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, 31 March 2016

HMRC's £10BN Divorce From Aspire


As part of its bold new digital vision, HMRC has finally reached an agreement with its major IT suppliers (Capgemini and Fujitsu) HMRC on the phased exit from its £10BN Aspire IT contract (set to end in 2017).

Having disengaged from this monolith, it will move to a mixture of existing and new suppliers including SMEs for smaller-scale work packages in the run up to the complete rollout of digital tax accounts.

HMRC will use more flexible contracts. HMRC claims that it will save around 24% (£200m) a year by 2020-21 on the provision of like-for-like IT services, against a £854m total IT spend in 2014-15.

Lin Homer is quoted by CCH Daily:
"HMRC’s ambition is to be one of the most digitally-advanced tax authorities in the world, and the agreement we have reached to exit the Aspire contract brings that a huge step closer.

Our new approach enables HMRC to secure the adaptable, cutting-edge IT services we need to transform our services to customers and modernise the way we work, at much better value for money for the taxpayer."
Well then, let's see how this all works out!

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, 30 March 2016

HMRC Hypocrisy


Despite the government's and HMRC's anti offshore rhetoric, HMRC is more than prepared to use companies that are offshore.

In a more than ironic twist, a multimillion-pound HMRC publicity campaign to stamp out tax evasion and avoidance used an advertising agency ultimately controlled in an offshore haven.

The Times reports that HMRC spent more than £6 million on the campaigns, including £300,000 specifically on offshore evasion.

Among the agencies used was TNS, a research agency, whose ultimate parent company and controlling party is WPP, the world’s biggest advertising company which is incorporated in Jersey.

As ever with the government and its organs, it's a case of do as we say not do as we do!

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, 29 March 2016

HMRC's Surge and Rapid Response Team Vacancies


My thanks to a loyal reader, who sent me a link to a job advert for HMRC's Surge and Rapid Response Team.

What's that for?

Basically when HMRC get too many phone calls, it sends its surge team to man the phones, and when HMRC gets too many letters it sends its surge team to the post room.

All very well and dandy, except that HMRC is inundated with both phone calls and letters!

Anyhoo, here is an extract of the job description (which can be access in full via this link):
"We are offering an exciting opportunity to become an apprentice in the profession, and become part of the Surge & Rapid Response Team working across government departments. You will be dealing with different types of customers and delivering a range of public services, in a variety of locations. This expanding team has already enjoyed exciting and productive deployments in DWP, HMRC, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Home Office and Defra.

Your duties will vary and may change frequently; they will include: managing cases and resolving customer enquiries, using multiple government databases, using the telephone, writing letters/emails, using social media to communicate to customers and dealing with citizens face to face in a range of environments."
I understand that there are also similar openings in Croydon, on a higher salary (£22K-£24K).

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, 22 March 2016

HMRC Too Busy To Chase Evasion


The Office for Budget Responsibility said the measures to collect tax from tax evaders who use tax havens such as Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man would raise just £270 million, rather than the £1.05 billion which had been trumpeted (a £780 million shortfall).

The OBR is quoted by the Mail:
HMRC is less optimistic about how much of the lost yield can be recouped through additional compliance activity, on the basis that they are unlikely to be able to work the higher number of additional cases on top of existing workloads.
As ever HMRC will focus on the low hanging fruit.

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, 21 March 2016

Whither Universal Credit?


In September 2013 I wrote the following about Universal Credit:
"As loyal readers know, RTI and Universal Credits are all part of the same beast and the fates of both affect the government, HMRC and the DWP.

The overall aim of PAYE Real Time Information and Universal Credits is to make the administration easier for HMRC and DWP and to reduce fraud by ensuring that employees and businesses pay tax more accurately, whilst claimants receive the benefits to which they are entitled.

Thus it is interesting to note that Cameron has publicly indicated that the UC deadline of 2017, being zealously proselytised by Iain Duncan Smith, may in fact not really be achievable
."
Now that IDS, who zealously championed Universal Credit, has gone what will become of it?

Kicked into the long grass, drastically watered down or forever stranded in no man's land?

Your views and comments are 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"

Thursday, 17 March 2016

HMRC's £71M Budget Boost


On the assumption that one believes what the Chancellor said yesterday, then HMRC will receive £71m in extra funding.

This will be used to improve the service HMRC provides, and help fund a seven day a week service by 2017 that will have extended hours and Sunday opening on online services and tax and tax credit phone lines.

AccountancyAge also notes that HMRC will improve existing telephone services and "slash call waiting times by recruiting an extra 800 new call centre staff".

Whilst it might be all very well and good to hire more call centre staff, let us not forget that hiring untrained staff does not in anyway replace the loss of experienced tax experts who have left/are leaving HMRC.

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, 16 March 2016

Follow The Budget Live - #Budget2016



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, 15 March 2016

HMRC Is Unhelpful


A study by R3 (the insolvency trade body) has found that 54% of insolvency practitioners (IPs) think that HMRC makes it harder to rescue businesses rather than wind them up.

The survey also highlighted that 71% of IPs believe that HMRC has made the insolvency process harder to manage over the past few years, with just 10% believing that HMRC was ‘helpful' when it comes to business rescue.

IPs estimate that a third of the estimated 480,000 letters and forms they send to HMRC for a year's worth of cases are duplicates of lost or ignored post, or are copies of letters that have to be sent to multiple HMRC addresses. This is the equivalent to approximately 160,000 excess forms and letters for a year's worth of new cases.

Some 54% of insolvency practitioners reported that they had to wait over three months for clearance from HMRC to close their last case, while 25% waited between six months and a year.

43% said their requests for information from HMRC - to which they were entitled as office holders - were rejected.

Phillip Sykes, president of R3, is quoted by AccountancyAge:
"The government, as a creditor, can do much more to help promote a business rescue culture. At the moment, it can be responsible for lengthy paperwork delays, and creates extra costs for itself, the insolvency profession and other creditors, while its lack of commercial decision-making capabilities undermines business and job rescue proposals.

The insolvency profession believes the government's behaviour as a creditor makes it harder to manage insolvency processes and rescue businesses. It's one of the creditors the insolvency profession looks forward to working with the least - which is a problem given how often the government is a creditor in insolvencies."
What Mr Sykes doesn't grasp is that the government does not give a flying fig for businesses, unless they are multinationals giving the government a large scale discounted contract or providing jobs for ex government ministers.

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, 14 March 2016

The Budget 2016 - Whither Purdah?


As is now sadly the norm, Wednesday's Budget (or rather the Treasury/Chancellor's office) is proving to be more leaky than a sieve.

I am old enough to remember the days when Budgets were cloaked in the veil of purdah, and that anyone who even hinted at leaking details would be lynched.

Now, even the Chancellor happily drops hints to the media in the days leading up to the Budget.

As per the Guardian:

Osborne is expected to use Wednesday’s budget to:
  • raise money through a series of stealth taxes including a significant increase in insurance premium tax that will hit motorists, homeowners and tourists
  • crack down on a tax avoidance loophole that allows television stars to be paid “off the books”
  • save £1.2bn by reforming personal independence payments to the detriment of over 600,000 disabled people
  • raise the personal allowance rate at which people start paying tax by £300, bringing it closer to the £12,500 target by 2020
  • raise the amount at which people are drawn into the 40p tax rate
  • provide incentives to build new market towns and “garden suburbs”
  • up to £2,000 in tax allowances for people who sell goods online or rent their home out for some extra money
Whither purdah?

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, 11 March 2016

S Code Problems In Scotland


The role out of the new Scottish tax codes is not going so smoothly.

As per HMRC:


Annual coding run (P9 - tax regime)

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are aware of an issue which is under urgent investigation whereby customers who are expecting to receive the new Scottish S code for employees, are not seeing this information when downloading into their third party software. As soon as HMRC have the fix and recovery solution confirmed HMRC will update you.
This means that employers are unable to comply with HMRC requirements under the annual coding run (P9 regime – which enables employers to revise employee codes in time for the start of the new tax year on 6 April).

Oops!

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, 10 March 2016

Taxation vs Justice


My thanks to Anthony Thomas (Chairman of LITRG [Low Incomes Tax Reform Group], past president of CIOT and Master of the WcOTA) for providing me with the text of a speech about taxation that he made on the 1st of March at the Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers Budget Banquet where David Gauke was the main speaker.

Here is an extract of the speech:

I am sure you would be surprised if I did not make any comments about HMRC this evening, especially at a Budget Banquet and so very likely would our fellow diners.

Ever since HMRC was set targets for yield back in 2010, the “tax” world has been undergoing a significant transformation. There is an inevitable tension between maximising yield and maintaining fairness between taxpayer and state, and that tension is increasing. HMRC and the profession must work together to ensure a good outcome, which is bound to affect every person in this banqueting hall even if they do not practice tax or are guests of members. Of necessity, the transformative journey is a long one----perhaps infinitely long. It is crucial that both the objective of each step on that journey and the means are clear not only to those who are supposed to be leading it from the HMRC side, but also those impacted by the changes, taxpayers, tax agents and many more.

Chris Jones, the current president of CIOT has recently commented on the digital agenda. He quite rightly pointed out that the government’s digital strategy is most certainly not constrained by ambition. That must be the understatement of the year so far. In 2015 the Chancellor signalled the end of the tax return. That statement took the country by surprise. There was an emphasis on making tax easier, a slogan that promised to reduce the administrative burden.

Subsequently---one might say predictably---there appears to have been a change of emphasis---simplicity no longer features in the ambitions to make tax digital. Concerns have quite rightly been raised by many against the compulsory aspects. And not just by those in the tax profession. Even HMRC accepts that filing business records with HMRC on at least a quarterly basis cannot be made to work for everyone. HMRC’s own research published last August showed there are very significant numbers who for various reasons will be incapable of coping.

I can understand the government wish to drive into the digital world and I support that. But the response from government on digital was a little disappointing. Their response to mandation was interesting—I quote—“quarterly updates will largely be a matter of checking data generated from record-keeping software or app and clicking send”. This simplistic response, by way of a “sound bite”, is worrying. There could be no clearer indication of HMRC’s failure to understand how businesses operate, especially smaller ones. Nor does it give any appreciation or recognition to the huge burdens and costs that would be placed upon ordinary citizens and businesses in trying to comply while at the same time attempting to run their business and deal with the vast array of other state-imposed bureaucratic burdens, which add absolutely no value to their businesses or day-to-day lives.

Every pronouncement focuses on how quarterly reporting will help taxpayers, of course. But I suspect the truth is that record information will be subjected to computer analysis and used as a further tax compliance tool in HMRC’s relentless, misguided and wholly unachievable quest to eradicate incomplete records, with penalties for those who get things wrong and needless enquiries when HMRC fails, as it inevitably will, to understand the numerous innocent reasons why records, accounts and returns do not seem to match. If the information is to be used simply to highlight the few tax evaders that HMRC already know about, then this seems to place a disproportionate burden on the tax compliant. Of course we all expect HMRC to do what it can to ensure that the right, rather than the maximum, amount of tax is paid. I would be a lot more relaxed if I was confident that HMRC is being transparent about its intentions.

I am confident that most taxpayers and the tax profession are supportive of the government ambition to exploit digital technology to assist tax collection and compliance. However, little thought appears to have been given yet to the immense communication programme that will have to be rolled out, if the changes are not to prove a disaster and harm the already fragile relationship between taxpayers and the fisc. It is no exaggeration to say that digital will not work easily despite assurances by HMRC that in many cases this will be simply done by clicking the “send” button. It is na├»ve to think that it will be that easy.

On a concern for tax litigants that I raised in September, I cautioned against the Ministry of Justice’s proposals for tax appeal costs. Regretfully they have been imposed more or less unchanged in spite of robust challenge by the legal, accountancy and tax professions. Access to law has become the preserve of the rich---and of course HMRC, whose costs we pay for anyway. The new appeal costs have been implemented and consequently justice will not be available to the less well off or the poor. This is the very constituency which crucially ought to have access to justice, particularly against an increasingly aggressive tax authority. The concern for justice is also worrying the Lord Chief Justice.

 In his annual report Lord Thomas noted “Our system of justice has become unaffordable to most. In consequence there has been a considerable increase of litigants in person, for whom our current court system is not really designed”. How right and how concerning. Particularly in tax cases, the technical issues are routinely beyond the understanding of non-professionals. Now HMRC Officers, perhaps with inadequate training and with one eye on yield targets, may find it all too tempting to leave to a Tax Tribunal the exercise of sound judgement that they should have exercised personally.

That of course might be an easier way to get a quick win, simply because a taxpayer might not have the money to have his case heard. That would be a sad day for the relationship between HMRC and the taxpayers it should be serving and a sad day for democracy. Anyone with a legitimate case but limited means now faces a huge burden. There was a time when the rule of law ensured that justice, rights, lawful judgment, liberties and security was available to all but regretfully, this is no longer the case.

The Latin phrase “Quis Custodiet Ipos Custodes” can be translated as “who will supervise the supervisors?”

On tax matter, the tax profession increasingly has to do that---Parliament certainly does not do the job effectively. Sadly, it is becoming very difficult and time consuming. The many who ought to be listening seem not to hear.

“Justice between citizen and State”, is the translation of the motto that appears on the CIOT cost of arms. The owls on either side of the shield signify the wisdom of tax officials on the one hand and of tax advisors on the other. They are shown as balanced to indicate the aim of both sides to achieve justice and impartiality. However, I do question whether, today, there is in reality equality as between tax adviser and HMRC. It is hard to detect on occasions. Our valid and carefully thought out comments are sometimes dismissed as obstructive or self-serving. HMRC needs to recognise that the tax profession is honest and does a worthy job and that sunlight is the best disinfectant. Marking your own homework is totally counter-productive, as HMRC discovered when it attempted to refresh the Charter.

The public have increasingly exacting standards. They want justice to be done and to be seen to be done. It is not acceptable to be judge, jury and executioner. Some may feel that public shaming is a reasonable way to deal with tax dodgers. But we should be wary of government or departmental attempts to mobilise popular anger to extend state powers or toughen laws in ways that are questionable or Orwellian. History tells us that an ill-informed populist reaction
can be used all to easily as a stalking horse for oppressive or bad law.

The new strict criminal liability offence for failing to make offshore disclosures, and the new draconian GAAR penalties are clear and chilling examples----and it is a temptation that must be resisted until there has been a clear public debate into which all sides enter honestly and openly.
So where do we go from here? There needs to be a better way forward and I think there is one.
Our tax system could be much clearer. It could be much simpler. It should be easy to understand so that everyone knows how much tax they have to pay, why and when; and there should be proper, easily understood and realistic safeguards for taxpayers. Parliament needs to ensure that it does not over extend the might of the executive.

Taxpayers have a right to be able to understand how much they are paying and how it is calculated. The digital world will surely achieve that objective at least. There should also be greater certainty in tax so that businesses and individuals can plan ahead with reasonable confidence that the legislation will not be amended in the short and medium term. That is not an unreasonable goal, albeit that at the moment HMRC often seems to be driving tax policy in very much the opposite direction which is understandable if it is given a target to maximise revenue, which surely is the remit of Parliament, not the executive. In closing I readily confirm that the tax profession and tax professionals are willing to help achieve those laudable objectives of simplicity, certainty and fairness.

Comments and opinions are 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, 9 March 2016

Complain About HMRC




Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what this means

Phone

Income Tax

  • Telephone: 0300 200 3300
Call to complain about the service HMRC has provided relating to Income Tax.

Opening times:

8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday
8am to 4pm Saturday
Closed Sundays and bank holidays

Best time to call:

Phone lines are less busy before 10am, Monday to Friday

Tax credits

  • Telephone: 0345 300 3900
Call to complain about the service HMRC has provided relating to tax credits.

Opening times:

8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday
8am to 4pm Saturday
Closed Sundays, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day

Best time to call:

Phone lines are less busy Tuesday to Thursday between 8.30am and 10.30am, and 2pm to 4pm.

Self Assessment

  • Telephone: 0300 200 3310
Call to complain about the service HMRC has provided relating to Self Assessment.

Opening times:

8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday
8am to 4pm Saturday
Closed Sundays, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day

National Insurance

  • Telephone: 0300 200 3500
Call to complain about the service HMRC has provided relating to National Insurance.

Opening times:

8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
Closed weekends and bank holidays

Best time to call:

Phone lines are less busy after 1pm.

Child Benefit

  • Telephone: 0300 200 3100
Call to complain about the service HMRC has provided relating to Child Benefit.

Opening times:

8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday
8am to 4pm Saturday
Closed Sundays, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day

Best time to call:

Phone lines are less busy between 8am and 11am, Wednesday to Friday.

VAT

  • Telephone: 0300 200 3700
Call to complain about the service HMRC has provided relating to VAT.

Opening times:

8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday
Closed weekends and bank holidays

Best time to call:

Phone lines are less busy between 8am and 11am, Monday to Friday.

Employers

  • Telephone: 0300 200 3200
Call to complain about the service HMRC has provided relating to support for employers.

Opening times:

8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday
8am to 4pm Saturday
Closed Sundays, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day

Best time to call:

Phone lines are less busy between 2pm and 4pm.
There are different contact points if you want to complain about HMRC online services or complain about serious misconduct by HMRC staff.
If the area of HMRC you wish to complain about is not on this page then contact the relevant helpline from the Contact HMRC page.

Post

Write to HMRC if your complaint is about Income Tax or Self Assessment.
PAYE and Self Assessment Complaints
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1AB
United Kingdom
Write to HMRC if your complaint is about National Insurance or employers.
NIC and EO Complaints
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1AA
United Kingdom
You don’t need to include a street name, city name or PO box when writing to these addresses.
If your complaint is about another subject send a letter to the address shown on any papers HMRC have sent you. Mark the envelope “Complaint”.
Couriers should use a different address.

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"

Fines 'R Us




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, 8 March 2016

Quarterly Accounting Will Be So Easy!


Apparently businesses have nothing to fear from quarterly accounting, that is the message coming from the HMRC bunker.

In an interview Theresa Middleton, HMRC director of Business Customer and Strategy, told Accountancy the question of annual adjustments fitting into HMRC's proposals for quarterly digital accounting (eg quarterly stock takes) would be raised in several consultations which will be issued after the Budget.

HMRC says that it wants to take on board the views of businesses and individuals who would use the digital tax accounts.
"We’ve been clear all along that the quarterly update is not designed to be the equivalent of a quarterly tax return and that therefore we are not anticipating that businesses would need to do stock takes and make their capital allowances claims and other reliefs and adjustments at the quarter point."
Were that the case, wrt being "clear all along", people wouldn't have become so worried about it!
"Equally it might be that some businesses might want to be able to do that - we’re not saying that you couldn’t do that – this is very much in the area that we’re going to be consulting on."
LOL, businesses especially SME's have more than enough red tape etc to deal with, without the need to have quarterly stock takes.
"So we’re really keen to make sure that businesses are able to contribute to the shape of how we implement this. So, for example, the point about adjustments, which at the moment are made in the returns for the year, right at the end and sometimes after the end of the relevant period, we will be asking how we can simplify this, especially for the unincorporated.

At the moment, payment is not in scope but we will be consulting on what line items should be included in the quarterly update.

For those in the cash process, adjustments may not amount to much at the end of the year, and so they can simplify.

What we haven’t done is set out what some of these things might mean in practice, and so for example, in some cases [as with quarterly reporting] people have been filling in the gaps for themselves. In these [stakeholder] events we get attendance from a range of professional bodies – we will share this thinking after the budget."
It seems to me that HMRC don't have a clue how businesses actually work, and are only now realising that if not properly handled quarterly accounting will become a nightmare for both the taxpayers and HMRC.


Oh, and for those of you with partnerships HMRC hasn't got a clue how it will work. HMRC has so far not been able to produce any material on what digital tax reporting might mean for partnerships, which will affect a range of entities including accounting and legal partnerships and other professional services who arrange themselves in this way.
For partnerships, this is more complicated.’ said Middleton.
 Good luck everyone!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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

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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, 7 March 2016

Tax is Legalised Extortion


My thanks to a loyal reader who pointed me to a Private Eye article that delved into Edward Troup's (Executive Chairman of HMRC) past, and reminded us all that he is very much anti taxation.

As per The Eye:
"Troup became a vocal and effective opponent of proposals to clamp down on tax avoidance, in keeping with his infamous view in a 1999 Financial Times comment piece that tax is “legalised extortion” and that seeking tax avoidance advice is “not immoral”."
The article also notes that he is a fan of offshoring.

Poacher turned gamekeeper, or a sign of a change in direction of government policy?

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, 4 March 2016

Facebook Decides To Pay Tax


Facebook has decided to change its tax structure in order to pay more UK tax.

Quite what brought about this volte face is not clear (brand reputation possibly).

As per the BBC:
"Facebook is set to pay millions of pounds more in tax in the UK after a major overhaul of its tax structure.

After heavy criticism that it was avoiding tax, the BBC can reveal that profits from the majority of Facebook's advertising revenue initiated in Britain will now be taxed in the UK.

It will no longer route sales through Ireland for its largest advertisers.

That includes major businesses such as Tesco, Sainsbury's, consumer goods firm Unilever and advertising giant WPP."
I wonder what Facebook expects to gain from this?

The volte face is ironic, given that yesterday HMRC defined tax avoidance out of existence!

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, 2 March 2016

Meet Lee Hawksworth - The New Head of Software Developer Collaboration


Lee Hawksworth has been appointed as HMRC's Head of Software Developer Collaboration.

He's not entirely sure what the role means, but is willing to give it a go!

As per his blog:
"It sounds great, but what does it really mean?  

Well, I might be better placed to answer that in a few weeks!"
Let's see how this pans out then!

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, 1 March 2016

No One Can Serve Two Masters



As loyal readers know, HMRC is a complex beast that has a preponderance for tying itself in knots.

As such it should come as no surprise that the appointment of Jon Thompson to replace outgoing chief executive Lin Homer in April, and Edward Troup to executive chair at HMRC is not as straightforward as it may at first seem.

The question has been asked by a number of people, who exactly is in charge of HMRC (given that there are going to be two executives)?

Good luck to the staff of HMRC who will have two masters.

Oh, and by the way, the appointment of Troup as Executive Chair is contrary to the UK Corporate Governance Code!

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"