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So utterly fed up....

....with HMRC delays

Didn't find your answer?

After being on hold for ages this morning "due to Covid", I phoned to chase up a response to a letter I sent in January 2021 only to be told they haven't received it. Is this now what we have to expect going forward - just all letters going into the Bermuda Triangle? Come on professional bodies - do something - we have enough to deal with without this *carp*.

 

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Jane
By Jane Evans
01st Dec 2021 11:33

I have one of these. I waited 12 months before I chased earlier this week and now they say that they didn't receive it. It's so exhausting trying to negotiate around HMRC's appalling administration.

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By GHarr497688
01st Dec 2021 11:38

Every letter I have sent since July has been ignored. Just doing chase up's saying that we will take court action if ignored and all being sent by recorded delivery. You would think Accounting Web would do something as it would make headline news. Everything to do with HMRC is hidden so the general public don't know. Professional Bodies should be fighting the cause rather than being headless chickens.

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By Leywood
01st Dec 2021 11:50

HMRC have always tried that trick on,now its made worse by the extended wait periods we have to endure. But, funnily enough it doesnt work the other way does it?!

Prof bodies not in the least bit interested neither.

Sad state of affairs.

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Red Leader
By Red Leader
01st Dec 2021 11:56

When I send a follow up letter now to HMRC, I head it up:

THIRD [or whatever] REQUEST

COMPLAINT

The complaint bit does seem to prod a response.

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By Tax Dragon
01st Dec 2021 12:25

Nice to see an appropriate use of an initial 'so'.

So much so in fact that your comment feels like an understatement.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
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By legerman
01st Dec 2021 14:03

Tax Dragon wrote:

Nice to see an appropriate use of an initial 'so'.

So much so in fact that your comment feels like an understatement.

I absolutely hate it. Fortunately only one of my clients uses it inappropriately.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
Scooby
By gainsborough
01st Dec 2021 14:06

*Chuckle*. I am unlikely to use "so" inappropriately as I shudder when someone writes "must of" or "hope your well"...but still not as bad as yesterday on the self-service till at Tesco when my vegetable purchases came up as "tomatos" and "potatos".

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Replying to gainsborough:
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By Tom Cross
01st Dec 2021 14:19

I cringe when visiting, say, a sandwich shop and, Jonny joiner says "can I get ...a ham salad sandwich".

Of course you can "get" anything you like. Why is it so difficult to phrase the request "may I have..............."?

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Replying to Tom Cross:
Scooby
By gainsborough
01st Dec 2021 14:16

Oh yes...me too. I still cringe when I hear someone is "reaching out" too but as everyone around me seems to be using that phrase, I may have to get used to that one!

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Replying to gainsborough:
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By gillybean04
01st Dec 2021 17:02

Reminds me of a Lee Evans skit about the "we attempted delivery" notes left by couriers making it sound like they were climbing some massive mountain.

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Replying to gainsborough:
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By Geoff56
01st Dec 2021 14:16

At least it didn't add an apostrophe to tomatos and potatos.

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Replying to Geoff56:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
01st Dec 2021 15:06

Geoff56 wrote:

At least it didn't add an apostrophe to tomatos and potatos.

Sometimes known as the greengrocer's apostrophe.
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Replying to Tax Dragon:
RLI
By lionofludesch
01st Dec 2021 18:04

Tax Dragon wrote:

Nice to see an appropriate use of an initial 'so'.

[chuckle]

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By Geoff56
01st Dec 2021 12:37

I had to wait a year before being told that an important letter had not been received. (HMRC responded only to my third e-mailed reminder.) Do I believe that my letter was not delivered?..............Hmm

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By claudialowe
01st Dec 2021 13:14

I send everything by recorded delivery to HMRC, and write "RECORDED DELIVERY" below their address. My letters don't get answered any quicker, but at least they can't pretend that they never received them!

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Replying to claudialowe:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
01st Dec 2021 13:35

Will they accept recorded delivery post at CTS, HMRC, BX19 1AX hub?

One advisor I spoke to this week thought not, and another didn't know.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Geoff56
01st Dec 2021 14:05

I've heard that too. But like you, I don't know if it's true or not.

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Replying to Geoff56:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
01st Dec 2021 15:12

I'll give it a try tomorrow and report back.

Trouble is Royal Mail's recorded delivery appears to have reverted to being a signed-for service. (For a number of years it was a "recorded" delivery under a form of "track and trace"; so that when one eventually printed off the Royal Mail delivery confirmation it would simply state, if nobody at the Revenue had added their squiggle, that delivery was made but that "no signature was available").

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Hugo Fair
01st Dec 2021 16:37

Over the last couple of years, I received several letters with the Royal Mail 'Recorded signed for' sticker on the envelope (comes of arguing with the Council I guess!) ... but in not one case had anyone signed for the item - it was merely pushed through my letter-box along with all the other 'normal' mail.
So a waste of money - and no clearer as to whether (in your case) HMRC received it!

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
01st Dec 2021 19:40

Well yes, and even if I were to produce a "delivered" receipt from good old Royal Mail then I suppose that's no tangible evidence of my having successfully landed any particular letter. Might have contained anything at all: a different letter / a cobermplaint letter about HMRC's staff having just been awarded a day off for every Friday in December / a nail bomb.

Best not fall out with the local council, Hugo. Yours truly is expecting fewer Christmas cards this December on account of having supported a local NIMBY green(ish) planning proposal. No cards anticipated from the dissenting 90% of neighbours; although I'm anticipating good wishes from the alternative 10% and, for that matter, the good folk from the planning department.

Rates arrears? Don't even start me on that local council nonsense! No way in this lifetime would I trust any local council to DD any bank account.of ours. Three years ago, when we last upped sticks, our previous local council "team" refunded our time-apportioned overpayment (we'd fallen into the habit of paying the entire year up front) by crediting the due refund to our neighbouring council. You can imagine the resultant confusion. Collectors knocking our (new) door)!

All over the place! Not unlike HMRC's current cough it up or else policy.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
RLI
By lionofludesch
01st Dec 2021 18:07

I'msorryIhaven'taclue wrote:

Will they accept recorded delivery post at CTS, HMRC, BX19 1AX hub?

One advisor I spoke to this week thought not, and another didn't know.

Just type it on the letter and send it second class. They'll throw the envelope away but "Recorded Delivery" will still be on the letter.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
01st Dec 2021 19:55

Uhhu, typing "recorded delivery" on the letter itself sounds like a canny plan.

A practical workaround - and not for the first time I'm rather impressed! You should, needless to say, consider emerging from retirement.

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
RLI
By lionofludesch
01st Dec 2021 20:21

I'msorryIhaven'taclue wrote:

Uhhu, typing "recorded delivery" on the letter itself sounds like a canny plan.

A practical workaround - and not for the first time I'm rather impressed! You should, needless to say, consider emerging from retirement.

Standard penny-pinching tactic here in Yorkshire.

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By mbee1
01st Dec 2021 13:20

Everything sent by "RECORDED DELIVERY" here too. For the extra few pence it costs, it's worth it.

Perhaps we should start complaining more to MP's. That usually starts to open doors.

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Replying to mbee1:
By scrasey
01st Dec 2021 13:39

We do all of ours recorded delivery. Conversation normally goes "not received your letter", "yes you did, signed for on this date by x". "Oh yes, it hasn't been actioned yet, I'll escalate it". followed by nothing. Complained to our local MP, he was understanding but resigned to the fact he couldn't get anything done either. I'm disgusted at our professional bodies. They are not only impotent, but not even interested. I've just paid my annual fees with more reluctance than usual. It's a truly disgusting state of affairs and no wonder so many are retiring from the profession.

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Replying to mbee1:
By scrasey
01st Dec 2021 13:39

We do all of ours recorded delivery. Conversation normally goes "not received your letter", "yes you did, signed for on this date by x". "Oh yes, it hasn't been actioned yet, I'll escalate it". followed by nothing. Complained to our local MP, he was understanding but resigned to the fact he couldn't get anything done either. I'm disgusted at our professional bodies. They are not only impotent, but not even interested. I've just paid my annual fees with more reluctance than usual. It's a truly disgusting state of affairs and no wonder so many are retiring from the profession.

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Replying to mbee1:
By scrasey
01st Dec 2021 13:39

We do all of ours recorded delivery. Conversation normally goes "not received your letter", "yes you did, signed for on this date by x". "Oh yes, it hasn't been actioned yet, I'll escalate it". followed by nothing. Complained to our local MP, he was understanding but resigned to the fact he couldn't get anything done either. I'm disgusted at our professional bodies. They are not only impotent, but not even interested. I've just paid my annual fees with more reluctance than usual. It's a truly disgusting state of affairs and no wonder so many are retiring from the profession.

Thanks (0)
Replying to mbee1:
By scrasey
01st Dec 2021 13:43

We do all of ours recorded delivery. Conversation normally goes "not received your letter", "yes you did, signed for on this date by x". "Oh yes, it hasn't been actioned yet, I'll escalate it". followed by nothing. Complained to our local MP, he was understanding but resigned to the fact he couldn't get anything done either. I'm disgusted at our professional bodies. They are not only impotent, but not even interested. I've just paid my annual fees with more reluctance than usual. It's a truly disgusting state of affairs and no wonder so many are retiring from the profession.

sorry, don't know why this posted 4 times!

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Replying to scrasey:
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By Hugo Fair
01st Dec 2021 16:40

Shame (you not knowing why) ... posting something and having 4 copies delivered would be a useful new service that might make HMRC sit up and pay attention!

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Jason Croke
By Jason Croke
01st Dec 2021 13:26

I have a lot of letters and correspondence that has gone missing.....I'm told that a lot of post was lost when HRMC was moving to their mega-offices, although I can only treat that as hearsay.

We do send everything recorded delivery but I also had heard that HMRC don't recognise or sign for such post and therefore can deny receiving it....although I am now starting to sound like a tin-foil hat wearing crank.

For important stuff - and most of it is important - I send a second copy a week later so that they cannot say they've lost both....appreciate that then means HMRC perceive to have more queries and work then they actually have because of duplicate queries, but then if they responded quickly and didn't continue to hide behind the Covid shield, then we'd not have to send 2nd and 3rd copies in.

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Replying to Jason Croke:
By Michael Beaver
01st Dec 2021 15:13

I heard this directly from HMRC two weeks ago! They closed their original VAT office (I think the Imperial Way, Grimsby) about a year ago, but the address stayed on all of their forms for a significant period of time before they got them changed, and she admitted that it's highly likely that post got lost.

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By rmillaree
01st Dec 2021 13:28

To be fair the scanning stuff at hmrc is normally pretty good - i would recommend always ringing up after 6-8 weeks or so to confirm letter is on file "if the letter is suitably important" - Note i would be doing this more for self protection than anything else as we all know stuff sent to hmrc does vanish - and the hassle of starting something time critical 12 months later and convincing hmrc that they had it in their possession is a nightmare scenario end of. I know its not right that we have to do this but we are where we are in this regard.

Note i do normally when i ring up chance my arm to see if i can get sorted and normally ask that a referal be sent across if i feel client is disadvantaged by undue delay - sometimes chasing can break the system - must admit though they do mostly not like breaking their rigid queuing system where they have the opportunity to hide under their desks for 7 more months - i sort of get the feeling is deliberate ploy to not look at till one day before the 9 month scheduled date they give (that is really poor form if that is true and approved policy) - if its not apporoved policy you would expect them to have "quite periods" where they can catch up on backlog like normal busy places.

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
01st Dec 2021 13:32

Similar situation, HMRC processed 2019 CT600 late 2020 but ignored attached L2P pdf and haven't received the "print and post" hardcopy posted Spring 2021. The L2P reclaim is for the self-same year, and exceeds the CT payable for 2019 - if only someone would process it! Meanwhile, the Collectors have elected to employ the services of an outside debt collector to chase the 2019 CT (even though they are perfectly aware that there is a L2P to more than offset debt).

Pointer 1: The Collector I spoke with recently told me that the majority of HMRC staff are still working from home. Anything posted to the sorting hub at CTS, HMRC, BX9 1AX is distributed to such home-workers for processing. You can see where it's going wrong! Incidentally, does anyone know whether that BX9 1AX hub will accept recorded post? The advisors I've spoken with don't seem sure.

Pointer 2: In order to get the outside debt collector to parle, I requseted they contact HMRC themselves to extend my 64-8 permission to them (the outside collector, that is). To my surprise they did that. Since when I've telephoned the outside collection agency three times, and manage to get a little further each time before being hung up on.

Pointer 3: Charge by the hour for this sort of work! The Revenue's staff are being paid to make a dog's breakfast of this; the outside agency must be on some sort of charging basis (otherwise they'd surely be only too glad to put a halt on any further action, and save themselves the expense); and the client meanwhile is freed up to go about his well-paid business.

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By JCresswellTax
01st Dec 2021 13:35

You guys are being a bit harsh. The guys over at HMRC are doing their best.

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Replying to JCresswellTax:
Scooby
By gainsborough
01st Dec 2021 13:46

No issues with individual staff - the advisor I spoke to this morning was helpful with multiple client queries and I sympathise with the hostility they must face,
but HMRC taking a year to respond to post and/or losing post is completely unacceptable - especially when it doesn't work both ways and we are expected to adhere to strict deadlines as usual.

Plus, I object to the continued use of Covid as an excuse, nearly 2 years later.

The BX9 1AS postcode doesn't appear on Royal Mail's options for 24 or 48 hour tracked which is unfortunate.

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Replying to JCresswellTax:
By scrasey
01st Dec 2021 13:46

I'll try that line next time I appeal one of HMRC's penalties. "you guys are being a bit harsh. Client is doing their best" :-)

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Replying to scrasey:
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By Tom Cross
01st Dec 2021 14:18

My guess is that you send all your letters by recorded delivery (!)

I'm seriously hoping that JCresswellTax was speaking with a large tongue in cheek?

In all of this, one thing's for sure, it won't be much longer before (Sir) Jim Harra can arise. Maybe not this New Year but, who knows? It's been a really difficult 18 months or so, for the public sector.

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Replying to Tom Cross:
By scrasey
01st Dec 2021 16:01

nah, we send the important ones recorded. We do most things digitally now, unless it involves HMRC, who make a big song and dance about going digital but still request most things snail mail. Good ole Jim. I knew he was just what we needed when he said he was proud to be taking over the best tax authority in the world. I'd hoped he was being sarcastic, but sadly not if his recent comments are anything to go by. Either that or he has a warped sense of humour. But hey, why would he care. HMRC were sh*te when he joined, more sh*te when he left and he'll pick up a knighthood for having spent half of his tenure chilling out at home. Nice work if you can get it. can't wait to see what c*ckwomble takes over from him.

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Replying to scrasey:
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By gillybean04
01st Dec 2021 18:12

To be fair, his comments might not be misplaced if that was his phrasing.

Being the best at something doesn't mean you're good. You're just less bad than the others.

Of course, we don't know what measure he's holding them to. Their purpose is to act as the treasury's collector. Perhaps they're really good at that part of it.

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Replying to gillybean04:
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By Hugo Fair
01st Dec 2021 20:07

You've reminded me of an old boss (a boss from the 1980s who wasn't particularly aged then) ... he had decided we needed to have the BS 5750 'badge' but, as usual, hadn't bothered himself with any of the detail. Come the day that the manuals had been created (and the inspection was due to start next week) - and he was asked to make his one contribution ... a pithy slogan ('like a call to arms for all staff'). After a short pause, he said "We're less crap than our competitors" - that'll do!

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By Jigs
01st Dec 2021 14:28

I have a client waiting for a £100k CT refund following an amended return and loss carry back. I am told to wait 15 working days for it be actioned (revised liability not even showing on online account) and that has been the case for 9 months.

It is a disgrace, how can they allow this to happen?

All whilst we have to spend the time on the phone to them for min half hour each time, anyone tried invoicing HMRC for this?

How does everyone else manage this, luckily the client hasn't gone out of business as a result?

If we can our business like this or our clients we would all of gone bust by now!

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Replying to Jigs:
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By SWLondonTax
01st Dec 2021 14:42

I was in the same position with two clients. Tired of HMRC's excuses, I amended and re-filed the previous year's CT600's with the carried back loss. This reduced the corporation tax payable for those years and threw up the credit on their records, which was then refunded to the clients as I included the business' bank account details on the forms. Both were for £2k each though. Probably worth a try in your case as it could push things along - worse case scenario, you are chasing an actual refund and not the carry back to be actioned..

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Replying to SWLondonTax:
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By GHarr497688
01st Dec 2021 15:25

HMRC have hearts of gold helping with Furlough and Grants whilst us fat arsed accountants did nothing !!

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By monksview
01st Dec 2021 15:09

And today they tell us they are reducing the number of hours the CT and VAT phones will be answered, apparently completely closed for 3 days in December. You couldn't make it up.

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By Wanderer
01st Dec 2021 15:18

Email just in. All gonna be sorted, just they won't be answering the phones:-

HMTC wrote:

Update on CT and VAT
Dear customer,
What is happening?
In December, we will run a trial of reducing the hours on some of our telephony services so that we can dedicate the time to work post that has built up over the past year.
To test the approach, we will close our VAT and CT phone lines (with the exception of the bereavement line) on 3,10 and 17‌‌ ‌December.
Why have you done this?
As you know, over the course of the pandemic, we made choices about the work we prioritised in order to protect our essential services and the livelihoods of our customer groups who need it the most. We prioritised the COVID-19 support schemes, the UK’s smooth transition from the European Union and the essential services that keep the tax system running.
We are in a year of recovery and are making solid progress. In the first half of the year, we focused on stabilising our phone services and our tax credits/child benefit services – while we maintained our customs services well within targets and supported the smooth running of the COVID-19 support schemes until they closed in October.
Recently, we’ve been able to move more resources back into our core tax activities now that the COVID-19 schemes have ended, and we’re adding further capacity through temporary recruits (contingent labour).
We are now working through the stocks of post that built up over the past year. We are doing this while keeping our helpline service levels and processing stable, and making sure we are prepared for key events in the coming weeks, like the Self Assessment peak and the introduction of EU full customs controls in January.
By April, we expect to be delivering normal (pre-pandemic) performance on our core service lines – in terms of the work we have on hand, our turnaround times and the running of our real-time channels.
What happens next?
As with any trial, we’ll keep a close eye on our progress, responding to any issues as we go. Towards the end of December, we’ll take a view on what to do next and update you in the first week of January.
Yours faithfully
HMRC

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Replying to Wanderer:
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By GHarr497688
01st Dec 2021 15:24

good of them to tell us they have been ignoring letters. Pity we can't email them or say we can't file Accounts because we have been supporting clients through Coronavirus. The truth is that shut the shop went home and left the Accountants to pick up the mess they thought up. Most taxpayers have had far too much money thrown at them. My blood boils.

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Replying to Wanderer:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
01st Dec 2021 15:42

That's 3 shopping Fridays - 3rd, 10th & 17th - for HMRC's hard-pressed staff. And the other two Fridays in December are Christmas Eve & New Year's Eve (party time!)

Have the Revenue just told us they'll be working a 4 day week this month?

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By Leywood
01st Dec 2021 20:58

Them working 4 days would be a bonus, they are currently only working 3!

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By JD
01st Dec 2021 16:31

....but homeworking and the move to digital services is so (hopefully properly used) much more effective. Just sack everybody and spend too much time listening to slick IT salesmen

We have celebrated this week as a 64-8 submitted in May 21 has finally been processed and somebody at the CT office answered the phone after 42 minutes of the most delightful music (after only the third attempt).

As a profession firm our bodies require us to be suitably resourced for the clients we engage. Where are HMRC ethical requirements to ensure a professional service instead of them wasting fortunes on grand MTD plans that benefit nobody

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RLI
By lionofludesch
01st Dec 2021 18:10

These people think HMRC is a great place to work*.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYv7ahsFp2U

*Or maybe sit around all day sussling tea.

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