HMRC causing us all to waste time and money!

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New research suggests that when it comes to contacting HMRC, workers are wasting £2.4 billion of productive time a year calling the taxman.

Inefficiency, poor customer services and delays at HMRC are costing the economy more than £200 per person who completes a self-assessment form, the Institute of Customer Service has calculated.

Almost 12 million people are registered for self-assessment and HMRC receives 32 million telephone calls a year. No wonder contacting HMRC is getting more and more difficult and time consuming.

Nearly 750,000 people missed the deadline to file their Self-Assessment tax return, running the risk of a £100 fine.

HMRC said that 10.7 million people filed on time, but that 6.5 per cent of those required to submit a tax return failed to do so by the deadline.

I wonder how many spent all day on the phone contacting HMRC to discuss issues.

The research concluded that the public waste millions of hours trying to resolve customer service problems from their workplace including contacting HMRC for various tax queries. These delays cost employers £28 billion a year in lost productivity. The taxman is the second worst-offender, behind the property industry, where conveyancing problems cost the economy £2.5 billion a year.

HMRC says that since April taxpayers contacting HMRC have had to wait an average of 4 minutes, 35 seconds for a call to be answered, down from more than 12 minutes in 2016. These figures do not count the 4 minutes of automated messages that callers must listen to. The taxman’s own figures show that one in seven callers wait more than 10 minutes, or up to 14 minutes when automated messages are included.

If you have ever tries contacting HMRC, I think these timeframes are a little on the fair side! We have had to wait 30 / 45 minutes or longer in most instances.

The figures are likely to embarrass Philip Hammond. In December the chancellor appeared to suggest that the large number of disabled people on the workforce was suppressing productivity, perhaps without justifiable evidence? However, he failed to mention problems when contacting HMRC!

Jo Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service, said; “There will always be times when employees will have to take time out of their working day to deal with personal issues. However, the responsibility lies with UK organisations to ensure that, as much as possible, problems are prevented at source and customer service interactions are right first time – to protect both the productivity of their own staff, and those interacting with them.” She said that with so many people affected, there was a clear need to improve the skills of customer service staff.

HMRC said: “These claims don’t in any way reflect the positive experience most customers have. There are over 40 million people in PAYE alone and there will be times customers may have to wait a little longer than normal but our customer service is getting better.”

Have a look at one of our other blogs Top 10 tips handling HMRC

When contacting HMRC you definitely need to have a coffee ready and be cool, calm and collected. I doubt very much 45 minutes on hold will help that cool reserve stay in place!

There is help out there, let us take away this stress and be the ones contacting HMRC for you.

If you find you need help with HMRC debts, or are finding issues with them in getting in contact / getting debts resolved….We can help.

Call our friendly team on 0800 448 0293 or visit out website – www.taxdebtshelpandadvice.com – and start a live chat. Alternatively, you can email enquries@taxdebtshelpandadvice.com

Carillion’s collapse and it’s knock-on effect

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Tens of thousands of jobs and a multitude of government contracts were under threat on Monday 15th January 2018 after construction giant Carillion was forced to enter liquidation.

They are expected to appoint accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers as special managers to handle the collapse of the firm.

The company has suffered from a massive crisis, caused by project delays and missed budgets, leading to warnings, mounting debts of around £2 billion and a large pensions deficit of approximately £600million.

The Wolverhampton-based firm is involved in a large number of government projects.

These include providing school dinners to around 30,000 pupils a day in 218 schools, cleaning and catering for NHS hospitals, construction work on rail projects and maintaining circa 50,000 army base homes for the Ministry of Defence.

In the UK it’s projects have included the likes of; The Royal Opera House, the Channel Tunnel, Tate Modern, the Library of Birmingham and the famous doughnut building of the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

Among many ongoing projects, Carillion was also building the £335 million new Royal Liverpool Hospital, which is reported to be at least a year behind schedule.

Internationally it has been responsible for the likes of Oman’s parliament – the Majlis, Alvito Dam in Portugal and the Yas Marina Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

It is looking like contracts for building part of the HS2 rail link will remain in the private sector.

Kier and Eiffage, the other two construction partners, have assured ministers they can build the London to Birmingham section of the line with Carillion.

Other companies have already drawn up contingency plans for Carillion’s demise, including the UK’s largest construction firm, Balfour Beatty, which expects to take a £45m hit.

Carillion employs around 43,000 globally – around 20,000 in Britain – But many thousands more are employed by firms linked to Carillion as sub-contractors or suppliers – Hundreds of smaller businesses could collapse, the domino effect, as it travels down the chain could be unprecedented.

There will also be a lot of individuals and firms who were a supplier or subcontractor to Carillion who will be wondering what they should do now.

The knock-on effect for the company’s suppliers and subcontractors is going to be considerable and confusing for all involved.

On a day to day basis, subcontractors and suppliers to large construction companies often have to endure a lengthy wait for their invoices to be paid – More so now, if they are owed by Carillion!

Some companies will have immediate issues which will cause potential impact on their own cash flow and ability to maintain payments. This could result in serious problems when it comes to paying wages, suppliers and business debts, HMRC included.

Consider your actions, if this affects you personally or if you are struggling in general with HMRC debts/business debt:

• Speak to your accountant with regards to any up-coming bills which you don’t think you will now be able to pay on time – Assess with them, the impact on your cash flow/forecasts.

• If you need assistance, with the likes of accruing HMRC debts – speak to specialist advisors out there who can assist with the likes of a Time to Pay Arrangement – www.taxdebtshelpandadvice.com

• Look at your own ways of increasing revenue – If a void is left; can new business contracts/sales be bought on quickly that could help?

• Contact a specialist Insolvency Practitioner if you are concerned things may escalate out of control.

Seek advice as early as possible, be that from your accountant or a specialist advisor. At the moment everyone is assessing just how much impact these events may have on other businesses and it is likely to take time before the dust settles on this.

Lloyds Bank has said it will provide £50 million to support it’s small business customers who are struggling after the failure of Carillion – Let’s hope others follow!

HMRC will also provide practical advice and guidance on those affected through it’s Business Payment Support Service (BPSS). The BPSS connects businesses with HMRC staff who can offer practical help and advice on a wide range of tax problems, providing a fast and sympathetic route to agreeing the best way forward and addressing immediate concerns with practical solutions.

Or feel free to contact us direct to discuss any issues with HMRC arrears. You can call us on 0800 448 0293, start a live chat on our website or email enquiries@taxdebtshelpandadvice.com


HMRC Debt Collection

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Do you need help with HMRC debt?

Having HMRC on your doorstep is never a comfortable situation but there is help out there. No matter what stage you are at with the Revenue, there is always an option to sort issues out but the sooner you react and seek help with HMRC debt, the better.

Tax arrears plays an ever increasing part in today’s larger debt problems across the UK. With many banks and lenders offering large overdrafts and extended credit facilities for more individuals and businesses than ever, it’s perhaps not difficult to see why.

According to Government statistics, there are 5,200,000 small to medium enterprises operating in the UK, employing some 25,200,000 people – How much does owing the ‘taxman’ affect these businesses?

Whether you are a small or large enterprise, business can suffer as cash flow can be massively affected when in debt, especially when owing HMRC. This can lead to bankruptcy and even business closures.

The worse thing to do is ignore this matter and not seek help with HMRC debt. Your situation may not be as bad as you think but as always, time is of the essence – Seek advice from your accountant/business advisor or a 3rd party as soon as possible. If you don’t act, you increase the risk of legal action being taken against you and your business.

There are companies out there who can help you such as Tax Debts Help and Advice.

HMRC have taken to sending collection agents out to companies to push for results face to face.

They will threaten that they can take goods and assets!

They will talk to any employee they come across!

They won’t care about confidentiality and I speak from experience!

Who is there to help with HMRC debt though? There are an abundance of companies who will seek to offer advice and assistance and in most instances, they will be Insolvency Companies – But you don’t always need an Insolvency option to help keep the business on track.

There are companies out there who can help with HMRC debt such as Tax Debts Help and Advice. For over two decades now, we have specialised in getting monthly arrangements set up with HMRC for our clients. Helping them tackle the debt at an affordable level each month, whilst being able to cater for upcoming liabilities – We are here to help with HMRC debt and are always available for a friendly chat.

Plenty of press articles have been wrote about the tactics used by HMRC and the debt collection agents that represent them.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3389720/HMRC-worse-private-debt-collectors.html

HMRC is ‘worse than private debt collectors’: Taxman rated bottom of list of Whitehall departments and private companies that chase money.

HMRC ranked bottom in list of private firms and government departments that chase debts for it’s ‘shocking’ treatment of people who owe tax.

Citizens Advice found it even failed to meet standards set by regulators.

Poor practices highlighted in the report included the taxman taking money directly from people’s bank accounts.

A study by Citizens Advice found it even failed to meet standards set by government regulators for private collection agencies.

Poor practices by her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs highlighted in the report included the taxman taking money from people’s bank accounts while the amount owed was still being disputed, staff being ‘rarely or never available’ on the phone to discuss issues and being inflexible of repayment.

The report showed the result of analysis of debt collection practises by more than 250 debt specialists who rated agencies against seven factors, including how they resolved disputes and set affordable repayment plans and how easy they were to contact.

It gave HMRC a score of just 34 out of 100 – Ranking it below phone operators, banks and private debt collectors for poor treatment of customers.

The report raised particular concerns about how difficult it was for people to get through to HMRC, adding it could have ‘dire consequences’ as -unlike private firms- it can seize wages and assets without a court order.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said “Of course people must repay government debts as soon as they can, but there is a difference between people who can’t pay and won’t pay. Our evidence shows glaring inconsistencies in how some government departments and private companies go about recovering money. It’s unacceptable that government agencies are behind the standards set for private companies when recovering debt.”

James Daley, of consumer campaign group Fairer Finance, said “It is shocking that a government department has got such poor standards. On something as sensitive as debt collection, government and HMRC should be leading the way and settings the highest standards. It undermines the government’s ability to ask private companies to do better.”

And Chas Roy-Chowdhury, of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, said “People can inadvertently owe tax or be fined for filing late and this becomes a debt. Public sector debt seems to be handled in a very heavy-handed way.”

HMRC’s own charter outlines what it expects from you and the standard they should be delivering

What you can expect from us:

• Respect you

• Help and support you to get things right

• Treat you as honest

• Treat you even-handedly

• Be professional and act with integrity

• Tackle people who deliberately break the rules and challenge those who bend the rules

• Protect your information and respect your privacy

• Accept that someone else can represent you

• Do all we can to keep the cost of dealing with you as low as possible

We recognise that you might be concerned about how we deal with you.

We will:

• Treat you with courtesy and consideration

• Listen to your concerns

• Answer your questions in a way you understand

• Try to understand your circumstances

• Make you aware of your rights, including your right to appeal our decisions

• Tell you how to exercise your right to appeal our decisions

It would appear that from the above that HMRC are not adhering to the standards, them themselves have outlined, for their own treatment of tax payers and business.

If you do end up owing HMRC and can’t pay this in full and on time – Seek help as soon as possible.

Please feel free to contact us for help with HMRC debt, if you would like further advice on this matter. We are a very friendly and understanding company so visit our website www.taxdebtshelpandadvice.com and start a live chat or call a member of our team 0800 448 0293.

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