slow/non-existent responses from HMRC have been a recurring issue on here, so I was interested to see what you all thought about their advice to help with the backlog of post. 
 

Replies (10)

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By rmillaree
29th Nov 2023 09:50

Has no one challenged hmrc on why they dont have an secure electronic communication system with agents (within agent account) that would serve for general stuff where they dont normally accept online forms. Seems crazy that there isnt secure online communication system where stuff could be logged and hmrc could reply without having the hassles of using post an physical addresses - that way we would be doing the hard work of presenting info infront of an hmrc officer ready for them to action - would trust ouyr ability to scan and send something how i like than hmrc's approach to opening a letter.

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Replying to rmillaree:
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By johnthegood
29th Nov 2023 10:05

precisely

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Replying to rmillaree:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
29th Nov 2023 10:45

What and do away with progress chasing as we know what is (or isn't) happening?

Be but a miracle, and hugely reduce HMRC's workload in post and phones.

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By Wanderer
29th Nov 2023 10:56

Molly Macfarlane wrote:

I was interested to see what you all thought about their advice to help with the backlog of post. 

Patronising.
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Replying to Wanderer:
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By FactChecker
29th Nov 2023 11:52

Funny that ... my first thought was "next they'll be telling us to breathe out as well as in".

But we're missing the point, which isn't HMRC trying to help us (or even to improve their lot) - it's all about blame deflection (i.e. why it's *your* fault that we can't cope with your letters). This is their standard technique when they're in the wrong.

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By Truthsayer
29th Nov 2023 12:19

'Not to use the word ‘complaint’ so it doesn’t go to the complaints team'

About half of all letters I send to HMRC are for the attention of the complaints team, nearly always about failure to deal with an earlier missive, so that point is a bit ironic.

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Replying to Truthsayer:
RLI
By lionofludesch
29th Nov 2023 12:53

Truthsayer wrote:

'Not to use the word ‘complaint’ so it doesn’t go to the complaints team'

About half of all letters I send to HMRC are for the attention of the complaints team, nearly always about failure to deal with an earlier missive, so that point is a bit ironic.

I was thinking the same.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
29th Nov 2023 14:31

Its more victim blaming by HMRC, rather than deal with the issues (ie poor service) they blame agents for daring to complain.

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By Tom+Cross
29th Nov 2023 13:08

Seems to me that the problem with HMRC is that they spend more time, stating patronising "pith", when they could just get on and respond to reasonable requests.

My daughter is a ward manager, in the NHS, and from what she says, that organisation has inherited similar management incapabilities.

It could be presumed that the civil service has taken over the asylum and imagines that the inmates haven't noticed.

The current systems are clearly not working but, with ever increasing penalties, within the taxpayer (sorry customer) community, why would you bother to try and find a fix.

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By rockallj
30th Nov 2023 18:08

"And put your winter woollies on when you go out in the cold".
Does HMRC really think that agents do not know this obvious stuff? How patronising.

We write because there is no other means of communication with them.
Poor online service turn-arounds, telephone lines not manned for months at a time.

I agree with every post above, victim / taxpayer blaming by HMRC. Enough already. And when are you going to act on my client's VAT TOGC issue? Simply transfer of a VAT number from ST to Ltd. And this requires months of security checks? Same owner?

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