In sheer frustration at HMRC total incompetence on a range of matters/clients I wrote to my local MP prior to the delay announced for MTD-ITSA. Within 16 days (unbelievable I know) I have received a response from HMRC 's director for MTD. I would like to share some of his comments/thoughts/views with you all.
With regard to removing the Agent's helpline during the first lockdown his comments were:
"We recognise that due to high volumes of calls to our helplines in the last year, some people have had to wait too long to get through. We are taking action to improve this, with the aim of bringing our service back to our usual delivery standards.
We have trained Customer Service Advisors to work from home, increased our operating hours on many of our phone lines, and offered quieter opportunities to get in touch by phone before 10am and after 4pm. We have also been using our resources flexibly to maintain our telephony service, moving staff in from other business areas."
So it is good to know that 18 months later HMRC are taking some action. Did anyone find that ringing before 10am or after 4pm met with any greater sucess than ringing between those times? Personally I tried ringing HMRC at 0800 on several occasions to be told that due to the volume of calls, they couldn't answer my call and to try ringing back some other time, at which point the line went dead! I don't think I am the only one who experienced this.
"We are also continually improving our digital services, so customers and agents can get the advice they need without having to call us. We offer a webchat service across many service lines, and a range of digital services are available through the Personal Tax Account, Business Tax Account and Agent Service Account to better able people to self-serve.
That is why MTD is so important. It is the first phase of our move towards a modern, digital tax service, fit for the 21st century. It supports businesses through digitalisation and provides a digital service that many have come to expect in their everyday lives. MTD helps businesses reduce common errors in their tax affairs and allows for better customer interaction and guidance through digital prompts and nudges."
Are any of HMRC services currently fit for the 21st century?
"There is a growing body of evidence, from research and insights from businesses already operating MTD for VAT, that shows these businesses see a range of benefits. These include an integrated approach to business administration and tax and spending less time on administration."
"Making quarterly updates under MTD for Income Tax is not the same as making quarterly tax returns. Software used by businesses to keep digital records will use those records to automatically create a simple summary of business income and expenditure. For most businesses and landlords, MTD for Income Tax will simply mean that they need to keep digital records, submit four light-touch quarterly updates during the year, making any necessary adjustments through their end of period statement, as they would do currently through their annual tax return."
So there it is, four light touches are all that is required. I really don't know what all the fuss is about!
How far removed from reality are these people? I have suggestetd to this HMRC director that he posts a questionnaire/query on this forum and then he can see the response from people who actually have to deal with HMRC for a living on a daily basis. He might be shocked!! Any suggestions?