Member Since: 6th Jan 2003
2nd Aug 2021
HMRC does employ quite a number of accountants - but much further up the food chain so that the humble VAT officer rarely is graced with their support. Also, the prevalence of desk based VAT audits means that the current average VAT officer rarely sees a real business in action. Gone are the days of the local VAT officer visiting businesses at least 5 times a week, so that they learned their patch and the various trade classes within it. The way Corporation Tax, VAT and RTI interact is still a mystery to the average HMRC Officer, all these years after formation of HMRC. That said, there are a few brave souls willing to cross to the other side to learn how the other half works.
25th Jan 2021
This is my take on the current situation. Since the creation of HMRC, the number of employees has almost halved. Most of those leaving were trained and experienced staff, replaced by an increasing reliance on call centres staffed by young and inexperienced agents working to crib sheets and no effective back office support. Those experienced staff who remained were often moved to taxes quite alien to them, as the mantra was to move the work not the staff. This was compounded by new IT systems being outsourced to companies with no practical experience in the work of government, let alone tax collection. The loss of Child Benefit data compounded the stagnation in development of modern communication methods, coupled with centralisation of receipt and despatch of mail for a disparate collection of taxes. "Customers" often pay more than one tax or duty, each of which require different registration and unique tax references which may or may not be correctly recorded on correspondence. Those that have headed HMRC include few who have any background in taxation, business and accountancy practice. And I am sure my AW colleagues could add more to this tale of woe.
23rd Feb 2020
What I find hypocritical is that property development is far worse for the environment than stopping reimbursement of subsistence claims including meat. Vegans and vegetarians relying on imported foods to give them a balance diet, and eating foods like soya and avocado that have introduced monocultures and destroyed forests in the process, need to rethink how to live their ethics.
4th Nov 2019
Probably because such communications are sent by third class mail to save costs. It can also take 10 working days from HMRC creating a letter to it being posted, so I've been told.
25th Oct 2019
Paying a living or ethical hourly wage does not equate to a full time living wage when so many low paid people are on zero hours or part time working contracts. So benefits (via UC) will still be needed, unless employers are obliged to employ staff full time (and all staff are willing to work full time).
13th Sep 2019
Amend letters? Years ago I queried why giving a taxpayer's tax reference would help HMRC improve its quality, as well as pointing out the appalling structure of the letter setting up a compliance visit to a client. I was told that it was too expensive to amend the form letter...
6th Jun 2019
The voicemails that I received sounded quite menacing, threatening execution of an arrest warrant if I didn't press 1! So many people are not aware that HMRC would not do this. I wonder if these scams also occur elsewhere in Europe or in North America?
23rd Apr 2019
Does this mean that the NES team will no longer go out to visit vulnerable clients who need face to face support? Not that previous interaction with NES team (in 2015) was much use as the officer that visited a relative was from a VAT background and not equipped to deal with the clearly outlined personal and partnership tax issues for which the visit was requested. Only one of the two year's tax repayments were forthcoming as the tax officer did not understand that there had been losses from the partnership (sole source of income) in 3 consecutive years. Relative gave up as tax officer did not answer their follow up letter or reply to calls to the "personal" mobile phone number.
20th Mar 2019
The tax take figures from campaigns need to be broken down to understand what is actual money in the bank including penalties and interest collected, and what is "future revenue protected". The latter is a multiple of the additional tax identified, based on an assumption about the extent to which the circumstances in which the additional tax identified may recur. FRP could be as much as 5 times the original additional tax identified.
14th Mar 2019
That's a different can of worms. I heard of a beach café that claimed the whole beach as its premises to mitigate exempt income from its attached amusement arcade.