Member Since: 8th Feb 2007
13th Jan 2022
The sad thing is - Is anyone surprised?
It certainly doesn't sound like it.
Does the ICAEW actually check on these people or is it a nod and a wink because they are too big to question? Or even worse members of the relevant committee. It sounds just like politics. Very dodgy.
There is also now very much a question of conflict of interest - perhaps auditors should not provide other services to clients of this size, or indeed any size.
12th Jan 2022
A very interesting discussion with many good points raised but underlying it is surely the inability of HMRC itself to do its job properly.
HMRC ignores the thousands of small taxpayers whose accounts are fairly obviously wrong. They say it isn't worth the cost to pursue them so they and their friends and colleagues continue to back pocket part of their earnings, and claim benefits because they are strapped for cash.
HMRC think they are unimportant - too little to bother about. But if I were HMRC and saw a sole trader with an income of £15,000 a year whose postcode and address suggested he lived in a £600,000 house I would think there just might be a point in asking a question or two.
Trouble is though too many computers and not enough trained staff so it isn't going to get better and MTD certainly won't help as it will convince HMRC that all is well because it is digital.
It wouldn't bother me but we are paying their taxes for them - the dodgers that is - and so do our many clients on smallish incomes which isn't really very fair - we are also paying the salaries of the HMRC people who sit back and watch it happen and do nothing 'because it isn't cost effective' which translates into 'we can't be bothered as it means work'.
6th Jan 2022
Whichever way you look at it, it seems the answer to the problems we all experience is more trained HMRC staff who know what they are talking about and less computers which, at best, can really only re-direct you to a human of whom there are too few who can help.
I go back a long time in this game and I can remember when the Inland Revenue was an effective organisation staffed with people who knew what they were talking about and who were keen to help the taxpayer do things properly.
A lot has changed since then and apart from the ease of submitting things online most of the changes haven't been beneficial to either them or us. Certainly communication has suffered drastically and, I suspect, so has the ability of HMRC to check what is submitted to them. Computers make this worse not better but HMRC just won't see it, probably because they suspect their own fallibility in terms of trained staff available to do the checking.
A bit of a re-think needed at HMRC but I can't see that happening until it all falls flat on its face. I give it 5 years at most - any takers? Perhaps we ought to run a sweepstake?
5th Jan 2022
Now that has hit the nail firmly on the head. Too much bureaucracy, too many Civil Servants most neither Civil nor Serving.
Too many managers doing little but create paperwork (Just look at the NHS) too many people being put in charge of sections of the economy with no experience of the are which they oversee (NHS again) - too many professional bodies creating rules for people to observe that really see no useful purpose, too many government departments creating more rules to get income from fines to finance their empires (Did I hear the FCA mentioned there?)
Been to a GP's surgery recently? A perfect example of bureaucracy run riot with little evidence of common sense or service to the public.
Tried to deal with HMRC recently? - or with an energy Company who are basically so incompetent that they are lucky to exist.
And it comes down to lack of supervision of too many staff with too little experience of real life. Sounds like politicians doesn't it? HMRC taking on novice employees and having them work from home just about takes the biscuit but they are doing it - small wonder they cannot answer letters or telephone calls.
So the MTD for ITSA is really because HMRC want to sit at home with their feet up and let the computers do the work but still get paid the same. Sounds like too many Civil Service arrangements which we, the tax payers, have to fund, like the pensions which give the CS very good incomes in retirement whilst the workers who actually do work have to struggle with much less.
I could rant on but until the NHS worshipping mentality is overcome nothing will happen except the death rates from non-covid illness will increase.
Happy new 2022!!!!!!
13th Dec 2021
I think you make a good point but you have to look at the cost in terms of money, time and stress.
Many people are just not geared to deal with these matters and can get the paperwork sorted once a year but why do it more? Why do it digitally anyway?
It is utter nonsense to suggest it will be more acurate - most people using digital programs make mistakes which we correct so where is the advantage of digitalisation? It is just a fad of HMRC who themselves are not exactly good at digital stuff.
13th Dec 2021
Logic? You are talking about HMRC - I don't think the word is in their lexicon.
There was a rumour that there was an office of tax simplification but I think it must be another bunch of people we pay to no avail as taxes just seem to get more complicated.
Perhaps the idea is to do away with real people in HMRC (OFAH) and just have computers. That'd be fun wouldn't it?
13th Dec 2021
I mean can you imagine Jim in charge of a car? Pedals, brakes carburetors all mixed up - thank goodness he isn't in charge of HMR.....................
Oh no! It can't be - but it really is.
Nightmare in BX9 street.
But good news - I'll be gone! I'm having none of it!
13th Dec 2021
That's all right then - Jim says all is well - regrettably he probably actually believes it. Still ignores the major problems:-
1. HMRC aren't even up to dealing with post and telephone calls now and haven't been for ages now.
2. Mr Taxpayer at the bottom end of the pile isn't up to dealing with quarterly returns and digital submissions.
3. Elderly taxpayers will have to cope with stuff which is totally beyond their abilities and on a quarterly basis.
4. We accountants are going to be swamped because so many of our clients are not particularly computer literate and will dump the stuff on our doorsteps. So far every one I have spoken to has responded "I'll bring it in to you and you can do it" - well we might cope with the existing workload of clients but where does the staff required for 4 months a year come from to deal with the rest who will knock at the door. And for what purpose? Absolutely none because the information won't be used as it will be far too unreliable - so the only purpose can be to raise taxes by fining people which puts HMRC on the same level as the partying No 10 staff. Unfortunately my name isn't Jack and I'm not alright.
I thought the Civil Service was there to serve the public not bully them. Bad enough with the power mad NHS trying to drive us all into our homes to let them continue sitting on their duffs doing nothing very much but taking time off to vaccinate people at £15 a time whilst not doing other things they are actually paid to do but to have HMRC joining the bully boys because they cannot run their organization efficiently is really a step too far.
9th Dec 2021
That's where we are at.
Taxation by penalties and the little people will suffer most so who will they vote for?
Who will Unite support? HMRC staff - aah! now it becomes clearer it's a ploy to get a different brand of Government that will tax the rich.
This means that everybody will be affected by this nonsense.
9th Dec 2021
I like the idea of a minister to watch over HMRC but what would it achieve? There is obviously no-one competent in HMRC or the Treasury as the system doesn't work now so who would know better?
Perhaps they could scrap MTDfITSA and spend the money getting back the fraudulent loans and incorrect SEISS claims, not to mention wrongful furlough claims which, apocryphally, are huge as people claimed the furlough relief but got their staff to carry on working.
All comes back to the same thing - it isn't their money so why strain to get it back, the taxpayer will pay as usual - still it's nearly time for this year's Christmas party so drinks at the Treasury?
As for shortfalls in the Civil Servants' pension fund the easy answer is to make their funds into what the rest of us have instead of gold-plating them. By the way are we ever going to see real GPs again?
Silly question - why would they bother when they are getting paid for stuff they don't do and we are picking up the tab in terms of tax and paying for their pension funds. (Apologies to those who have remembered that they are a profession, and I know there are some but the others and in particular the Doctors trade union.) Well what can one say that's printable?