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Recent weird HMRC experience - is it just me?

Randomly selected by HMRC re PAYE operation resulted in nonsensical completion letter

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HMRC recently pulled me out of their hat for an investigation. No problem with that at all. They wanted certain information, which I provided. The first tranch of info was a long questionnaire which made me realise that I certainly was not the type of target desired. They replied and asked for more information. At their behest I sent them a Veracrypt locked usb as the data on it related to payroll and my bank accounts. I enclosed a letter with my contact details for the password and waited for a call, but a few weeks later a letter arrived saying that they had concluded their investigation and this is the weird bit, they asserted that I had told them that I had provided my (one) employee with certain benefits which I most certainly don't! Has anyone else had an experience this peculiar recently?

I'm sure that it is part of the attempt to catch people raiding the Covid-19 pot illegally but they only have to look at my history for pity's sake. It is depressing to think that we are paying some nitwit's salary for this waste of time.

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By the_drookit_dug
13th Sep 2021 13:17

Not had that scenario- however they seem adamant that my tax code should have a £500 adjustment for personal health insurance just because I received it from an employer 5 years ago.

I've not received any such benefit since, and no P11Ds have been returned showing such an amount, but it keeps on reappearing.

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Replying to the_drookit_dug:
By Hugo Fair
13th Sep 2021 15:15

Obviously I don't know the nature of your (employment) relationship with that employer - or even if they are now an ex-employer. But it is feasible that:
* They've never notified HMRC of an end-date for your employment with them (so you are treated as still being employed there albeit with zero earnings); and
* They were accounting for that BiK under 'payrolling' (rather than the year-end P11D process) - and have not notified HMRC of cessation of provision in your case.

The combination of those 2 pieces of ineptitude would generate the result you've been experiencing ... but then so would HMRC incompetence, so who knows!

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By JamesDS
17th Sep 2021 13:14

I see a constant stream of HMRC dumbassery. Recent examples being a refusal to issue a CN (several reasons given including something called "dip sampling", although this might have been a typo for "dipshit") and refusal to update a coding notice on the basis that the electric car was sold in 2016 and was no longer a benefit.

All humour aside, the calibre of staff over there has dropped so drastically since the merger with C&E that it's near-impossible to get a consistent position from them across more than one contact.

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