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Author Topic: Income Tax.  (Read 3093 times)

Bryan Young

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Income Tax.
« on: September 04, 2010, 06:29:04 pm »

How many people work for the Revenue services?
How many of them have at least one GCSE (C Grade)? I imagine very few, most having a "D" or less.
And that's just the Senior "Managerial" staff.
How many of you can believe that it was a "Computer Error" that has been responsible for millions of innocent tax-payers to now discover that they owe lots of loot to the taxman?
Ever had a computer that makes mistakes like this all on its own? Mistakes that are in no way down to sloppy inputting by poorly educated and trained personnel. Oh, no. This is an "error" by the Computer. Nothing to do with people.
So real people have to be "punished" somehow or other.....mainly by handing over yet more loot which will no doubt be handed over in the form of bonuses to the very people who caused the problem in the first place.
        It seems both ironic and somehow entertaining that the "mistakes" were made a few years ago, but all of a sudden members of the previous "Administration" are now screaming for statements to be made "to the House" ASAP. Cant. Pure and simple. BY.
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Netleyned

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2010, 06:49:20 pm »

One version I read was that the 'new computer system' had thrown up anomalies from the old
handraulic system.
When I left school GCE's were needed to work 'in the tax office'
I think one less than to be a teacher
Reading Writing and Arithmetic were needed  no computers no calculators just a typwriter
if you had a posh office.
I didn't make it
Ijust got enough to get an RN apprenticeship


Ned
















 
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dougal99

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2010, 07:16:52 pm »

The whole system needs a root and branch overhaul. I received 3 letters last year about tax owed (I'm PAYE by the way). Each letter, according to the CBI, cost between £75 and £100 in administration. The amount I owed was 85 pence! The third letter told me that they would adjust my PAYE for this year to collect the massive sum. I have just had a letter this year saying I now owe £1.94 as they didn't collect the 85p last year and I now had under payed by £1.09 this year. At this rate they will have spent more trying to sort my  quid than they have failed to collect from others.  >>:-(

In the previous day's post I was told that I would not be required to fill in a return any more as my tax affairs were too simple.  8)

Madness
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2010, 07:32:27 pm »

In my experience they rarely get anything right, when I was on PAYE I usually had to explain to them how much tax I owed as they couldn't seem to understand the concept that I contributed to the cost of my lease car. In those years when I changed the car things became quite incomprehensible to them. Now I have PAYE on my pension plus a separate return for self employment for my writing. Last year three different tax offices wanted a piece of the action all with different instructions. When I finally submitted the return they lost it - luckily for them I kept a copy. This year I have yet another variety of form to complete.

It is essentiial that you work out what tax you owe yourself as you can have no confidence whatsoever that they will calculate it correctly, whether PAYE or Self Assessment.

A friend of mine's son works in a tax office. He says that morale is at rock bottom and they only have the staff resources to answer 50% of the letters they receive.

Colin
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bilzin

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2010, 07:42:30 pm »

Hey fellas !

 Q/ Anyone know what a penguin, a pelican and a taxman all have in common ?

A/  They can all stick thier bills up their ar*e !

Bill
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FullLeatherJacket

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2010, 08:03:52 pm »

The only folk in HMRC who trouser a "performance bonus" of more than a few quid are the sycophants in so-called management who are too involved with their own upward progression to know (or care) anything about what's happening at the workface.

Morale among the caseworkers isn't even measurable - it's non-existent but, like every good Daily Mail reader knows, it's their fault that the whole thing is a God-awful mess.
I think not.
 
Blame the politicians who now make purely political appointments to the top Civil Service posts, and blame the shadowy characters who negotiate the central contracts for computer systems that always seem to go to the same consortium and never ever  work properly.

To paraphrase Tom Lehrer, the Revenue is rather like a sewer - what you get out of it depends largely on what you put into it..................a bit like the Daily Mail, in fact  8)

FLJ
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wombat

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2010, 08:18:36 pm »

Remember tax law is like haggis: the ingredients are a bloody mess, the making is not for the squemish and the result is a complete mystery
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2010, 08:36:12 pm »

Most people's tax affairs are relatively straightforward. You are entitled to a standard allowance and you pay tax at 20% on the balance. It's not rocket science but they still manage to get things consistently wrong.

Colin
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Roger in France

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2010, 08:44:54 am »

Living in France exposes me to two different tax regimes.

I am required to pay tax in the UK as I have a public service pension, my wife must pay tax in France. However, because France remains very patriarchal I am responsible for my wife's tax return. I must also satisfy the French system that I do pay tax in the UK and that I have sufficient income not to place a burden on the French nation.

Add to all this that the French tax year runs from 01 January and you can see I have fun!

A few years back the junior tax official in France could not correctly apply the exchange rate £'s to Euros and Euros to £'s ! I was sent upstairs to see a senior official. He is a most pleasent and relaxed guy. Now. each year when I receive my French tax forms I telephone him for an appointment and usually see him the next day. We spend 10 minutes working on the forms and then have a cup of coffee and a chat about cheese and wine etc. most civilised! This year my french tax bill is €0!

Roger in France.
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Prophet

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2010, 09:27:41 am »

I've been off work now for over a year stopped working may 2009 until present day.

i have received a Tax letter stating i owe £2700.. i phoned them up and told them i have been out of work for over a year with 0 income and i don't claim benefits as the wife is happy to work while i look after the children, after speaking to several diffrent people spending best part of an hour on the phone to a 08 number (at cost!) they stated that it was a mistake to have received  a letter in the first place and i really do owe £0, so how many more of you out there are being scammed?

This sounds like a scam made by the government to help bail the banks again , and yet still charge outrageous fees for over draft use, and give these £10 million bonuses to senior staff . yet again a poor government in control allowing this to continue I'm not one of the 'poorest' people but if they were to hold there guns and make me pay £2700 in tax fee's i certainly would be!

How many people in the tax offices i wonder have to pay money back? i bet a fair percentage of them will get a rebate!
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malcolmfrary

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2010, 10:40:35 am »

That £75-£100 cost per letter is probably a figure pulled out of thin air by the CBI, probably by one of their mates who owns a bank, and thus uses bank costings for working out such things.  In other words, an out and out lie.
I suspect that nearly all of their mess-ups are due to their stupid habit of saying that each source of income must be owned by a different office, rather than have one office in charge of each persons reckoning.  As a second best, swallowing the idea that offices should be able to talk to each other would be a step forward.  They might have done this (anything is possible), and this could have thrown all this up.
As it is, the work is done by the people at the bottom of the pile.  Their qualifications, while claimed to be equivalent to old fashioned "O" levels, seem to have reading and writing with spelling, punctuation and general grammar as optional extras, and basic arithmetic as a lucky guess at a multiple choice sheet. 
The ones making the rules and setting policies and the means of carrying them out are usually the breed who are good at talking themselves into a job that they have no talent for whatsoever, usually in front of a board of similarly equipped people who are looking to the future, and don't want any competition.
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dodgy geezer

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2010, 11:16:36 am »

The only folk in HMRC who trouser a "performance bonus" of more than a few quid are the sycophants in so-called management who are too involved with their own upward progression to know (or care) anything about what's happening at the workface.
...
Blame the politicians who now make purely political appointments to the top Civil Service posts, and blame the shadowy characters who negotiate the central contracts for computer systems that always seem to go to the same consortium and never ever  work properly.
...
FLJ


FLJ is accurate.

In this particular case specific blame should be allocated to the project management and responsible senior managers who failed to handle the CapGemini (Aspire) NPS project correctly. The transfer of data from the 12 regional centers was a balls up, but they signed it off as acceptable (and took their performance bonuses) before the problems were discovered.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation describes the impact well:

"...The problem has arisen due to the move to the new NIC & PAYE system (NPS), potentially a major step forward by HMRC. Those affected are thought to include taxpayers who have left a job in the last few years. The HMRC database appears to have ‘lost’ the information it holds about people leaving jobs and as a result is combining taxpayers’ current employment records with old data and concluding that they have two (or more) jobs and much higher earnings than they do. Anyone with two jobs normally has their personal allowance (the portion of your income you do not have to pay tax on) counted against the job with the highest wage. As a result of the error many people will, in effect, have their personal allowance split between two jobs or allocated to a job they no longer have, meaning their current employer will be obliged to deduct too much income tax. The personal allowance will be £6,475 for most people under 65 in 2010-11. If the whole of that personal allowance is wrongly applied that would cut a basic rate taxpayer’s pay packet by about £108 a month or £1,295 a year...." http://www.tax.org.uk/showarticle.pl?id=8884 refers.

The UK government used to have an internal Civil Service body specifically tasked with ensuring that HMG computer projects were run properly - the CCTA. This was closed down in the early 1990s after intense lobbying from the UK computer industry, who were deeply opposed to the idea of government employing their own computer experts who could negotiate with suppliers from a position of knowledge and experience. There are now many more badly managed and incompetently run HMG computer projects around....


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justboatonic

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2010, 03:25:43 pm »

Most people's tax affairs are relatively straightforward. You are entitled to a standard allowance and you pay tax at 20% on the balance. It's not rocket science but they still manage to get things consistently wrong.

Colin

Yes but they arent the tax records that have found to be incorrect. Its the people who have two forms of income and other arrangements which mean their tax affairs arent normal.

Im an IT professional and I can tell you that not only is a computer system as good as it is designed, its only as good as it is tested for the job it has to do, only as good as the original data transferred or converted into it, only as good as the people using it, only as good as the data fed into it.

Im not in any way defending HMRC one jot, goodness knows I've had a belly full of those people but, the bureacratic (sp?) excuse of 'computer error' is used to as a virtual opium for the masses.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2010, 04:39:41 pm »

The point I was making is that HMRC get even the simplest things wrong. This means that people really do have to check up on their tax liabilities themselves. Yes, for a minority of the population they can be complicated which is why people get an accountant to represent them. But for people who change jobs or have a combination of more than one form of income it shouldn't be too difficult to check their own tax liabilities or get somebody to do it for them. Of course people don't and wrongly rely on HMRC to get it right! Things shouldn't be that way but they are.

I have just been caught out myself to some extent as I have discovered (with no help from the authorities) that my income from writing and other things last year put me over the limit where I should probably have been paying class 2 NI contributions. These things can creep up on you but without doing my own checks I doubt if HMRC would have picked it up for a while leaving me with a growing liability which would have inconveniently come to light at some point in the future.

I'm well aware of the limitations of IT systems and the garbage in garbage out data integrity and conversion issues, having been involved in designing. programming and maintaining systems from 1987 until my retirement.

Colin
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Bryan Young

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2010, 05:32:37 pm »

Well now! After just a tiny little rant it seems that I've uncovered yet another subject that is quite dear to the hearts and minds of this Forums members.
Two points though.
Why is FLJ so quick to denigrate anything that the Daily Mail publishes? I can't recall rubbishing any Newspaper in this forum no matter what political persuasion it may be. Feel free to read whatever you wish. But being so vitriolic makes me wonder if the "item" has actually been read. If it has, and the entire contents of said newspaper are read and digested, and then ranted about; then why not buy a different paper? If nothing has been read, and it's just a knee jerk against the "Daily Mail" then it sort of proves a certain bias.
My second "thing" is why Tax Law has to be so complicated. I believe that Gordon Brown made the tax laws so complex that only "experts" can understand them all.
So why don't we just have a "standard" tax rate that applies to everyone? The so-called "Flat Tax". At a stroke we as a country could eliminate so much "clap trap" and make our little lives so much easier. BY.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2010, 06:09:53 pm »

Bryan,

The reason that taxes are so complicated is that it is difficult to have a simple tax which is fair to everybody due to differing circumstances. Thus modifications are tacked on which in turn give rise to further modifications and then loopholes are discovered which require further modifications and so on. The effects of social benefits on the tax system also have to be taken into account Then of course there is the political dimension which requires that taxes don't appear to be as high as they actually are such as keeping the rate of income tax steady but raising National Iinsurance instead. Gordon Brown was an exponent of stealth taxes whereby allowances are not raised in line with inflation. He thought people wouldn't notice but they do - silly man. The 10% tax rate was another political wheeze which was intended to look generous to the low paid but actually wasn't and which eventually blew up in his face.

The system can never be really simple, the problem is that the people who administer it don't appear to understand it either.

I have just returned from Canada where in British Columbia a new federal tax similar to VAT has been imposed. The locals hate it so they insist in pricing everything net of tax which makes it a pain when buying anything as you have to mentally add on 15% to the ticket cost. It's even worse in restaurants as in addition to the new tax you are expected to tip 15% on the base amount which means that the actual cost of your meal is approachhing 130% of the cost shown on the menu. It all adds up as you might say.

With regard to the Daily Mail, I do see it sometimes as it is read by another member of my family but I hate the perennially whingeing tone of the columnists who all seem to be determined to put the most negative slant they can on anything discussed - often for no good reason at all. It has also blatantly misrepresented certain subjects upon which I know about so I have to assume that it does the same for those that I don't.

Colin

P.S. The Mail does have a good financial section though.
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FullLeatherJacket

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2010, 06:27:16 pm »

Why is FLJ so quick to denigrate anything that the Daily Mail publishes? If ...................it's just a knee jerk against the "Daily Mail" then it sort of proves a certain bias.

The point is that the aforementioned toilet-roll substitute is so violently against anyone who has chosen to be a servant of the public that it poisons the minds of otherwise intelligent people against them. This manifests itself in such comments as

"How many people work for the Revenue services?
How many of them have at least one GCSE (C Grade)? I imagine very few, most having a "D" or less."

Sorry, mate  - but very many of us are/were very much better qualified than that, and we don't receive anything like the pay, working conditions or pension that the Editor of the Daily Mail will trouser after a lifetime of orchestrating the peddling of this tripe to the chattering classes.

As for knee-jerk reactions and bias, I will have to bow to an acknowledged master.

FLJ
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justboatonic

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2010, 06:37:40 pm »

The point I was making is that HMRC get even the simplest things wrong. This means that people really do have to check up on their tax liabilities themselves. Yes, for a minority of the population they can be complicated which is why people get an accountant to represent them. But for people who change jobs or have a combination of more than one form of income it shouldn't be too difficult to check their own tax liabilities or get somebody to do it for them. Of course people don't and wrongly rely on HMRC to get it right! Things shouldn't be that way but they are.

I have just been caught out myself to some extent as I have discovered (with no help from the authorities) that my income from writing and other things last year put me over the limit where I should probably have been paying class 2 NI contributions. These things can creep up on you but without doing my own checks I doubt if HMRC would have picked it up for a while leaving me with a growing liability which would have inconveniently come to light at some point in the future.

I'm well aware of the limitations of IT systems and the garbage in garbage out data integrity and conversion issues, having been involved in designing. programming and maintaining systems from 1987 until my retirement.

Colin

LOL! I've never met a systems designer yet who didnt think the system they designed had any faults, didnt need peer review of their work and got very indignant   <*< when all the errors were pointed out to them. But no one's perfect, even I make mistakes  {-)
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Bryan Young

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2010, 06:52:45 pm »

Sorry FLJ, it may not have sounded like it, but my response was (to a degree) meant to be a sort of light-hearted one.
I spent over 30 years on the Public payroll, and never ceased to be amazed at the beaurocratic idiocy and complications attached to the most simple of requests.
As far as the Daily Mail is concerned, I would concede that they are the "doom and gloom" merchants.....but somebody has to be! Could you believe everything you read in the press if there was never an opposing viewpoint?
It's rather enlightening that you are so dismissive of that papers ramblings. Being just about the best selling daily paper in England I presume you're classifying all the readers as "people of no consequence". Just because you have a different point of view doesn't mean that either of us is either "wrong" or "right". Now I'll go off and finish reading the Sunday Times. Bryan.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2010, 07:08:39 pm »

Quote
LOL! I've never met a systems designer yet who didn't think the system they designed had any faults, didn't need peer review of their work and got very indignant    when all the errors were pointed out to them. But no one's perfect, even I make mistakes

Very true, although I've never considered myself to be a IT Professional - it was just a sideline. As you will be aware, many problems stem from the unbridgeable gulf between what the user expects to get based on the system spec they provided and the IT professional's interpretation of the same specification. They simply speak different languages.  I came into it from the user side so I had a fighting chance of meeting what the user actually needed rather than what they said they wanted.

Colin
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FullLeatherJacket

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2010, 08:40:33 pm »

I spent over 30 years on the Public payroll, and never ceased to be amazed at the beaurocratic idiocy and complications attached to the most simple of requests.
Me too, but I didn't leap in to make a sweeping comment about the educational qualifications of the entire service. You should know that 'The Rules' are never made by the people who have to understand and administer them.

As far as the Daily Mail is concerned, I would concede that they are the "doom and gloom" merchants.....but somebody has to be!
Why? The name of the game with these creatures seems to be to pander to the base prejudices of the most readers they can hook into. "Never let the facts get in the way of a good (name your least favourite minority here) story".

It's rather enlightening that you are so dismissive of that papers ramblings. Being just about the best selling daily paper in England I presume you're classifying all the readers as "people of no consequence".
Your phrase, not mine - and no better an opinion than you seem to have of a hundred thousand or so HMRC staff.

Just because you have a different point of view doesn't mean that either of us is either "wrong" or "right".
No, but the difference is that I have 31 years of experience working for HMRC - and you have none.  


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dougal99

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2010, 11:18:30 am »

I came into it from the user side so I had a fighting chance of meeting what the user actually needed rather than what they said they wanted.



I came from the user side but ended up as a designer/analyst. I then saw how bad the user could be at specifying what he wanted. How about this to work with "I don't know whatI want but I will know it when I see it." He was a section manager at the coalface and promoted shortly after our interview!
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2010, 11:58:38 am »

Quote
"I don't know what I want but I will know it when I see it

A classic example of technophobia.

Colin
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Wasyl

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2010, 01:44:36 pm »

Remember tax law is like haggis: the ingredients are a bloody mess, the making is not for the squemish and the result is a complete mystery
..mm.another "prat in a hat," that hates Haggis,I could say the same about Cumberland sausages {-)

Wullie
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dave301bounty

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Re: Income Tax.
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2010, 09:01:05 pm »

Ye Gods ,this person wants ,stopping  ,quickly ,,,he is a danger ,,,any offers ,,,
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