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HMRC chaos unfairly impacts on landlord

The Times has highlighted chaotic scenes at HM Revenue and Customs where a landlord, amongst others, has been impacted.

According to its report for the past tax year, phone calls to HMRC took an average of 12 minutes before being picked up; people using the Revenue’s ‘Where’s My Reply?’ service reported waiting up to seven months for a written reply.

And the paper reports that last week anyone enquiring of HMRC about a tax rebate were advised that they may have to wait until June next year for a reply.


In the past 12 months the Revenue has taken some 33.5m calls, 2.5m of which were to a special Covid helpline.

One of a string of case studies cited by the paper as examples of the tax mayhem was a landlord. 

She was “bombarded for months with demands for £383 in tax payments - including from tax collectors - even though she was instead owed a rebate.”

Despite intervention by her own accountant the landlord continues to be contacted by a debt collection service and HMRC demands for payment.


The landlord - who did not want to be named - told The Times: “I’m angry that one part of HMRC is pursuing this route at the same time as another part is reassuring my accountant the money isn’t owed. It’s completely shambolic and has left me extremely frustrated and saddled with extra costs.”

This case study, and the many others quoted in the story, comes despite HMRC having 26,000 staff in its customer service teams.

However, some 5,000 of these have until recently been redeployed to handle furlough enquiries.

The article concludes with an interview with the deputy chief executive of HMRC, Angela MacDonald, who apologised for the problems but warns they are likely to last well into spring 2022.

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    Pay the accountant and pass his bill to HMRC with a "request" for compensation. It wouldn't be the first time they've had to cough up due to their negligence.

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    Unfortunately it could have serious consequences for the landord (probably someone with connections to the Times) if it goes to court. THe council rates/tax can really get out of hand when they chase for bad debt since its really a medieavel court.

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    If we conducted our affairs with them in this manner how would that work for us.? Let’s face it we do 99% of the work for them. And at what penalty? I give up on this country. They can’t even get pick pocketing right, the one thing they were always so good at.

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    I'm surprised that it takes only 12 minutes on average for them to answer a call. In the past I always assumed that I would need to plan to have the phone on hold for at least an hour, so I always make sure that I have something else to do whilst waiting. Thank goodness for cheap unlimited call allowances!


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