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Hmrc - How Do You Make Them Accept They Are Wrong?

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Have been having an ongoing battle with HMRC over some details on my tax record.

Received my tax return last April, then no further correspondence from them. Phoned them a few months ago, and they said they had posted my tax statements/calculations etc to my "agent". Problem is, I don't have an agent. They claim they have details of my agent, which I supplied to them. I didn't. They said they would remove the agents details from my record.

Phoned again today, as no tax return received for 08/09. Said they posted it to my agent in April. I told them again I don't have an agent. I asked who my agent was, and they wouldn't tell me - confidential info! They said I should know as I signed a form authorising them to use my agent, but I didn't.

How do I get these idiots to stop sending my tax returns/statements etc to somebody who I don't know,as HMRC won't give me the agents name/address so I can sort out this mess?

Any ideas/insight into what goes on at HMRC would be appreciated.

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Any ideas/insight into what goes on at HMRC would be appreciated.

Ive not had this problem or had to deal with them. But, I think the standard practise of everything in writing in recorded delivery post would be good so you can prove what was said when and to whom.

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Have been having an ongoing battle with HMRC over some details on my tax record.

Received my tax return last April, then no further correspondence from them. Phoned them a few months ago, and they said they had posted my tax statements/calculations etc to my "agent". Problem is, I don't have an agent. They claim they have details of my agent, which I supplied to them. I didn't. They said they would remove the agents details from my record.

Phoned again today, as no tax return received for 08/09. Said they posted it to my agent in April. I told them again I don't have an agent. I asked who my agent was, and they wouldn't tell me - confidential info! They said I should know as I signed a form authorising them to use my agent, but I didn't.

How do I get these idiots to stop sending my tax returns/statements etc to somebody who I don't know,as HMRC won't give me the agents name/address so I can sort out this mess?

Any ideas/insight into what goes on at HMRC would be appreciated.

HMRC are in disarray. Very difficult to make contact with anyone sentient in a genuine position of responsibility. If it is seriously causing you inconvenience I would recommend contacting your local MP.

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Technically, if HMRC do not send you a Tax Return or notice demanding you complete one; then you don't have to!

Additionally, if they fail to send you computations (Calculations of how they have worked out your tax), then you have unbeatable grounds for any appeal.

As already stated, always send critical documents/letters to government departments, these days using Special Delivery Post since this enjoys a delivery receipt and an internal Royal Mail audit trail.

NEVER use telephone! They will simply fob you off and whilst they insist on selectivel;y recoding conversations (For traning and quality control purposes only, you understand! :rolleyes: ) you have no way to prove times dates and the substance of any conclusion/s reached.

Yes, HMRC are in total confusion and disarray: government hit on the bright concept of merging Revenue and Customs: trouble is, they had not too l0ong ago given the Revenue the job of collecting NIC. and then kept changing huge rafts of process: and got rid of large numbers of staff who knew what they were doing and recruited muppets to drive VDUs...........

They also keep changing offices: and losing records.

Play the game to your own advantage.

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Have considered ignoring the fact that I have not received a tax return, but don't want to risk a fine for not sending return in by deadline. I know how HMRC can turn nasty, and their mistakes don't seem to offer any form of defence or excuse once they choose to fine/investigate.

I reckon I will have to write to them using Special Delivery in order to sort things out. I usually try to sort things out over the phone to save some time/effort, but I reckon "in writing" is the only way to deal with this situation.

Muppets driving VDUs - yes, a good description of the first member of staff I spoke to today, before I was passed to his line manager muppet.

The thing that really pisses me off with HMRC is that they consider that everyone is guilty and don't seem to consider that the fault may be due to a c0ck up at HMRC. I had this problem a few years ago when they assigned my NI number to someone else, but that's another story.

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Technically, if HMRC do not send you a Tax Return or notice demanding you complete one; then you don't have to!

Additionally, if they fail to send you computations (Calculations of how they have worked out your tax), then you have unbeatable grounds for any appeal.

I thought it was the other way round, irrespective of whether they tell you too, you have to pay the right amount of tax so it's down to you. And even if you use their website and it tells you the amount and it turns out to be wrong, that's still your fault because it's your obligation to pay the tax, not theirs to tell you how much you should pay.

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I had this problem a few years ago when they assigned my NI number to someone else, but that's another story.

As an ex HMRC bod my thoughts were that someone else is using your NINO, even before you got that far...

Unfortunately there are some feckers out there that just convince themselves that someone else's NINO belongs to them and keep on using it no matter what, and there are people in the Revenue that just don't notice it when it happens. It's unlikely they allocated it to anyone by mistake, as new numbers are allocated from ranges with different prefixes (so as most people are allocated their number at 15y9m, you can work out their rough age based on the period their letters were being allocated; doesn't work with migrants who can get their NINO at any age at all).

If they insist that the 64-8 Agent Authority is yours, write to them and ask for a copy of it; they should be able to provide it. If they can; someone else is using your NINO. If they can't, they input someone else's agent details onto your record by mistake. If they decide they don't want to, then it was option a but they've just realised and will hopefully fix it.

Finally, tell them that they haven't correctly you a tax return as they've been sending the notice to someone that you didn't authorise at all, and that if they want one completed they'll need to issue it properly.

I know it seems really bolshy, but they are right to be careful and not tell you things you don't know. They come under and unbelievably constant bombardment from people like debt collectors (or sometimes journalists) trying to get information they aren't entitled to. These people often know a little bit of information to start off with and try to build on that until they know enough bits of inconsequential information to ask questions like "Where do I work and what's my pay reference number".

However they should have the wits to recognise that an error might have occurred and tell you to write in to get it fixed...

And this be the reason I left. Being the only person that both cares and has sufficient wits to be able to care can be a frustrating and depressing position to be in.

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As an ex HMRC bod my thoughts were that someone else is using your NINO, even before you got that far...

Unfortunately there are some feckers out there that just convince themselves that someone else's NINO belongs to them and keep on using it no matter what, and there are people in the Revenue that just don't notice it when it happens. It's unlikely they allocated it to anyone by mistake, as new numbers are allocated from ranges with different prefixes (so as most people are allocated their number at 15y9m, you can work out their rough age based on the period their letters were being allocated; doesn't work with migrants who can get their NINO at any age at all).

Yes, happened about 5 years ago when I was PAYE. They insisted I had both a job on a Scottish island and one in the south of England. When I pointed out that this was unlikely to be possible due to the distance between the jobs, they told me that "if I was telling the truth" then I had to put it in writing to them. I received a 2 line letter informing me that the matter had been resolved.

If they insist that the 64-8 Agent Authority is yours, write to them and ask for a copy of it; they should be able to provide it. If they can; someone else is using your NINO. If they can't, they input someone else's agent details onto your record by mistake. If they decide they don't want to, then it was option a but they've just realised and will hopefully fix it.

The line manager I spoke to said that the Agent Authority notice I had alledgedly signed would now be archived. I asked her on the phone to send me a copy - I doubt they will if it has someone elses details/signature on it.

Finally, tell them that they haven't correctly you a tax return as they've been sending the notice to someone that you didn't authorise at all, and that if they want one completed they'll need to issue it properly.

I asked them to send me another tax return, and she said they would, but I will believe it when I see it.

I know it seems really bolshy, but they are right to be careful and not tell you things you don't know. They come under and unbelievably constant bombardment from people like debt collectors (or sometimes journalists) trying to get information they aren't entitled to. These people often know a little bit of information to start off with and try to build on that until they know enough bits of inconsequential information to ask questions like "Where do I work and what's my pay reference number".

However they should have the wits to recognise that an error might have occurred and tell you to write in to get it fixed...

Yes, I would expect that they should have had the wit to consider that they might have made an error. Where do they get these muppets from?

And this be the reason I left. Being the only person that both cares and has sufficient wits to be able to care can be a frustrating and depressing position to be in.

Yes, have been there.

Thanks for your input, will follow up my phonecall with a letter.

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Guest AuntJess
Technically, if HMRC do not send you a Tax Return or notice demanding you complete one; then you don't have to!

Additionally, if they fail to send you computations (Calculations of how they have worked out your tax), then you have unbeatable grounds for any appeal.

As already stated, always send critical documents/letters to government departments, these days using Special Delivery Post since this enjoys a delivery receipt and an internal Royal Mail audit trail.

NEVER use telephone! They will simply fob you off and whilst they insist on selectivel;y recoding conversations (For traning and quality control purposes only, you understand! :rolleyes: ) you have no way to prove times dates and the substance of any conclusion/s reached.

Yes, HMRC are in total confusion and disarray: government hit on the bright concept of merging Revenue and Customs: trouble is, they had not too l0ong ago given the Revenue the job of collecting NIC. and then kept changing huge rafts of process: and got rid of large numbers of staff who knew what they were doing and recruited muppets to drive VDUs...........

They also keep changing offices: and losing records.

Play the game to your own advantage.

I agree with most of this with one exception. Don't send actual documents - send copies - and if they INSIST on the real thing - KEEP a copy. Once it's gone - it's gone. Sending it Rec. Del.does not ensure a safe arrival - or return.

For my sins I worked in the HMIT as it once was - many, many moons ago and they do work with a backlog. Standards also have dropped - why wouldn't they? All the others have. :rolleyes:

I am lucky in having the Cardiff mob to deal with over tax and everyone I have phoned has been luvlee, boyo. ;) I think the South Wales Welsh as a whole are a friendly bunch, anyway.

Mind you it doesn't hurt when I tell 'em I used to work in Tax. That ensures they don't try the old flannel. <_<

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They have had a new computer system put in and its failing miserably.

In point of fact HMRC are using at least two!

One for Revenue and another for NIC: and they aqre not compatible: thus officers need two PCs and a data switch.........

To make matters worse, some years back, government let an ICT contract to then Andersons Consulting (Now Accenture: Andersons of course being the clever consultants behind err,......well Enron! Nuff said).

Well after a few years on the project together with another set of klutz "Consultants", namely EDS (Electronic Data Systems, the magalith founded by US Presidential hopeful Ross Perrot) all was not well: so the then Inland Revenue wanted to fire them off the contract.

At the termination meeting the Revenue were asked how they proposed to settle "The license fee": "What license fee?", demanded HM Revenue.

"Well," answered Accenture, "The license fee for the proprietory Intellectual Property Rights of your new systems!"

Turns out when signing this huge contract, HM Inland Revenue has neglected to preserve ownership rights over the new systems and software code being written: when asked for upowards of £100 million per years they coughed, rapidly: and Accenture et al are still on the job, earning zillions per annum adn the damned system still doesn't work properly.

And this is what we are all paying these political clowns to enact on our behalf: plus their enormous thieving expenses, of course.

It's all in Computer Weekly.

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I think I counted 49 computer systems at the time I left, and that didn't include anything to do with the "C" bit of HMRC.

They have a horrible habit of adding systems based on different platforms instead of either amending an existing system or completely replacing it.

So for example, as the PAYE computer system can't talk to the tax credits system, they took the facility to change addresses in PAYE out the PAYE system. They added a new system that's supposed to change addresses in the PAYE system, the tax credits system and the self assessment system (all which which were designed in different eras). Whether it did, how many of the above it would bother to change, and how many nights it would take to do so was a matter of luck.

So you had a load of stuff sitting on your desk waiting for addresses to change so you could actually do anything with it, or if you didn't notice you'd have stuff going out to old addresses even though you'd tried to change it.

Something that always interested me was that the ones that looked most shoddy (green writing on black screen, impossible to learn keyboard codes and shortcuts, no mouse) and came from the early 80s generally worked (except the day EDS accidentally changed the tax rates, as you do). The middle ones had a clear apparent capability of working. The new ones were disasters that had found somewhere to happen.

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As an ex HMRC bod my thoughts were that someone else is using your NINO, even before you got that far...

interesting post - thanks.

i was going to post a suggestion that the OP submit a new 64-8 appointing, say, his mum as agent ( :P )and then taking it from there.

would that be an idea to try and get around all the palaver?

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I've always found them very helpful.... In person.

Phoning doesn't work, as you invariably get someone that can't help, and there's never any record of you havning spoken to someone.

Writing doesn't work, as we tried this in one case, and they said at a later date that they only ever read stuff/act on info you send in after the tax return date if they think there's a problem.

However, I've been on a few "self assessment for the self employed" workshops and the like, and have always found those running the workshops to be kind, considerate, and pro-active.

I've also been down to the local tax office nearly in tears at one point not knowing what to do about stuff (previous employer being supremely pants about stuff, and me being way too conscientious and far too scared about being done for tax evasion...!), and they've been great, and sat down and worked through all the issues.

If it were me, and if you have the time, go down to the local tax office (you'll either need to book an appointment, or turn up and take a number deli-counter style) and speak to someone in person. Take with you any correspondence you have, any bits of paper that you have that are pertinent to the situation (P45s/P60s, tax coding notices/pay slips etc), and also anything that identifies you as you - so you can prove they're speaking to the right person!

Good luck getting it all sorted out.

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interesting post - thanks.

i was going to post a suggestion that the OP submit a new 64-8 appointing, say, his mum as agent ( :P )and then taking it from there.

would that be an idea to try and get around all the palaver?

Excellent! The thought of my mother managing my tax return has made my day! :lol:

Will put in writing tomorrow, then give it a couple of weeks before I make an appointment at my local tax office.

At least I now have some insight into how the HMRC and their IT systems (don't) work.

As always, if you want the answer to any problems, ask on HPC!

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In point of fact HMRC are using at least two!

One for Revenue and another for NIC: and they aqre not compatible: thus officers need two PCs and a data switch.........

I'm pretty sure I could get them both running on one pc and running with restricted user priviledges.

In the unlikely event I couldnt, i would run a terminal server running one of them and the users would log into this so they could have both applications going on a single screen.

Since I know they have plenty of money Ill only charge double my standard daily rate <_<

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I'm pretty sure I could get them both running on one pc and running with restricted user priviledges.

In the unlikely event I couldnt, i would run a terminal server running one of them and the users would log into this so they could have both applications going on a single screen.

Since I know they have plenty of money Ill only charge double my standard daily rate <_<

Good God man!, charge triple and add in contract changes. We don't need any sensible person approaching this and bringing down all our rates.

I'm serious by the way, do this and you die, painfully.

Edit: just to add we really mean this.

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Good God man!, charge triple and add in contract changes.

Sssssshhhh I didnt want to start the whole "i can turn a computer on too, and i only earn basic wage, so you're not worth it and someone from India will steal your job" rant :ph34r:

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