An interesting and not trick question

Re what should be done about the tax system:

Require an HMRC office in every town of more than 100,000 people with an enquiry centre attached;
Improve HMRC pay: make HMRC a viable career option once more;

The not trick question. Does the person who made those recommendations receive money from the union of tax officers?

30 thoughts on “An interesting and not trick question”

  1. From the union, perhaps: from anyone working on the front line – no way! HMRC closed their local tax offices and decreed that every taxpayer had to correspond with a tax office located too far away to visit to protect their staff from the fury of tazxpayers.

  2. Tax Inspectors used to be well enough paid that I once considered training for it. Mind you, my friends opined that I wouldn’t be able to stomach a government job and would probably end up offering violence to all and sundry. Or, worse, Drinking.

  3. Why an office in every town? Surely centralisation is far more cost effective.
    And in the days of email, phone and post what need for a local enquiry office? Surely a centralised enquiry office in India works just as well for phone while emails and post can be dealt with by just one national centralised office.

    Have used my local tax office for a query just once (before it closed). They referred me to a bank of phones and told me to ring the central call centre number.

  4. ‘Require a broad basis of representation on the board of HMRC;’

    Gissa job please!! The man has no sense of shame or self-awareness….

  5. “Set HMRC a task of maximising revenue, not minimising cost”

    i.e. burn £1bn of taxpayer cash to get £1.000000001bn of revenue which to Ritchie is a profit.

  6. I used to work for Customs and Excise before the Scotch genius merged it with the Inland Revenue. The culture was entirely different. Handling tax credits also required a completely different approach to revenue collection.

  7. Younger brother served 3-4 decades in various HMRC offices. Unlike those intakes (long gone), I doubt there’s a handful left in situ that has any in depth knowledge of current rules and regs.

  8. mike fowle

    “I used to work for Customs and Excise before the Scotch genius merged it with the Inland Revenue. The culture was entirely different.”

    As in HMIT, whatever eslse, were generally professional – whereas C&E were just a bunch of crooks..:)

  9. I’ve switched to Bing from Google.

    When you type “tax research” in Bing, a tax advisory business comes up at No 1, whereas in Google, at No 1 you get Murphy.

  10. Bloke in Costa Rica

    A milk bottle full of unleaded through the window at 2am would see the Revenuers off in short order.

  11. Murphy loves inspectors – but at TRUK, he prefers his legion of stool inspectors to comment fawningly on his daily leavings

  12. In answer to the question Tim: I’ve heard his summer rant about John McDonnell hasn’t helped his earnings prospects with the likes of Mark Sewotka at all. So for the first time in a long time he might truly be an independant voice

  13. The only time I ever bothered to visit the local tax office, I sat there and watched the PFY google the same set of forms I’d already found – but couldn’t tell me which one in particular was the one I needed.

  14. I once called into an Inland Revenue office to ask for some P11D forms, as I needed to enter details of benefits in kind for a company I was auditing. The bloke at the desk refused to believe there was such a thing as a P11D. Then he rang a mate and gave me the phone number of the tax office who dealt with that company’s affairs, about 700 miles away. Yes, we really need local tax offices.

  15. Many moons ago, my local tax office was literally at the end of my road. One day, I receive a letter (in a brown envelope, aren’t they always?) telling me that to improve the service the office had been moved to Fife. Hmmm…

  16. I joined HMIT in 1987 on their fast track promotion programme. About 2 1/2 years training spread over the first 3 1/2 years employment. during ‘term time’ I was one day a week in London on courses and had another 10 hours a week in the office for more study.

    Don’t know what they do now but I remember that friends I knew studying tax in the profession learnt tax cases by name and verdict while we had the time and luxury to actually read the whole case, arguments and thinking that was behind the verdict.

    I think the pass mark for professional exams is 50%? With our internal exams it was 70%. Fail twice and you ended up as a non-tech Inspector investigating taxi drivers for the rest of your career.

    Speaking and writing to HMRC staff these days I think the pass mark has dropped to “hasn’t reverted to primitive cannibalism”.

  17. HMRC not a viable career?

    “•The starting salaries for recruits joining the HMRC Tax Professional Graduate Programme is £27,045 nationally and £29,256 in London.
    •Upon successful completion of the intensive four-year training programme, you can expect to move into a senior tax professional post. The pay band at this level starts at £47,218 nationally, £53,196 in London.”

    £47k in your mid 20s with a pretty cushy job and a gold plated (no longer solid gold) pension?

    Murphy’s a cunt, isn’t he? He just says words, any shit that comes into his head that sounds like it supports his case, regardless of whether it’s true or not.

  18. @ Andrew C
    The pass mark isn’t 50% in decent professions. Some years ago I was told that for pharmacists the pass mark is 100%.

  19. Strangely I think big Sam got hmrc about right.!. Btw, it used to be a good way into private enterprise – gamekeepers turned poachers.

  20. Unless the local office also holds all your files and knows your business personally, then what is to be gained by having a local office?

    And having local offices having ties to local business is, candidly, an invitation to corruption.

  21. @John77

    Perhaps times have changed? According to the General Pharmaceutical Council the pass mark for the registration exam in June 2016 was 63%.

  22. @ AndrewC
    That is worrying – I don’t fancy the idea of getting a wrong prescription one time in three.

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