HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

HMRC Markets The Services of Accountants

Despite HMRC bemoaning tax avoidance schemes devised by "evil" accountants it seems that, according to a loyal reader, it is dead keen that taxpayers use the services of accountants:
"Oh and I was told by managers not to give help to fill in returns. The customer should go to an accountant!!!"
Ooh the irony!

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

HMRC Is Farking Awesome


Well done HMRC, after conducting a survey of 145 people (that's a statistically reliable size isn't it?), it has concluded that it's doing well.

The survey, entitled "HMRC Stakeholder Engagement Research 2014", was carried out by ICM Research Ltd (ICM). Its objective was to:

1. Explore how stakeholders view HMRC compared to previous years, in order to track the impact of its efforts to improve its reputation

2. Evaluate attitudes towards HMRC’s communication and engagement with stakeholders to inform future stakeholder communications

3. Identify what HMRC can do to improve and what its role should look like in the future.

The results indicated that:
"Favourability has increased since last year and is driven, in particular, by close working relationships between stakeholders and HMRC . Those who feel that HMRC listens, understands and responds to their views are significantly more likely to be favourable. Corporate stakeholders, who have more regular contact with HMRC, are generally more positively disposed towards the department....

..stakeholders regularly praise HMRC’s senior leadership team and feel that it is increasingly willing to listen to, and engage with, stakeholders, but cite customer service, the digitisation of services and a lack of dynamism as key weaknesses."
I'm gobsmacked!

Clearly everything is absolutely fine (based on a survey of 145 people).

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Monday, 15 December 2014

Hanging on The Telephone - 29% of Callers Face Delays/Cut Off


Which? has analysed a sample of 100 calls to HMRC in the run-up to the 31 January year end deadline. The analysis showed that 29% of callers seeking advice received an automated message, ie they were put in a long queue or cut off.

Callers were put on hold for an average of 18 minutes, with the longest recorded delay of 41 minutes.

Which? also found glitches with a voice recognition system designed to direct queries to the right department.

Richard Lloyd, its CEO, is quoted by the BBC:
"With large numbers of people soon to be seeking help with their self-assessment tax return, we want to see HMRC doing more to monitor and improve their call-waiting times." 

An HMRC spokesman, using the "C" word, said it receives more than 40 million calls a year:
"We know that some of our customers can struggle to get through on our helplines at very busy times.

This isn't good enough, and we are working hard to improve the range of services we provide.

This year we are introducing new technology to help us answer more calls quicker at busy times, and we are improving the digital services we offer so that more customers can find all they need online.

There is more to do, and we are committed to improving the service we offer all of our customers at all times."
The sample cannot be called "representative":

1 It was a mere 100 calls.
2 It was taken at the busiest time of the year.

However, as loyal readers (staff and non staff) have stated on this site, there are issues wrt calling HMRC call centres throughout the year. It is a situation, as HMRC moves towards ever increasing centralisation, automation and staff cuts that will most likely worsen.

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A Question of Residence


Last week I wrote about a government "concession" wrt an EU VAT rule that will come into force 1 January 2015, regarding VAT registration requirements for firms selling digital services:
"HMRC conceded that while micro companies are still obliged to register for VAT in the UK to use MOSS, they will no longer be forced to charge UK VAT on their domestic sales."
All very well and "flexible" of HMRC and the government, maybe.

However, I also noted:
"The thorny question of proving online where someone actually resides is of course another matter!"
Fear not, HMRC have covered that and (of course) have made things a lot more complicated for the hapless SME's selling digital services.

As per HMRC:
"When you provide digital services in the circumstances below, you can presume that the location of your consumer is as specified below. If the service is supplied:

  • through a telephone box, a telephone kiosk, a wi-fi hot spot, an internet cafĂ©, a restaurant or a hotel lobby, the consumer location will be the place where the services are provided - for example, the member state where the phone box/kiosk etc is located
  • on board transport travelling between different countries in the EU (for example, by boat or train), the consumer location will be the place of departure for the consumer’s journey
  • through an individual consumer’s telephone landline, the consumer location will be the place where the landline is located
  • through a mobile phone, the consumer location will be the country code of the SIM card
  • through a decoder, the consumer location will be the postal address where the decoder is sent or installed
Where one of the presumptions apply, you’re only required to retain evidence showing the relevant place (for example, the place where the decoder is installed).

However, if you choose to, you may rebut the presumption using alternative evidence. To support this decision you’ll need to collect and to keep 3 pieces of non-contradictory commercial evidence. If you’re providing digital services in circumstances not listed above, you’ll need to support your decision about the consumer’s location by providing 2 pieces of non-contradictory commercial evidence."
All clear?

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

HMRC Guns For Solicitors

HMRC has now focused its gimlet eye on solicitors, via an initiative to collect unpaid tax from the profession.

HMRC is offering improved settlement terms to solicitors who volunteer information about any tax that they owe, offset by the threat of enhanced penalties for those who do not comply.

Taxpayers have until March 9 to declare their participation in the campaign, and then must disclose and pay their tax debts by June 9.

Caroline Addison, head of campaigns at HMRC, is quoted by the FT:
those who make a deliberate decision not to pay the taxes due could face a penalty of 100 per cent or more of the tax due, or even a criminal prosecution.
Fiona Fernie, a partner at Pinsent Masons, said:
I suspect they are targeting smaller, owner-managed practices where, like anywhere, there is less red tape.” 
In other words HMRC is going after easy to pick low hanging fruit, instead of going for large sums owed by the more powerful.

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"

Monday, 8 December 2014

HMRC Goes For a J Arthur


The hard pressed pub trade has just had another kick in the nuts by the state, courtesy of HMRC.

This is Money reports that thousands of publicans have been sent letters by HMRC demanding they pay back money originally returned to them as VAT overpayments on slot machines.

Some of the demands, which are also being sent to other leisure outlets with slot machines, such as bowling alleys, amusement arcades and railway station cafes, run into thousands of pounds.

This is as a result of a long-running battle between casino operator Rank Group and HMRC over whether or not VAT should be paid on slot machine income. It was first settled in favour of Rank Group, meaning that HMRC refunded the group more than £30 million and started paying out refunds to other slot machine operators. However, HMRC successfully appealed the decision in October last year and is now writing to reclaim the payments.

One publican is quoted:
This could cause serious problems for some publicans, many of whom earn less than £15,000 a year and who would have problems finding the money. Many have gone bankrupt and are still being chased for the whole sum.’
The farce is going to continue, as Rank Group is appealing the most recent verdict, with a court hearing set for April.

This is of course precious little comfort for cash strapped publicans.

Tax does have to be taxing.

Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations

Insurance to protect you against the cost of enquiry or dispute with HMRC is available from several sources including Solar Tax Investigation Insurance.

Ken Frost has negotiated a 10% discount on any polices that may suit your needs.

However, neither Ken Frost nor HMRCISSHITE either endorses or recommends their services.

What is Solar Tax Investigation Insurance?

Solar Tax Investigation Insurance is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.

To find out more, please use this link Solar Tax Investigation Insurance



HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"