I read this week that apparently the VAT Investigations Unit is now to be called the ‘Post Credibility Team’. As an aside, did nobody notice that ‘post credibility’ has another meaning apart from whether mail received is considered to be reliable?
The unit has an important job to do checking that businesses are reporting and paying and reclaiming VAT correctly. But I wonder if the change of name is just another silly civil service renaming exercise or reflects more fundamental changes in the way HMRC views businesses.
If we go back to what the word means, ‘credibility’ refers to both the objective and subjective components of the believability of a source or message.
Traditionally, credibility has two key components: trustworthiness and expertise. Trustworthiness is based more on subjective factors, but can include objective measurements such as established reliability. Expertise can be similarly subjectively perceived, but also includes relatively objective characteristics of the source or message (e.g., credentials, certification or information quality).
I worry how much the newly renamed team will place the emphasis on their subjective views of whether businesses are getting their VAT right and too little on actual objective facts.
Sadly too much that comes out of HMRC these days is indeed beyond belief
Have a good bank holiday weekend