HMRC customer service reaches new lows!

Every week we hear of more news about HMRC (the Revenue to you and me) which plots the slow and steady decline of a once efficient organisation.

This week:

1. HMRC have announced on their website that they are redeploying staff in Newcastle so if you want to register as self employed it will take 8 weeks to reply.http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/news/caat-update.htm  Not very impressive but given that most tax offices have backlogs of post of around 3 months not wholly surprising.

2. HMRC has also sent out final demands for PAYE tax due by employers threatening legal action, the bailiffs and potential bankruptcy with no details of a telephone or an address to contact them.  This is not apparently a mistake. HMRC spokesman has advised: “Where a debtor has been repeatedly advised of their liability, through correspondence with contact details, but has not taken steps to contact us to resolve the issue, it is not unreasonable for us to assume that they have no need of contact and to ask them to “just pay” their debt”.

I disagree. Most people would think that is unreasonable. What if the demand is wrong? Or the taxpayer needs to explain mitigating circumstances? Maybe the sooner they outsource debt collection the better.

The team at Morgan Cameron have to cope daily with an understaffed, under-trained and over processed bureaucratic organisation whose staff cannot use email, rarely answer the phone and can’t see their own website, and they do it cheerfully and conscientiously – except for the occasional outburst when HMRC is spectacularly even worse than usual which brings out Lynette’s Welsh accent and Gareth’s Victor Meldrew “I don’t believe it” impression.

If we look after your tax affairs, I know that you are already grateful for what we are shouldering on your behalf. If we don’t, we are happy to talk about taking it on!

Margaret

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