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, 31 March 2015

HMRC's Grim RIPA

PAC has criticised HMRC's use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (Ripa) to examine the belongings, emails, internet search records and phone calls of their own solicitor, Osita Mba, and the phone records of his then wife.

The justification of the use of these powers by HMRC was that it wanted to find out if Mba had spoken to the Guardian’s former investigations editor, David Leigh.

A report by MPs on the Commons public accounts committee praised Mba for exposing the “sweetheart” deal and called for further scrutiny of HM Revenue’s use of Ripa powers.

As per the Guardian:
We consider that HMRC’s use of powers, reserved for tackling serious criminals, against Mr Osita Mba was indefensible ... HMRC should tell us when it makes use of the powers granted to it under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act against whistleblowers from within HMRC.”
When HMRC turns on its own people, it seems to display a rather nasty streak! 

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, 30 March 2015

Tax Avoidance Hypocrisy


It seems that Labour is instructing local parties to "minimise" tax when buying and selling properties, which is kind of ironic given that Labour has previously claimed that “no measures” have been taken “to reduce our tax liability.”

Labour’s Property Handbook, distributed to local parties, is quoted by the Telegraph:
"It is therefore essential that professional advice about all property transactions is sought early...so as to optimise the use of tax exemptions and relief."
Good to know that a party that has whinged so much about tax avoidance (just as the Tories and Liberals have done too), not only proactively seeks to reduce its tax liability but recommends that the advice of tax professionals is sought.

Politicians are hypocrites!

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, 27 March 2015

Tax Relief - Simples!





A report from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) says that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) underestimates the number of tax reliefs and does not properly count their cost.


PAC also notes that HMRC does not check sufficiently to see if the reliefs are being abused.

As per the BBC HMRC lists 398 reliefs, but the Office of Tax Simplification has counted 1,140 that the committee says cost more than £100bn a year in forgone tax.

That is all very well, maybe, but it is Parliament that writes the law that makes the system so farking complex and confusing. Therefore it is Parliament that needs to address this issue!

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, 26 March 2015

The Joys of Low Hanging Fruit - SME's Are Not Treated Equally


As per AccountingWeb, PAC pushed HMRC this week on its treatment of SME's.
"After Hartnett, Edward Troup appeared before the committee. In his opening statement, Troup heralded the HMRC’s success in lifting the veil on Swiss banking secrecy.

“In the early 2000’s banking secrecy seemed impregnable, the idea that this secrecy could be breached was unthinkable,” said Troup. “From 2018, we will get information from Swiss banks automatically, not just on command.”

“And what are you doing now?” asked Hodge, cutting Troup short. “It’s always the future; I’m interested in the now.”

“We have quintupled the number of prosecutions for tax evasion over the last five years,” said Troup.
“How many were small businesses?” asked Hodge. “What we’re interested in is equality of treatment, SMEs aren’t treated equally.”

In reply, Troup said that he wouldn’t go into operational detail and that it was “perception” that SMEs are treated differently from large enterprises.

This drew the ire of MP Richard Bacon. “It is not merely a perception – it’s a fact that the way small enterprises are treated is different,” he said. “For you to sit here and claim that it’s perception makes you look rather out of touch.”

Troup remained defiant, saying that HMRC has to "put some effort into enforcing compliance among SMEs, they represent £15.1 bn of our tax yield"."
In a nutshell, SME's are low hanging fruit that are easy targets. Hence HMRC uses them to hide its general ineptitude elsewhere.

Whilst it is all well and good to give Troup and HMRC a public dressing down, what will be the tangible outcomes wrt HMRC's treatment of SME's.

None I fear!

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, 25 March 2015

Gauke Speaks



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, 24 March 2015

Mr Fixit


Dave Hartnett quoted by the Telegraph at yesterday's PAC:
"I was approached to join a committee looking to make the bank secure for the future after its difficulties in Mexico and Switzerland. The idea of helping to make a huge bank secure for the future appealed a lot for me."
Job done!

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"

Why Our Tax System Is Shite!



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 March 2015

A Nice Little Earner

Whilst HMRC is set to get rid of automatic £100 fines for late submission of tax returns, the downside is that a points system is being considered whereby the more penalty points you clock up the higher the fine.

The fine could be as much as £2000.

Let us trust that HMRC don't make any mistakes when levying such fines.


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"

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Hodge vs Hartnett



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 March 2015

Digital Tax Accounts


Kudos to the loyal reader who has effectively summarised HMRC's plans for digital tax accounts:
"Everyone will get a blank piece of paper from HMRC headed 

1 What do you earn? 

2 Send it 

(Digitally of course)"
Nailed it!

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 March 2015

Chancellor Nixes Annual Tax Return


Chancellor Osborne announced in the Budget 2015 speech that the annual tax return will be phased out within five years.

The theory being that HMRC will instead collate the tax affairs of taxpayers from employers, banks, investment firms and other third parties into a single, digital tax account. For businesses, HMRC and Companies House will be streamlining the process to register a new company and sign up for taxes by May 2017.

In addition, the government will consult on a new payment process to enable tax and NICs to be collected through digital accounts instead of self-assessment.

By early 2016, all of the UK’s 5m small businesses and the first 10m individuals will have access to their own digital tax account.

The Chancellor said the move will reduce the time it takes to deal with HMRC from an average 40 minutes a year to 10 minutes. The changes will mean receipts and documents won't have to be collected by taxpayers throughout the year.

David Gauke is quoted by AccountingWeb saying that this is one of the "biggest ever changes to the way that people manage and pay their taxes".

Maybe so, but the key question is will it work and what about those with negligible access to the internet?

Views and comments welcome!

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 March 2015

Tax Simplification



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"

HMRC Morale at Rock Bottom


Ashdown Group reports that research by Bloomsbury Professional recently found that morale is at rock bottom at the HMRC.

The research found that 45% of all HMRC staff feel that they are overworked, up from 35% a year ago. 


Over three-quarters (76%) said they do not feel they are well-managed. 

The majority (80%) of the staff feeling underpaid.

Happy Budget Day!

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 March 2015

HMRC Recruiting New CFO

HMRC is looking for a new chief financial officer to replace Simon Bowles, who is leaving after six years in the role. As noted on this site, Bowles gave six months notice last October.

The salary is up to £180K.

HMRC is looking for a “highly credible and influential leader” who has a “demonstrable track record of leading a broad range of services” within a large and complicated organisation.

An HMRC spokesperson is quoted by economia:
"The chief financial officer is an integral role on HMRC’s Executive Committee. It is essential that we get the strongest field of candidates possible, from both the public and private sectors, so that we can select the best candidate for the job. 

We have worked closely with the civil service commission to ensure that any appointment is open and transparent – meeting civil service rules. 

We have also spent time ensuring that the selected executive search company tasked with finding candidates for the role is the right one and fully understands the requirements of HMRC."
Applications for the position will close on 31 March, here is a link to the advert.

Does anyone know where Bowles is going?

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, 16 March 2015

Automatic Fines


As per This is Money:
"Why does the tax inspector impose a blanket £100 fine for late tax returns?

I fell foul of the rule this year, when January 31 landed on a Saturday.>It was quite clear from the date my cheque was cleared that HMRC had received it by the Monday.Presumably, however, nobody was working at the weekend so they could not tell what had come by Saturday and what by Monday.

It is daft to fine people the same regardless of whether they are 24 hours, 24 days or even many months late.
£100 means nothing to large numbers of taxpayers but everything to little businesses like mine struggling to survive"
It transpires that, according to the site, after some weeks, a letter and several lengthy phone calls to HMRC it conceded that the late payment had a ‘reasonable excuse’ and removed the penalty.

That being said, leaving it to the last minute to pay by cheque was tempting fate to say the least!

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, 13 March 2015

Building Our Future - Touchdown Sites


The Daily Post reports that HMRC is looking at the possibility of axing its site at Wrexham Technology Park, with the 383-strong workforce potentially moving to a centralised office in Liverpool or Manchester.

Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams wrote a letter to HMRC last month asking questions about future plans for the service in Wales, and has now received a response detailing proposals for new regional centres.

As part of its ‘Building our Future’ programme, HMRC has earmarked Cardiff as the centralised base for Wales with services at Wrexham being moved to England. It says more detail will be available by the end of this year.

An HMRC spokesman said:
HMRC is seeking to transform our shape and size. We’re bringing our IT and infrastructure right up to date and want to draw most of our teams closer together in a smaller number of large, modern, adaptable regional centres. These centres will be supported by a UK-wide network of smaller specialist and touchdown sites.

We have already shared our early thinking that Cardiff is the most suitable location for a regional centre in Wales. As far as Wrexham is concerned the nearest regional centre is more likely to be Liverpool or Manchester depending upon where individuals live but no firm decisions have yet been made. 

Initial details were sent to MPs and Assembly Members in October last year and we will be continuing to keep MPs and Assembly Members informed as this work progresses.

Ultimately, the changes that we are making mean we will be able to deliver even more for our customers, for the taxpayer, and for the UK.
What pray tell is a "touchdown site"???

Anyone???

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, 12 March 2015

Oops! - Gone Phishing


Web security company M86 Security Labs, which is now part of TrustWave SpiderLabs, is inadvertently helping fraudsters to carry out phishing attacks claiming to be HM Revenue & Customs.

Read more here.

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, 10 March 2015

HMRC Okays HSBC Peerage

It seems that HMRC failed to tell Downing Street about evidence of serious misconduct at HSBC’s Swiss arm despite being asked to vet Stephen Green, the executive chairman of its parent bank, over his suitability to join the House of Lords as a government minister in 2010.

The Guardian notes that HMRC confirmed only Green’s personal compliance with UK tax laws while clearing him for the peerage. It did not inform the government that it was in possession of thousands of secret account files from the Swiss bank, which implicated HSBC in tax evasion and other potential criminal offences.


For why?

Dave Hartnett, HMRC’s then head of tax, said:
HMRC is asked to provide an indication of reputational risk for appointments of peers in relation to their tax compliance history only.”
Fair enough, maybe.

However, one would have thought that a little "blue sky thinking" and imagination by HMRC would have spurred it to point out that there may be problems down the line with the bank and the peerage.

Does this mean that HMRC lacks initiative and imagination, or does this mean that HMRC was simply trying to keep a lid on things?

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, 9 March 2015

HMRC's "Evasiveness"

Judge, Mr Justice Henderson, has given HMRC two weeks to decide whether to put allegations of dishonesty to directors of media firm Ingenious in a court case to decide if its film investment schemes broke tax avoidance rules.

Ingenious vs HMRC is a tribunal case which will determine whether Ingenious’s film finance schemes, in which dozens of top business figures and celebrities put billions of pounds, were illegal or a legitimate investment scheme.

Mr Justice Henderson has said HMRC must give Ingenious details of any allegations of dishonesty it might make within two weeks. As per This is Money he noted that there had been ‘a recurrent theme of assurances’ given to the court by HMRC that it was not alleging fraud or dishonesty by Ingenious, though he said HMRC had given ‘the impression’ of ‘ambivalence, even at times evasiveness’ on this issue.
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, 6 March 2015

HMRC Fixes Postal Problems


My thanks to a loyal reader who posted the following comment, wrt a message posted by Dorothy Brown (PT Operations Director) to HMRC staff yesterday:
"More rearranging of the deck chairs, this is a message put out by Dotty Brown today:

As part of my commitment to keep you regularly updated, I wanted to let you know about our latest preparations to get HMRC ready for the new tax year.

As you know, for most of this year we've prioritised work on phones to ensure we're there for customers calling us for advice and support. With the new tax year just around the corner, we are joining up with other business lines over the next few weeks so that we start 2015-16 in the best position across all of our work - phones, ‎post and work management.

In the next few days, around 400 colleagues from Enforcement and Compliance (E&C) will start to work with us to allow more of our people to concentrate on post and work management. Those in Local Compliance and Debt Management and Banking from East Kilbride, Edinburgh, Livingston and Newcastle will be helping to support HMRC customers while staying in their own business lines. I'm grateful for the speed at which E&C colleagues have responded to meet customer needs, particularly during such a busy time.

This is all part of HMRC's approach to working flexibly to support our customers where and when they need us, as we have done in the July and January peaks. I'm sure you will support these colleagues as you have during other peaks of work over the past year, and I'll keep you all updated as this work progresses.

Dorothy.
"
How nice to see that HMRC is so responsive to the issues (ie Postal Delays) raised on this site!

Thus we can be assuaged that the postal problems are now solved!

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, 5 March 2015

The State Supports Avoidance


Contrary to what the politicians would have us believe, the state very much favours tax avoidance (until, that is, its avoidance measures enter the public domain).

As per the Telegraph:
"Two Government departments have been fined and 100 NHS bosses and civil servants have been fired after the Treasury discovered that staff were being paid “off the books” through companies. 
Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, fined the Ministry of Defence and the Department of Health a total of £1.5million after it emerged that they were not doing enough to stop staff being paid through companies and potentially reducing their tax bills."
Quel surprise!

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, 4 March 2015

Guilty Until Proven Innocent - Concentrix Makes Up For Lost Time

On Sunday I noted that Accountancy Age, on the very same day as my article about Dearnley, wrote about outsourced tax credit Concentrix staff in Belfast being paid millions (approx £72M) to do nothing for three months as a result of a systemic HMRC IT failure.

Concentrix were tasked with checking up on erroneous or fraudulent UK working tax credit payments.

Clearly worried over the time wasted, Concentrix are now applying themselves with gusto to the task and have gone for a spot of fishing. As per the Independent:
"When Mary Folwell got a letter from HM Revenue & Customs last month, she put it to one side assuming it was just a standard reminder that her tax credits would be renewed.
When she got round to opening it, she had a shock. It was actually from an HMRC-appointed agency named Concentrix – and it accused her of living with someone and threatened that unless she could prove otherwise, her tax credits would be stopped within 30 days.

"It said they had evidence to suggest that I was living with someone, which sent me off into panic mode," Mary, a 55-year- old pre-school teacher in Bristol, told me. "I separated from my husband two years earlier and had moved into a small flat on my own. There really has never been anyone else here."

The letter threatened that if Concentrix did not hear from her by 24 February, "we will stop your tax credit". "I only get £15 a week," explained Mary – "which may not seem much but it's crucial to my budget. If I lost that money, I would really struggle."

She's not alone. Tens of thousands of people – mainly single mothers, it seems – have been targeted with similarly bullying letters. The letters are not only frightening, but their demands are needlessly onerous. In short they demand that people supply almost all their personal details to prove some spurious suspicions that HMRC may have. Failure to do so within a couple of weeks means losing out on essential cash for which they are eligible."
This is corroborated by a loyal reader, who commented yesterday regarding postal delays:
"......and better.......have heard that working tax credit disputed overpayments post is so far behind that they are starting to send out "shortened" response letters not explaining anything but just telling the taxpayer to pay up.

Quality customer service !!
"
Low hanging fruit are the easiest to pick, especially when using the tactic of guilty until proven innocent!


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, 3 March 2015

HMRC's Postal Delays


In November 2014 I quoted Ed McKeegan (Director of HMRC Estates and Support Services) extolling the benefits of HMRC's "digital" postal procedures (as he announced the closure of various post rooms):
"HMRC's digital transformation is improving the service we offer our customers, and post handling is now at the forefront of those changes with the introduction of post scanning by Personal Tax (PT), which contributes around 70 per cent of RPR work. For PT, the introduction of post scanning means they can reply to customers more quickly, with the ability to send post to any desktop, in any office, in an instant we won't need to spend time sorting or transporting it."
Fast forward to March 2015, and a loyal reader advises me that all is not well in HMRC's brave new world of "digital" post handling.

I understand that hardly any post is getting worked in PT Operations.

For why?

Apparently so many offices are now flex sites, that the staff are on the phones all the time. Thus, for instance, letters dated September are only now being answered.

The scanned post is all waiting to be processed and dealt with, but staff are on the phones instead.

Late self-assessment tax returns, many of which have been sent back for correction, have been logged in as received in December, but the figures are still not captured. Therefore no statements have been produced, and taxpayers wanting to pay can not be given an accurate amount.  There are various work lists with thousands and thousands of items on them. 

I am advised that there is a tool that telephone staff can click on to get an estimate of when a taxpayer will receive a reply to any correspondence they have sent in. Why not try ringing up (general information will be given without taxpayer details, just ignore the automated questions) and ask about a fictitious letter you posted in December, and see what the reply is!!!!  

Thus my question is this, if most of PT Operations are now Flex sites and staff are always on the phones, who is left to actually to deal with the mail?

Answers anyone?

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"

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Three Year Managers For Ten Year Projects - Dearnley's Binary Revolution


My thanks to the loyal reader who penned this most excellent analysis about Dearnley and the "binary revolution" in HMRC:
"Dearnley is a probably being economical with the actualit√© like so many members of HMRC’s Ex Com.

The constant shouting of the word 'Digital' to describe their IT strategy should immediately ring alarm bells since by their very nature all the Departments computers have been digital (ie using binary compiled code) since the date the Inland Revenue bought their very first LEO machine second hand from Joe Lyons in the 1960s. As a consequence the Revenue could claim to have digitised most of its work decades ago. It would be nice to see such obvious bullshit occasionally challenged at places like PAC.


More seriously, while Dearnley frequently likes to boast about his speedy roll out of Windows 7 to all HMRC desktops he negelects to mention that in the process it has broken loads of applications, created many problems and generated thousands of lost man hours of work

With regard to the problem of 'legacy' systems Dearnley seems to fail to understand or deliberately ignores the basic issue that all IT applications fall into that category the moment they hit the live metal and start running in anger. It does not matter whether they are 5 minutes old or 5 years old they all have to be maintained and they all face the issue that the software and hardware on which they were designed and run is sooner or later out of date. Moreover, political events and changes to legislation will mean the functionality is going to have to be constantly updated and enhanced.

It is certainly true that HMRC over the years has wound up with a huge IT estate running a wide range of different platforms, operating systems and applications. However, the people largely responsible for that situation are not the Revenues IT suppliers but the Board of HMRC itself, including individual like Dearnley and Pavitt who have constantly changed the core IT strategy. For example, a few years ago the mantra coming out of Ex Com was that HMRC was to buy not build its software so they invested massively in various proprietary COTS packages, many of which were costly and often incompatible with the Revenues needs so had to be expensively customised. Now the pendulum has swung completely the opposite way and HMRC now are betting the whole shooting match on Open Source systems and bespoke applications written in house. That punt may come off but it is a very high risk strategy particularly as much of the software being used is largely untried and unproven for running major government systems and the in house HMRC 'Digital' Teams in Newcastle and elsewhere have no experience of delivering and supporting systems on that scale. In addition, there is the very real worry that Dearnley appears to be funding his ambitions by stripping out investment in maintaining and supporting the existing legacy estate which still runs 99% of HMRC systems. If his grand schemes come to nothing then the Revenue could end up with the worst of all worlds with new systems not fit for purpose and old applications needing costly large scale upgrades to keep them running.

The suspicion is that Dearnley who spent a mere three years at Vodafone before cutting and running to HMRC in 2013 will do exactly the same thing to the Revenue when his contract expires in 2016. Unfortunately, by then HMRC may find its IT has been well and truly scuppered.
"
Ironically Accountancy Age, on the very same day as my article about Dearnley, wrote about outsourced tax credit Concentrix staff in Belfast being paid millions (approx £72M) to do nothing for three months as a result of a systemic HMRC IT failure.

Let us trust that Dearnley (if he is actually competent) doesn't regard this as merely a two/three year stepping stone role on his career path.

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"