HMRC in Meltdown

HM Revenue & Customs

It’s a shambles, a laughing-stock, a national disgrace!

Almost daily we hear of yet another fiasco from this bunch of incompetents. And for every day they continue to wade through the quagmire of their own making, the British taxpayer is getting poorer.

Take this scenario...

A taxpayer has been trying for months to resolve a query with HM Revenue & Customs. However HMRC will not even acknowledge the taxpayers communications. Getting nowhere, the taxpayer contacts the Adjudicators Office (the independent body specifically tasked to deal with complaints about HMRC).

The Adjudicators Office respond by saying that until HMRC have completed their own complaints procedures they cannot act. It’s worth noting here that one of the published purposes of the Adjudicators Office is to look at complaints about “unreasonable delays”.

The next level of complaint resolution is the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, but they will only act after… you’ve guessed it… both HMRC and the Adjudicators Office have completed their complaints formalities.

So, for HMRC the answer is simple, totally ignore all complaints!

Can anyone trust a government that comes up with such a ridiculous policy? Faced with this kind of bureaucratic nightmare no-one could blame any taxpayer taking drastic action!

 How to complain...

HMRC published complaints procedures recommend writing to the tax office that deals with your affairs. As a guideline they aim to deal with at least 80% of letters within 15 working days and 95% within 40 working days, however don’t be surprised when that doesn’t happen as, by their own admission, they’re currently failing to meet these targets. Their latest data available for the year ended 5 April 2012 shows that they respond to 61% of complaints within 15 working days, 69% within 20 working days and 84% within 30 working days, but again don’t hold your breath, we all know how figures can be adjusted to validate any argument.

There is a department within HMRC specifically tasked to deal with complaints but, strangely enough, it isn’t widely publicised. However, here’s the department you should contact in order to bypass the local office delaying tactics:-

The Senior Complaints Officer
HM Revenue & Customs
Complaints Service
Lynx House
1 Northern Road
Cosham
Portsmouth
PO6 3AY
 
Tel: 02920 325726   –   Fax: 02920 327160
(East Kilbride office:   Tel: 01355 275848   –   Fax: 01355 275545)
 

Should they fail to provide the desired result there is always the “horses’ mouth” approach (which does bring a response!). HMRC Chief Executive, Lin Homer, is located at:-

HM Revenue & Customs
100 Parliament Street
London
SW1A 2BQ
 
Tel: 0207 147 0018   –   Fax: 0207 147 2189
 

or via email at Lin.homer@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk  –  The buck stops with her!

This bunch of incompetents have excelled themselves this time. They are now proposing that taxpayers should be responsible for checking their own tax codes and ensuring correct tax is paid. A job that HMRC themselves find difficult. But it doesn’t end there; they also propose to issue financial penalties to anyone who gets it wrong! Hypocrisy in the extreme. When they finally admit they can’t do the job they’re paid for will they all be sacked? Let’s hope so.

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