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.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

FTT Stops HMRC Snooping


HMRC has come a cropper in a first tier tribunal in the case of The Barty Party Co Ltd (TC06116).

AccountingWeb reports that the publican was in hot water with HMRC for failing to produce the books and records requested by a visiting HMRC officer in an information notice dated 10 November 2016.

The FTT supported the taxpayer and said that the notice had a “fundamental flaw.” It pulled the plug on HMRC and allowed the landlord’s appeal against the notice and associated penalty.

HMRC has the power to request information that is “reasonably required for the purpose of checking the taxpayer’s tax position”, (FA 2008, Sch 36). The key factor that persuaded the judge was that although the legislation gives HMRC the power to request information for the previous six years, their power of assessment is restricted to four years (VATA 1994 s 77). He felt that the onus was on HMRC to explain why information was required for the extra two years and because the officer had failed to do this, the notice was invalid and had a “fundamental flaw.”

Why did the officer ask for information covering the period 1 February 2012 to 30 November 2012 (as well as the other periods) when she had no power of assessment for these months, ie because the notice was issued in November 2016?

HMRC has the power to go back up to 20 years in the case of fraud, but in the Barty Party case there was no indication of deliberate errors being made. There was also another anomaly; an earlier visiting HMRC officer had apparently already reviewed the records up to 30 April 2012!

Overall, this was not a good day out of the office for HMRC. They also had to withdraw a £300 penalty issued on 21 December 2016, which was imposed when Mr Barton failed to provide the information requested in the flawed information notice.


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 October 2017

IR35 Reform Delays Tube


My thanks to a loyal reader who sent me the following press release from Qdos Contractor wrt HMRC's claims that IR35 reform is not impacting public sector contracting:
"IR35: TfL project delays contradict HMRC who deny reform has impacted sector.

Delays to critical TfL London Underground repair work due to the exodus of public sector contractors further contradicts HMRC’s claim that IR35 reform is not impacting contracting and the public sector, highlighted Qdos Contractor of The Qdos Group.

TfL recently revealed a ‘significant number’ of contractors stopped working on projects as a result of IR35 changes – a move which has led to skills shortages and the significant delay to critical repairs.

HMRC has previously denied IR35 reform has led to contractors exiting the public sector, with HMRC Tax Assurance Commissioner Jim Harra stating:

“This has not happened. HMRC has been monitoring this. Contractors come and go, and the market is naturally fluid, but it would be wrong to suggest that the public sector has significant recruitment gaps because of this reform.”

Prior to IR35 reform, 85% of contractors surveyed by Qdos Contractor were prepared to leave the public sector should they be found inside IR35.

Qdos Contractor CEO, Seb Maley commented:

“That a vital TfL project faces delays is obviously a concern. It also further contradicts HMRC’s claim that IR35 reform has not affected contracting and the public sector itself. When will HMRC admit the mistakes they’ve made with regards to IR35 reform?

“Blanket and inaccurate IR35 determinations will continue to force contractors from the public sector. That HMRC adamantly denies any public sector skills shortages because of reform is hugely worrying, particularly when public sector organisations are beginning to speak out too.

“The success of vital public sector projects rest heavily on contractors. It’s therefore essential that accurate IR35 decisions are made. This will become all the more important should reform be extended to the private sector.”

Monday, 16 October 2017

Why Do You Evade Tax?


In a statement to The Mirror, HMRC confirmed it was seeking to interview both compliant and non-compliant people among Britain's 11,000 "High Net Worth customers."

HMRC said the research was part of an ongoing strategy to increase collection for the public and was focused on 'understanding the attitudes and behavioural triggers' of these people rather than gathering specific tax accounting intelligence.

Those asking the questions would be social researchers, not forensic accountants. Estimated cost of the survey up to £80K.

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 October 2017

Elaine Clark Nails It!


Yesterday's article about HMRC stopping personal credit cards from being used to pay business penalties, elicited an observation that HMRC were helping people avoid debt by banning personal credit cards and that businesses were not being run properly if a personal card is used.

Well over on Elaine Clark's site, a similar point was raised, and she nailed it with this excellent response:
"I'd be interested to hear how you would explain this restriction to a self employed employer without a business bank account using his or her personal credit card to settle any debts with HMRC to get things back on track.😋 

The self employed do not need to have a business account. In fact many choose not to because of charges etc which decreases their income. 

I guess when you deal with these things day in day out everyday then you immediately see the unnecessary impact.🙂 

Not only is the decision ill conceived it costs money to implement. All too often these decisions are made by people who are so far removed from the 4 million plus micro businesses in the country."
Well said Elaine!

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 October 2017

HMRC Stops Use of Personal Credit Cards for Payments - Bonkers!


CCH Daily reports that HMRC has confirmed that employers will not be able to pay PAYE penalties with a personal credit card from 13 January 2018.

However, it will continue to accept payments by company credit card or debit card, as well as BACS payments.

All payments must include the 14 or 15 character payment reference that begins with X and is on the payslip. Payments may be delayed if the wrong reference is used.

It will also not accept part payments by credit or debit card so any employers who are unable to make full payment by card will have to pay a different way, through telephone banking, CHAPS or Bacs using sort code 08 32 10, account number 12001020 via HMRC Shipley account.

Elaine Clark is unimpressed, and refers to HMRC's decision as "bonkers":
"Surely the role of HMRC is to collect tax!

If someone is willing to settle debts, regardless of the source of funds, isn't it HMRC's remit to collect the tax on behalf of the Government.

Otherwise what is their job?

Personally I think they HMRC have lost the plot or they have some sort of hidden agenda which we can all speculate about.

Whatever is happening this is just a completely bonkers decision which would have cost money to implement!"
I agree, on the face of it this decision makes no sense given that HMRC still accepts card payments.

Does anyone know why HMRC has done this?


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, 11 October 2017

CBI Notes Deterioration In HMRC Service



The CBI wants HMRC to improve the Business Risk Review Model, and note that many large businesses have identified a deterioration in the service they experience with HMRC.

As per HMRC:
"The Business Risk Review (BRR) is a core feature of how HMRC manages the tax compliance of the largest businesses. Customer Relationship Managers currently conduct a periodic BRR of each large business, assessing their risk profile and placing them into a binary ‘low risk’/‘non-low risk’ category. This assessment is a key determinant of the level of scrutiny and resource the business receives from HMRC. The process, while still effective, has undergone limited change since its introduction 10 years ago."
Over the last ten years this model has been used to assess where a large business sits on the compliance spectrum, and accordingly, how HMRC have deployed resources to man-mark large business. Since 2006, the environment has changed.

HMRC noted a decreasing trend in the use of avoidance schemes but an increase in disputes about the interpretation or application of tax law.

To help strengthen the ‘co-operative compliance’ relationship with large business, HMRC thought this was a good time to start a conversation about the Business Risk Review Model.

To shift compliance behaviour, HMRC are interested to know what might influence businesses to adopt a low risk strategy, such as a quicker clearance procedure, or real-time decisions on transactions.

Separately, the CBI has been liaising with HMRC’s senior leadership team, culminating in a meeting between CBI Director general, Carolyn Fairbairn, and HMRC’s Permanent Secretaries Edward Troup and Jon Thompson.

Many large businesses have identified a deterioration in the service they experience with HMRC, citing delays or an unwillingness to provide businesses with the certainty they need to get on and do business. The CBI is keen to see a reset in the ‘co-operative compliance’ relationship, to reduce business uncertainty.

The consultation is open until 6 December and can be found 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 October 2017

Lorry Drivers Apparently Stung For Unpaid Tax

 

My sympathies to the lorry drivers apparently stung by this scam.

As per the BBC:

"More than 1,000 lorry drivers have been left owing large sums of tax after claims the accounting company they used disappeared with the money.

They say they were encouraged by agencies to set up as limited companies and use the services of the now-defunct Lincoln-based firm Think Accounting.

An HMRC inquiry is under way after drivers were hit with unpaid tax bills.

Company owners Lee Wilson and Symon Williams Cooke did not respond to BBC requests for a comment. 

It is alleged the pair, who were not qualified accountants, worked with HGV driving agencies, paying agency staff commission if they encouraged the drivers to set up as limited companies with Think Accounting.
These limited companies and the tax they were liable for were administered by the firm on the drivers' behalf.

Drivers were given a small weekly wage plus expenses and dividends and say they believed the firm was paying the correct level of tax owed.

One of the affected drivers, Ian Hannon, said he received a tax bill for £11,500 after dealings with the company.

"My national insurance, my corporation tax, my VAT - Think Accounting had not forwarded anything on to the relevant parties to the tune of £11,500."

'Expecting bailiffs'

The company operated from 2011 to 2016, first as Think Accounting, then New Wave Accounting and finally Igloo Accounting, all of which have since ceased trading.

Problems came to light when driver Ron Tierney from Barnsley posted about his experiences on an online forum used by truckers. 

"I put on had anyone been a victim of Think and I had 4,500 replies off other truckers in the same position," he said.

"I brushed it under the carpet. I didn't want to tell my wife, my family. I was expecting bailiffs to knock at the front door."
The drivers were directed to another accountant who reported concerns to the police. The investigation was then passed on to HMRC.

Accountant Nic Davison, who has worked with some of the affected drivers, said: "HMRC should have put a stop to it straight away, but what they are doing is prosecuting the people that can't defend themselves."

HMRC urged people to be clear what they were signing up to.

It said anyone who could not pay their tax debts should contact them."

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 October 2017

HMRC Ends Post Office Payment Option

5. At the Post Office

You won’t be able to pay at the Post Office from 15 December 2017.

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 October 2017

400,000 Auto Completed Tax Forms On Their Way


The Telegraph reports that HMRC has started sending out its “simple assessment form”, a form already fully completed by HMRC’s computers.

This is the beginning of a process that will see 400,000 such forms sent out by Christmas.

Good luck to those on HMRC's Christmas list!

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 October 2017

HMRC Rigs IR35 Minutes


As I have noted before, HMRC is perfectly happy to rig things in order to present itself in the most favourable light eg

Therefore it should come as no surprise top learn that it also rigged the minutes of July's IR35 Forum.

Contractor UK reports that two advisers to contractors have raised serious concerns about July’s IR35 Forum after a member broke cover with ContractorUK to exclusively criticise the meeting’s minutes.

Status expert Kate Cottrell, who attended, was first to reveal that rather than being a straight record of the meeting, the minutes were “just a one-sided view” -- HMRC’s, of how IR35 reforms it made in April have bedded in.

Since publication of her article last Wednesday, similar concerns have now been raised by both the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed -- another IR35 Forum member, and Qdos, a non-member who specialises in IR35 contract reviews.

“The recent minutes do not accurately reflect the frank discussions at the July meeting and I have today expressed my concern about this to HMRC,” the association’s James Collings said on Thursday.

He added:
In the meeting, myself and other stakeholders raised serious concerns about the significant failings of, and damage created by, the rollout of IR35 changes in the public sector.

However, these conversations were not captured in the official minutes, which were published without forum members being informed.”  
He who writes the minutes controls history!

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 October 2017

Another Nasty HMRC Scam



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, 28 September 2017

William Hague's Revolving Door


My thanks to a loyal reader who pointed out that HMRC's ex Chief People Officer (William Hague) is now HR Director at the FCA.

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, 27 September 2017

HMRC's "Simple" Assessment - Prepare For Chaos


As HMRC abandons the traditional tax return millions of taxpayers face chaos, as HMRC rolls out new forms which will be pre-filled using its own data.

The so-called "simple assessment" system is is designed, theoretically, to save taxpayers the hassle of having to calculate how much tax they owe.

However, as with all things relating to HMRC nothing is ever as simple as it may appear. The Telegraph reports that experts estimate that one in ten returns pre-filled using HMRC's data will contain errors, which could lead to people paying too much or too little tax.

Additionally, those who find that the amount charged is too large or too small will have just 60 days to challenge and correct the amount.

Nimesh Shah, Partner at Blick Rothenberg, said:
The concept of simple assessments makes sense but the UK's complex personal tax code makes the proposition largely unworkable. It is likely to lead to people paying the incorrect amount of tax.
Taxpayers are relying on HMRC's data being correct. In my experience the information HMRC holds about taxpayers which would be used for these purposes would be wrong in around one out of ten cases."
HMRC says:
"The rub for some customers in this old process was that HMRC already has all the information, they are providing to us on their tax returns. Self assessment was a complete and utter waste of their time. Simple assessment is the future but it’s only baby steps at the moment."
Taxpayers with complex tax affairs and self-employed people are unlikely to be moved onto simple assessments at any stage.

The trouble is, many people (because of the nature of the modern world - self employed, multiple sources of income etc) are deemed to have "complex" tax affairs.

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, 25 September 2017

HMRC Writes Off £23M Penalties


HMRC’s latest accounts show that it had written off £23m, relating to nearly 25,000 cases where people had not filed self-assessment returns for at least three years.

It said the move followed an analysis of whether taxpayers needed to be in self-assessment. If they had registered for self-assessment in error, or if all their tax was collected through pay-as-you-earn, they were taken out of the self-assessment regime altogether.

HMRC also waives fines in cases where there is a “reasonable excuse”.

After 840,000 taxpayers (7% of the total) missed this January’s online filing deadline, it urged those with a good excuse to appeal.

The FT quotes HMRC:
HMRC’s penalty rules are designed to create a level playing field for the majority who make the effort to get things right, while penalising the minority who try to get round the rules, or who make careless mistakes. 

We apply the rules fairly and proportionately across the board.”
Nothing to see here, move along please!

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, 20 September 2017

HMRC Shoot First, Ask Questions Later APN Policy


HMRC has found a very nice little earner wrt its accelerated payment notices (APNs) scheme, which extracted £1.3bn from taxpayers and SMEs in 2016/17.

This is a 21% increase from the previous year, when HMRC extracted £1.07bn from APNs, according to research from accountancy firm Moore Stephens.

APN's are more than a little controversial, as they give HMRC the power to demand tax it believes it is owed before the dispute is adjudicated. Those affected have only 90 days to pay the sum, and have no right of appeal.

"Ironically" HMRC's prime targets are not large businesses but the low hanging fruit of individuals and SME's. The compliance yield from the Counter Avoidance Directorate rose significantly for individuals, whilst the amount collected from large businesses fell significantly from £943m in 2015/16 to £19m in 2016/17.

Dominic Arnold, head of tax investigations and disputes at Moore Stephens, is quoted by economia accusing HMRC of making full use of its powers to “shoot first and ask questions later”:
Its ability to demand accelerated payments remains a draconian, but clearly increasingly effective mechanism for HMRC to clamp down on what it sees as abusive tax schemes.

That’s all well and good for the Treasury. However, it’s a heavy price for taxpayers to pay before they have even had a chance to put their case. Small businesses and individuals can be put under immense strain, financially and emotionally, while the process is ongoing.

Whether they have crossed a line or not, they don’t have long to find what can often amount to thousands of pounds in disputed tax.
HMRC is more than happy with the arrangement, its spokesperson said:
"HMRC has an excellent record in supporting those in genuine difficulty, including offering more time to pay if appropriate.

APNs change where the disputed tax sits while the issue is being investigated, ensuring that those who have used avoidance schemes are in the same position as everyone else who pays their tax, up front, and on time. The regime does not change taxpayer appeal rights."

Last year HMRC was forced to withdraw 4,300 APNs issued in error out of a total of 60,000. 

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, 19 September 2017

Je Recuse - Jacky Wright's "Civic Leave"


Last week, when writing about Jacky Wright becoming the new CDIO of HMRC, I said:
"At least now, maybe, HMRC will upgrade from Windows 7!"
Sadly for HMRC staff struggling with outdated operating systems this will not be the case, for Ms Wright hasn't actually left Microsoft; she is on "civic leave". 
During this two year leave of absence she has recused herself from any Microsoft related issues, as per HMRC quoted by The Register:
"Jacky will be appointed to HMRC on a fixed two-year contract.

She must recuse herself from any discussion and decisions relating to Microsoft, both within HMRC and across Government and we will put in place the necessary governance to manage."
Okey dokey, so in summary HMRC have hired a two year manager for a five or more year job who can't actually touch anything Microsoft related, even though HMRC has around 85,000 desktops running Microsoft.

Oh yes, that will work fine and dandy!

Oh, and by happenstance, Hotmail suffered a European wide outage yesterday for several hours. Maybe the net gods were sending us a warning about this?

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, 18 September 2017

Another Sorry Tale of HMRC Institutional Incompetence and Inefficiency


HMRC have been given a sound, and well deserved kicking!
"1. Well, here we go yet again.

2. I used the phrase “Well, here we go again” with a sense of frustration, bordering on despair, to open my decision in NI v HMRC [2015] UKUT 160 (AAC), a case in which I criticised Her Majesty Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for both its decisionmaking processes and its conduct of appeals in relation to tax credits claims. That phrase has been echoed in other tribunal jurisdictions where HMRC’s conduct has come under similar critical scrutiny: see e.g. Pandey v Revenue and Customs (Income Tax/Corporation Tax: Penalty) [2017] UKFTT 216 (TC).

3. So, yes, in short this is yet another sorry tale of HMRC institutional incompetence and inefficiency which could well have led to injustice, were it not for the persistence of the Appellant.

A summary of Upper Tribunal’s decision 4. I am allowing the Appellant’s appeal to the Upper Tribunal. The First-tier Tribunal (“the FTT”)’s decision involves an error on a point of law. That Tribunal’s decision is set aside. Fortunately I can make the decision that the FTT should have made and do so. Although this is now a supported appeal, I am giving my reasons in some detail as a warning to Tribunals handling tax credit appeals as to what to look out for in other cases......

..I readily admit that the statement in the grant of permission that “regrettably on past experience the fact of the matter is I am not at all confident that all relevant evidence was presented to the Tribunal by HMRC” was ‘economical with the actuality’. The truth was I had no confidence whatsoever that HMRC had complied with its disclosure obligations under rule 24(4)(b) of the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Social Entitlement Chamber) Rules 2008 (SI 2008/2685).....

..Bitter, albeit anecdotal, experience in other appeals makes me conclude it is more likely that HMRC mislaid the documents than the Royal Mail lost them..."

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, 15 September 2017

Edward Troup To Retire 31 December



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"

Jacky Wright To Be New HMRC CDIO


Computer Weekly reports that HMRC has tasked Microsoft corporate vice-president Jacky Wright with helping the department achieve its goal of becoming one of the world's most digitally advanced tax authorities.

Jacky Wright will be HMRC's new chief digital and information officer (CDIO) as from 16 October.



At present, Wright is working as a corporate vice-president at Microsoft’s core platform division, and has previously held the position of CIO at both General Electric and Momentive Performance Materials.

Wright said :
I am passionate about the impact innovation can have in truly transforming services for people and businesses in a positive way and want to continue the great work being done within HMRC and across the Civil Service at this time.

I am proud to represent women and BAME [black, Asian and minority ethnic] in technology and will continue to promote the vital role of diversity within our industry and more broadly.
The role comes with an annual salary of up to £180,000, and is billed as an opportunity to “shape and transform the way HMRC works” as it pursues its goal to become the “one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world”.

Jon Thompson, CEO of HMRC, said:

Balancing strong operating experience with a record of driving innovation, Jacky is widely recognised for her contributions to technology and diversity.

Her influence as a technology leader and champion for the role of women and BAME in industry is a major win for this organisation.

This builds on a year of real progress and innovation under the leadership of interim CDIO Mike Potter, who has done a fantastic job of pushing digital delivery for HMRC and its customers.
Here is a biography of her, as per The Human Capital Institute:
"Jacky Wright is a transformational global leader, innovative technologist and recognized STEM advocate.

She is a senior executive whose extensive career spans multiple industries. Jacky inspires and leads teams to drive innovation, develop enterprise technology solutions, and transform business models.
As a Microsoft leader, she has created deep partnerships between IT and product engineering to drive digital transformation of customer experiences leveraging Microsoft Azure, Power BI, O365, and Skype for Business, among others.

She has been widely recognized for her many contributions in technology and diversity, including an honorary doctorate from Aston University, and inclusion on the Britain’s Powerlist 100 of Most Influential People, the Top 100 BAME Leaders in Business, and Savoy Magazine’s Top Women list. She has also been featured in numerous publications, including CIO Magazine, “Meet a tech industry pioneer who leads by example” and the Wall Street Journal – CIO Journal.

Jacky is a member of the Board of Trustees for Harvey Mudd College and Prostate Cancer UK, and serves on the Board of Year Up – Puget Sound Chapter. She also serves on various advisory boards, including the HP Women’s Innovation Council, the Demo CIO Council and the CIO Winmark Advisory Panel. She is also a member of the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF), Executive Leadership Council and CIO Executive Council."
At least now, maybe, HMRC will upgrade from Windows 7!

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, 13 September 2017

HMRC's Croydon Hub - Troup Speaks


Edward Troup, executive chair and permanent secretary at HMRC, discussing yesterday's formal opening of HMRC's Croydon hub, told CCH Daily:
"HMRC has controlled the fit-out of the building entirely. The office is open plan and has different styles of working areas which we have been piloting in existing offices in Nottingham, Birmingham and Newcastle, which has taught us how different business areas work best."
He then went on to admit that savings will not be all that HMRC had cracked them up to be:
"We had initial projection of savings overall which have been refined over the years with the current estimate definitely being lower than what was set initially, but nevertheless there is still a financial saving."
He concluded by saying that PAC hadn't understood what HMRC was doing, and why it was doing it:
"Although it does have those savings I think where the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in a sense got the wrong end of the stick is that HMRC is doing this because as a business it cannot operate with lots of small offices. Collaboration and working as a team is absolutely essential."
A cynic might suggest that if PAC has not understood what HMRC is doing then it is because HMRC has not explained itself either clearly or honestly!

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, 12 September 2017

Croydon Hub Officially Opens



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, 11 September 2017

Meanwhile Over at The Student Loans Company - MELTDOWN!

 

Meanwhile, over at The Student Loans Company (suspended CEO being none other than Steve Lamey ex HMRC CEO & CIO)

The BBC reprost that there has been a call for an urgent inquiry into problems at the Student Loans Company which led to the suspension of its chief executive.
"Shadow Universities Minister Gordon Marsden said the firm was near "meltdown" and urged the Universities Minister to address the problems.

The Department for Education suspended Steve Lamey in July without saying why.

A DfE spokesman defended the student loans system and said Jo Johnson would respond in due course.

In early July, a statement from the DfE said: "The Student Loans Company, in consultation with the Department for Education, took the decision to suspend the chief executive, pending an investigation into concerns which have been raised.

"The suspension is a neutral act and does not imply wrongdoing. 

"As the matters leading to suspension are now subject to an independent investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."
Mr Marsden wrote to Mr Johnson, asking him to clarify the details around the suspension and the nature of the associated investigation.

He told the BBC:
"Whilst the full details have yet to become clear, the Student Loans Company appears to be approaching a situation of meltdown.

There needs to be an urgent, substantial inquiry into all aspects of the way they operate with HMRC.

This worrying situation has been compounded by an ongoing stream of accounts over the past few months in the media, and based on numerous individual stories appearing, of the inadequacies of the Student Loans Company to properly administer student loans and specifically repayments."
Well then, HMRC keep churning out these "high-flyers"!

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, 8 September 2017

Whither DEC?


In December last year I wrote the following about DEC:
"Who, why, or what is DEC?

DEC is a centralised IT system used by HMRC's Counter Avoidance Division. In theory it is meant to bring together all demographic, legal, tax and historic information on tax avoiders.

I am advised that the DEC system has now cost £40 million. Unfortunately it does not work terribly well, if at all.

I understand that much of the key documentation around avoidance cases sent to Counter Avoidance, from local HMRC offices from inspectors told to drop and transfer cases to Counter Avoidance, has disappeared (been lost).

The value of these lost cases in terms of tax revenue is, so I understand, £2BN."
Moving forward to the present time, I am advised by a loyal reader that due to cost and lack of functionality Jennie Granger ordered (or rather was told to order) this project cease and DEC scrapped before a tax record was ever loaded onto it.

Seemingly the final cost was over £43 million.

Granger left HMRC as I noted in April (voluntarily or pushed?).

Seemingly, so I am advised, David Richardson, her replacement, has also been told to go by next April.

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, 7 September 2017

Meanwhile In Japan....



The Japanese have an ionnovative approach to tax, and publicising tax schemes (far more "off the wall" than the Brits!).

The BBC reports that an actor-turned-politician is promoting tax payments in a Japanese region through the medium of a bizarre video starring an "alien sausage" mascot.

Former comedian Hideo Higashikokubaru (also known as Sonomanma Higashi) appears in a promotional video for a new tax scheme with the bright red mascot called Sou Seiji, the J-Town website reports.

They are publicising a scheme in Soo, a city in the eastern Kagashima prefecture, where residents can offset their taxes by making donations to the city for local projects.

Money can be used to support local businesses, help the elderly, and promote a higher birth rate to counter a falling population, the city's website says.

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, 6 September 2017

HMRC Fake Staff Survey Responses


My thanks to a loyal reader who has written to me about multiple staff survey responses being submitted by a certain manager in a certain HMRC department (the results are published on the HMRC intranet).

"...You see ***'s (redacted by Ken) group in **** was around 100 staff at that time.

At the close of the staff survey period the published response rate for ***'s group was 130 responses out of 100 people. i.e. 130%!!!!

Generally around 60 responses would be expected.

This is fully checkable as number of responses are published with the survey.

Unsurprisingly his groups scores on certain key questions were 10-15 points above the HMRC average.

The point is that apparently you can submit multiple returns on the survey (the system does not stop you), and many staff in ***'s team are fully aware he and a few close 'minions' submit multiple positive responses for his area and have been doing so for several years.

Unfortunately the past couple of years he has gone over quota a bit.....

It not who votes that counts. It's who xeroxes the ballot paper."
Are there no depths to which HMRC will sink?

Ironically, despite the manipulation, *** still managed to score 20%+ response rate on the bullying question (people who felt they were being bullied or had witnessed it) over his team of 100!

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, 5 September 2017

HMRC Stirring The Shit



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"