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What gives HMRC call centre handlers the right to

demand to know why my client doesn't want to use a Personal Tax Account?

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Just rang Them to make a claim for Marriage Allowance.  The couple concerned are not SA, just low PAYE income pensioners.  Danielle, the madam who answered the phone, demanded to know why client wasn't claiming through PTA, she was most insistent - she NEEDED to have a reason why!  I asked if this had any bearing on the claim: apparently she wouldn't be doing her job if she didn't ask. 

Told her I make a few of these claims, never had this issue before, and would simply call again to speak to someone normal, which I did.  

Replies (19)

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
09th Apr 2018 13:05

I would have pointed out she will be out of a job if all clients used the PiTA

Thanks (1)
Bramble
By Chris.Mann
09th Apr 2018 13:21

As you've found it, it depends which way the wind blows within HMRC.
Some you win, some you lose.
Consistency and HMRC is a true oxymoron

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By K81
09th Apr 2018 14:43

I have had several arguments with HMRC over clients opening personal accounts.
HMRC seem to have vastly overestimated the amount of people who are happy to put all their personal information online.

Thanks (6)
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By Cheshire
09th Apr 2018 15:08

Gawd I thought the last one I had was bad enough. Sighed for England every two seconds and then cut me off!

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By Mr_awol
09th Apr 2018 17:37

Just make something up:
- They haven't got a computer
- They don't want to
- They don't understand it and are paying me to sort it out for them.
- They only speak Klingon. I've asked them your question and they said "Jih will hoh tlhih"
- It's Monday
- You make my job as miserable as you can on a daily basis. It's payback time
- Because my taxes pay your wages
- Because they are old and he's a veteran. Now show some respect damnitt
- I'll be your best friend if you do

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By Matrix
09th Apr 2018 18:54

Your third bullet is the reason I give HMRC. Clients engage an agent so they don't have to deal with this stuff.

Thanks (10)
Replying to Matrix:
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By atleastisoundknowledgable...
09th Apr 2018 19:05

Try telling HMRC that. We’re the reason that most tax returns are filed so late, if you remember.

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Replying to Mr_awol:
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By nikki_h
10th Apr 2018 19:19

I have this argument regularly. Apparently my client paying me to handle his accounts isn't a good enough reason for hmrc to tell me any information!

If only we had access to the same data that our clients would in their personal accounts. It would make life so much easier!

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By sarah douglas
09th Apr 2018 20:27

Hi
When I feel I am getting nowhere with an operator thank them for their time and help and say I will have to speak to client and ring back on another occasion as get an operator who is helpful it is hit and miss with HMRC.

It is the best way to stay calm as the HMRC always think they are right so continuing the conversation sometimes is pointless and eats into my billable time.

It works and keeps me calm when speaking to them as it is not their fault more that the operator has been badly trained

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Replying to sarah douglas:
By SteLacca
13th Apr 2018 10:59

I don't support this approach at all. Why would I want to reinforce their mistaken belief that they are correct and helpful.

And I find venting my spleen at them from time to time helps my calm in the rest of life.

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By vinylnobbynobbs
13th Apr 2018 10:24

Tell them that your client is Amish.

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Replying to vinylnobbynobbs:
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By andy.partridge
13th Apr 2018 17:10

Ah yes, different department for Scottish taxpayers.

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By C.Y.Nical
13th Apr 2018 13:08

Tell them that the client has a disability which prevents them from using the PTA and that if they obstruct you now or in the future you have a standing instruction from the client to commence proceedings against HMRC under Part III, s.21b of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. If they ask what the disability is say that you are prevented from releasing that information by the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679. If they waste any more time inform them that under Regulation 5 of the Reimbursement (Time Charged Scale Fees) Regulations 2003 you are entitled to charge HMRC for your wasted billable time if they do not deal with the matter immediately.
(I made the last one up).

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By pippa
13th Apr 2018 16:23

Thank you for these replies everyone, given me a good giggle! Sorry Polly, but you do have to laugh....

(PS I particularly liked 'tell them I would ... speak to someone normal')

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By Mr J Andrews
13th Apr 2018 20:33

Call Centre ? It used to be called the Agent's Helpline.
It would be interesting to know how many of these [tax] ignorant personnel are now in the system. Replacing HMRC qualified staff with these Danielles etc simply didn't work.
But Emperor in need of New Clothes won't hear a word of it.

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Replying to Mr J Andrews:
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By Matrix
13th Apr 2018 20:53

It is not Danielle's fault that it is one of her questions to ask. HMRC's customers are always on their smart phones so they don't see why we wouldn't want an app to check our tax.

My bank and certain suppliers often ask if I want an app to check my balance etc. (I only use Ocado and Maps).

Even the lady in Lloyds always asks whether I want help to use the automated paying in system but I go to the counter and tell her that I need her to have a job as I don't want this branch to close like my local one. Or maybe I should do a Danielle and tell my client to get online banking instead of paying me by cheque.

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Replying to Matrix:
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By atleastisoundknowledgable...
14th Apr 2018 00:02

“tell my client to get online banking instead of paying me by cheque.”

Well the 65p/chq will go towards keeping the Lloyds branches open.

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By Digit Dabbler
16th Apr 2018 07:57

Use the unchallengeable - they tried to set up a PTA but they failed the ID check.

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By atleastisoundknowledgable...
16th Apr 2018 08:22

Say they can’t have their finances online due to their job. When you’re asked what that job is, say you could tell them, but you’d have to kill them.

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