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.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Retrospective VAT on Adult Books


Oh dear, those of you with a passion for adult colouring books may need to get your stocks in now lest HMRC slap VAT on them.

The Telegraph reports that HMRC is pushing for VAT to be introduced on the sale of adult colouring books, and for the tax to be applied retrospectively.

Since VAT was introduced in Britain in 1973 children’s books, which includes “sample pictures for copying or outlines of pictures for colouring, painting or drawing” have been zero-rated. However, HMRC is arguing that these books are clearly marketed for adults, and therefore VAT should be levied.

The question is, at what level of intricacy should colouring books be deemed as “adult"?

Michael O’ Mara, chairman of the country’s biggest publisher of colouring books, said:
It is our view that this decision flies in the face of the relevant legislation. We and other publishers, following the lead of the Publishers Association, are fighting this decision and we hope that HMRC, on reflection, recognise that they have got this wrong.
VATable or not, the fact that HMRC is considering making the charge retrospective should ring alarm bells very loudly indeed!


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, 23 May 2016

HMRC Customer Service Consultant Job Advert


My thanks to a loyal reader, who sent me a link to an HMRC job advert for a customer service consultant in Stockton-on-Tees.

According to the advert it pays £20K per month!

I have posted the full job advert at the end of this article. However, aside from the fact taxpayers are not customers, there is something else that is a little flaky about the advert.

My loyal reader points out that a jobholder would expect to work no more than their contracted hours for the year, and expect to balance any peak working periods and/or long working days with corresponding time off.

The jobs advertised are full-time and will be on a five out of seven day contract including Saturdays and Sundays. The customer service centres are open 8am to 10pm, seven days a week. The working pattern will fall within these times. The work will be a combination of daytime and evening shifts; this may include three late shifts per week. In addition work on Saturdays and Sundays will be on a rotational basis.

What is left unsaid in the advert, in the opinion of my loyal reader, is that the candidates must jump through hoops to even get an interview for a call centre job that is not called a call centre job because it is based in a "normal" office.
  • The hours worked will be those that current HMRC staff won't work, hence HMRC is trying to get rid of these "non flexible" staff without the cost of redundancy. 
  • Tax knowledge is not essential, 5 weeks training will just about get the applicants through the many, many software programmes they will be required to use simultaneously over two monitors when on the phones.
  • The priority is to keep the phone waiting times out of the media.
  • Calls will be monitored and "customer service" is not required.
  • Never ask the taxpayer ‘if there is anything else you can do for them’.
In the event that this sounds like the job of your dreams, then here are the details in full:




Job ID
30137870
Posting Date
19/05/2016
Company
HMRC
Location
UK-Yorkshire-Stockton-on-Tees
Industries
Government and public sector
Job type
Full time
Career level
None
Salary
18,415.00 - 20,074.00  per month
Pension schemes are available and more information will be provided to successful candidates.
Hours of Work
Flexitime
Annual hours

HMRC

Customer Service Consultant

Job description

Must Read:
Please ensure that you read The Candidate Pack attached to this vacancy before you apply.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority. We do much more than just collect tax as we administer benefit payments, pay out tax credits as well as collecting tax.

As a Customer Service Consultant you will:
• Handle incoming calls from customers effectively and efficiently;
• Identify, record and resolve customer complaints or issues professionally;
• Use various computer systems to update/maintain and create customer records accurately;
• Handling some more complex queries and issues, making sure they are all resolved quickly and efficiently;
• Provide accurate information in a professional and helpful manner by collecting and assessing relevant data and information from various sources such as departmental guidance, customer records/systems, managers and other relevant business units;
• Process electronic work & digital information;
• Reply to internal messages;
• Be responsible for identifying your own learning needs;
• Help with general administrative duties.

To do this we will require you to have good
• IT skills – you will need proficient basic skills in using a range of computer systems including Microsoft Windows & Office and be able to navigate comfortably around internet based programmes.
• Communication skills – You will need good communication skills both verbal and written.

Full training is provided so that you have an in depth knowledge of the services, which you will be providing, to enable you to positively contribute to the customer experience.

Successful candidates must be able to commit fully to their initial training. Training will last up to 5 weeks and requires full time commitment between 8.30am and 5pm.

Operational Delivery Apprenticeships:
Within this recruitment campaign we also hope to be able to offer a number of apprenticeships to successful applicants. There will be opportunities in each of the location(s) listed above.

If you accept an offer of an apprenticeship you will be on the same pay and terms and conditions of employment as Customer Service Consultants, and will enjoy the same benefits whilst also benefiting from being able to study for an internationally recognised qualification.

Competencies
You will be asked to supply evidence of meeting these competencies when you apply.
1.    Delivering at pace
Benefits
Pensions
may be available for successful candidates.
Things you need to know
Security
Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
Successful candidates must pass .
Nationality statement
Candidates will be subject to requirements as well as .

If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.
Selection process details
Selection will be by Test, Sift and Interview.

After submission of your application you will be invited to complete an online test that takes up to 25 minutes to complete. Example questions are available once logged in. Please complete the online test at your earliest convenience as you will have until midnight on 02/06/2016 to submit your completed test. If you fail to complete the online test before the deadline your application will be withdrawn.

We do not require any formal qualification for this role, however you will be asked to take standardised tests in both English and Maths

If there are more candidates than roles available a sifting exercise will be undertaken based on the Delivering at Pace competency that forms part of the application.

During your application you will be invited to take an online Civil Service Initial Sift Test (CSIST) as part of your application – please see the candidate pack for more information.

If you are successful at the CSIST Test you will be invited to complete a standardised online test in English and Maths. Should you be successful at this you will be invited to attend an interview.

At interview candidates will be asked situational questions that test the competences Delivering at Pace and Managing a Quality Service with the competence leading and communication assessed through consideration of candidate's performance at interview

The following competencies will be tested at interview. Please see candidate pack for more information:

Delivering at pace
Managing a quality service
Leading and communicating
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.
Nationality requirements
Open to UK, and and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available .
Eligibility
Candidates in their probationary period are eligible to apply for vacancies within this department.
Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's . There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
Apply and further information
Contact point for applicants
For further information about these roles please contact:
info.ptrecruitment@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk
Online Test Deadline Instructions
Please complete the online test at your earliest convenience as you will have until midnight on 02/06/2016 to submit your completed test. If you fail to complete the online test before the deadline your application will be withdrawn.
Online Test Deadline
2 Jun 2016
Sift/interview dates and location
Sift dates to be Confirmed

The interviews will be held in a Government office and will take place from 27th June onwards.
If successful and transferring from another Government Department a criminal record check maybe carried out.

Working pattern

These posts are full-time and will be on a five out of seven day contract including Saturdays and Sundays. Our customer service centres are open 8am to 10pm, seven days a week. Your working pattern will fall within these times.
You will work a combination of daytime and evening shifts; this may include three late shifts per week. In addition you will work Saturdays and Sundays on a rotational basis.
The working patterns will be flexible and subject to change in line with business needs; we will ask you to work a variety of shift patterns between the office opening hours detailed above, but we will not make any changes without giving you a suitable notice period. We would normally tell you two or more weeks in advance.

A jobholder would expect to work no more than their contracted hours for the year and expect to balance any peak working periods and/or long working days by corresponding time off.

Further information
Over the next 10 years HMRC will be reducing the number of its offices and will be located in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Croydon and Stratford. There will also be a small number of offices where we will retain some specialist roles in Dover, Worthing, Gartcosh (near Glasgow) and Telford, as well as our headquarters in central London. If you are recruited into an office that is not one of these locations, you will be expected to move to one in the future.

Some of HMRC Terms and Conditions of employment changed on 1st May 2013, these will apply to people who are new recruits to HMRC or who take a new job in HMRC on promotion. The document attached to this advertisement provides more information on the changes we made, please note this is not a full list of HMRC's terms and conditions. If you need to discuss how these changes might affect you, please contact the vacancy holder. For further information on terms and conditions please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/about/recruitment#annual-leave

If you are currently working for an OGD and would like to consider the impact on your pay when joining HMRC, please see the attached document "Pay on Transfer from OGD" for further information.

Working for HMRC
If you would like to learn more about HMRC, please visit our YouTube page HMRC.gov.uk and search Tax Facts: About HMRC

Please ensure that you read The Candidate Pack attached to this vacancy before you apply.

A reserve list may be held for a period up to 3 months from which further appointments may be made.

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"

Friday, 20 May 2016

Stand and Deliver


As taxpayers know, when it comes to tax nothing is ever as simple as it first may appear.

This lesson was learned by savers who earn cash bonuses from their bank accounts. In a simple view of the world these payments would surely be counted as interest, and therefore eligible for the £1,000 tax-free allowance.

Would they not?

Ermmm..no, sadly not.

HMRC contends that bonuses from bank accounts are ineligible for the £1,000 tax-free allowance, because the rewards are classed as 'annual payments' (not interest) and are as such fully taxable.

What the state gives with the one hand, it takes with the other!

Here endeth today's lesson.

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"

Thursday, 19 May 2016

ATT Calls For Postponement of Quarterly Digital Reporting


The  Association of Taxation Technicians has called upon HMRC to postpone the introduction of quarterly digital reporting by at least a year.

For why?

Apart from the fact it will quite clearly be a dog's dinner that costs companies a large amount of money and time when trying to comply with the State's demands for data, the five consultations planned for the project have been postponed because of the EU referendum.

As such the results of the consultations will all land on HMRC's desk all in one go.

What chance will HMRC have of digesting and acting on the results of the consultations?

That being said, does anyone think that HMRC has the slightest intention of listening to what taxpayers think about this?

Anyhoo, here is the text of the ATT press release:
Press release: HMRC urged to postpone quarterly digital reporting by at least a year

The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) is calling on HMRC to postpone the introduction of quarterly digital reporting by at least a year after the announcement of a delay to the consultation process because of the EU referendum.

The appeal by ATT is after the announcement this week that the five expected consultation documents on Making Tax Digital will now be postponed until after the EU referendum. The first of these consultations was initially expected in early April. The ATT has consistently raised concerns that the existing timetable is overly-ambitious.

This delay is likely to mean that all five consultations will be issued in one go with simultaneous deadlines, rather than in stages, in order to maintain HMRC’s ability to launch a public testing phase by April 2017. This will restrict the time that interested parties will have to fully respond to each one in as much detail as will be required for a project with such a fundamental impact on the tax system.

Yvette Nunn, Co-Chair of ATT’s Technical Steering Group, said:
“The Making Tax Digital Project represents the biggest change to the way taxpayers will engage with HMRC since the introduction of PAYE in 1945 and, according to a recently conducted survey, will require around 82 per cent of self-employed individuals to change the way they currently keep business records. 

Furthermore, with £1.3 billion of taxpayers’ money having been approved for spending on this project, it is imperative that it is handled correctly as the risk of embarrassment to both HMRC and the Government if this goes wrong is huge.

“If we assume that all consultation responses will need to be submitted by say, the end of September to keep to the timetable of an April 2017 public testing phase, then we believe that it will be impossible for HMRC to adequately consider the views and constructive points raised in each consultation in just this six month timeframe. This will have a detrimental impact on the eventual design of the digital system and will impact on HMRC’s ability to have the whole digital system ready to use, not to mention how it will have time to build the add-on systems needed for those who will need assistance to comply and those who are digitally excluded.

“Whilst we can understand the decision by Ministers to delay the issue of the consultations until after the EU referendum, we strongly believe that HMRC needs to recognize the impact of this delay by revising the timetable for implementation by at least one year. This would then allow the consultations to be released in phases, with staggered submission deadlines, to allow more consideration of all of the issues.

“Rushing ahead with this project without allowing adequate time for the consultation and testing phases could put at risk the many potential benefits for taxpayers and HMRC which greater digital working can bring. That would be a tremendous mistake and in a worst case scenario could result in a system that was not fit for purpose.”


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, 18 May 2016

The Ballad of Ty Glas Tax Office


My thanks to the loyal reader who posted this comment on the article about the closure of Ty Glas:

Saddened to learn was I, probably like so many others, of the proposed demise of the Ty Glas Open Prison.
 
Alas, no more will the sympathetic and supportive management 'encourage' staff to attend work when the Police are advising nothing but emergency travel be undertaken given the predicted blizzards.
 
No more will staff have to exit past the post room (other exits are available) when suspicious parcels are therein.
 
The delightful female car park 'Stasi' operator will no longer be able to waste time staring out of the window to report those travelling the wrong way around or parking badle (at least she was consistent).
 
No more will the kitchen cleaning rosters have to be drwan up and adhered to or be punished. (must wonder how long before a toilet cleaning roster was introduced?)
 
No more will anyone threaten disciplinary action for writing on a disused whiteboard (suitable pen of course).
 
No more will staff have to sit at desks in overcoats, hats and scarves in the winter because their office is so fecking cold! (that's the problem when a building contract ends up with staff in a room formally occupied by main frame systems and a very high ceiling)
 
And don't mention the fire brigade threatening to close the building down because the fire doors couldnt stop a pike in a poke and also blew ajar during high winds.
 
Yes, I am sure the staff will miss this edifice when they transfer.
 
I for one am prepared to make a contribution to a charity for the absolute pleasure of pressing the red button - (preferably with a few of the Muppets still in there) - a joke of course, but I am prepared to pay for the joy of pressing that red button and watching the House of Horrors drop...

Lovely place to work, my arse!

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, 17 May 2016

SA316 Poll


A loyal reader has asked me, out of academic interest, to ask other loyal readers the date on which they have received a 6 April 2016 SA316.

He is curious as to what the latest date will be.


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"