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Ali M-W
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3558 Posts

Posted - 18/06/2007 :  16:26:51  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
Yes, I can see that report being a weighty tome - that's if they include everything they should...
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Ali M-W
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3558 Posts

Posted - 27/06/2007 :  06:54:04  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
Yawn, two weeks on and still waiting.... for even a reply to my emails. Nice to know HMRC have forgotten about us again.

Just before we met HMRC in London (12th June), we emailed them a few questions regarding the average costs of recovering an overpayment. Here's what we asked them:

How much does it cost taxpayers to deal with one overpayment dispute? What are the average costs and time spent for the following:

For HMRC issue court summons and prepare for court?
To send out and respond to a TC846?
To process a SARN data protection request?
To provide missing items identified by the claimant as missing following an earlier SARN request for which incomplete information was supplied?
To respond to a second tier complaint?
To respond to an Adjudicators Office case?
To provide case details to an MP?
To respond to an investigation by the Parliamentary Ombudsman investigation?
(To include all the staff time of all involved, telephone, mail and paper costs, any other resources, costs etc.)

We'd sent this a day or so before, and so we'd been a bit optimistic in expecting answers on the day. Instead we were assured that they would treat it as a Freedom of Information Request and post me the answers as soon as they could. Last night I received an answer from them....
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 27/06/2007 :  07:01:27  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
...And here's their response:

<<How much does it cost taxpayers to deal with one overpayment dispute?>>

Answer: Following a search of our paper and electronic records I have established that the statistical information you have requested is not available. The Freedom of Information Act does not require us to create information in order to respond to an FOI request.

[Of course it doessn't - that would be far too helpful.]

And in answer to:

<< What are the average costs and time spent for the following:

For HMRC issue court summons and prepare for court?
To send out and respond to a TC846?
To process a SARN data protection request?
To provide missing items identified by the claimant as missing following an earlier SARN request for which incomplete information was supplied?
To respond to a second tier complaint?
To respond to an Adjudicators Office case?
To provide case details to an MP?
To respond to an investigation by the Parliamentary Ombudsman investigation?
(To include all the staff time of all involved, telephone, mail and paper costs, any other resources, costs etc.)>>

Answer?

I will let you guess.

I'll give you a small clue (not that you need one): "Eh, eh, eh!"

And there I was thinking we were getting somewhere.


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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 27/06/2007 :  12:35:02  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ali M-W

...And here's their response:

<<How much does it cost taxpayers to deal with one overpayment dispute?>>

Answer: Following a search of our paper and electronic records I have established that the statistical information you have requested is not available. The Freedom of Information Act does not require us to create information in order to respond to an FOI request.

[Of course it doessn't - that would be far too helpful.]

And in answer to:

<< What are the average costs and time spent for the following:

For HMRC issue court summons and prepare for court?
To send out and respond to a TC846?
To process a SARN data protection request?
To provide missing items identified by the claimant as missing following an earlier SARN request for which incomplete information was supplied?
To respond to a second tier complaint?
To respond to an Adjudicators Office case?
To provide case details to an MP?
To respond to an investigation by the Parliamentary Ombudsman investigation?
(To include all the staff time of all involved, telephone, mail and paper costs, any other resources, costs etc.)>>

Answer?

I will let you guess.

I'll give you a small clue (not that you need one): "Eh, eh, eh!"

And there I was thinking we were getting somewhere.






It's all very disappointing but not surprising really knowing what we already knew about them.

Maybe there's some truth in the saying about tigers not changing their stripes!

(Yes, I know that saying's about another big cat and its spots, but I couldn't spell leopard)

Anyway, you all had a nice day in London so it wasn't a complete waste of time!

Edited by - Alan the Geordie on 27/06/2007 12:36:33
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Robert
Admin



United Kingdom
829 Posts

Posted - 27/06/2007 :  12:40:56  Show Profile Send Robert a Private Message
There must be evidence in how much it costs to chase payments. because they wrote off payments under 300 pounds saying it would cost too much to collect. public accounts committee reports..but he said in that report he would try to break the cost down to give a true and accurate figure on how much it does really cost..

The truth is out there.. GO get it..

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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 27/06/2007 :  12:43:29  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Robert

There must be evidence in how much it costs to chase payments. because they wrote off payments under 300 pounds saying it would cost too much to collect. public accounts committee reports..but he said in that report he would try to break the cost down to give a true and accurate figure on how much it does really cost..

The truth is out there.. GO get it..





I agree with you Robert.

I think they're just giving us the bums' rush.
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 28/06/2007 :  12:30:32  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
Of course they are. What worries me is how many more of our legitimate questions to HMRC are being 'farmed out' as FOI requests... HMRC make evasiveness into an Art Form.
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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 28/06/2007 :  13:22:31  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ali M-W

Of course they are. What worries me is how many more of our legitimate questions to HMRC are being 'farmed out' as FOI requests... HMRC make evasiveness into an Art Form.



I know what you mean. I've just had another letter from Primarostrich that doesn't answer a single question that my MP asked her.

I tell you; getting a straight answer to a straight question from these people is like stuffing melted butter up a porcupines arse with a red hot needle!
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Ali M-W
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3558 Posts

Posted - 28/06/2007 :  15:24:54  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
...And they're just as cruel!
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n/a
deleted



240 Posts

Posted - 28/06/2007 :  18:40:48  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
You must be logged in to see this link.

report into the errors 2003 on hmrc site
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 29/06/2007 :  07:41:52  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
The 'errors' they refer to are, of course, described as 'claimant errors' rather than their own, and there's no attempt to uncover how many are caused by HMRC's systems spewing out incorrect details and figures, by the wrong salary being used due to the system, by the right salary being used but behind-the-scenes calculations being done incorrectly, or anything else attributable to HMRC's inadequate IT systems and poorly trained, overworked, and at times alienated staff. HMRC still claim and infer that when incorrect salaries are used, it's down to the individual not telling them, whereas in fact the claimant commonly did tell them and they did nothing. That's without those so-called claimant errors which were down to HMRC not explaining their system properly at the time of operation. Expecting claimants to intuitively know what HMRC want and expect them to do, and instinctively keep informing them of the same old changes and mistakes because we are somehow meant to know that they can't do anything efficiently and promptly (except, perhaps, harrass us, which they do amazingly quickly and methodically) is like expecting your average three year old to write a doctorate thesis. It's too complex for us to know all the ins and outs of. By harping on about 'claimant error' and 'claimant fraud' (see how they like to lump both together to create a stereotype of claimants as stupid, scrounging and deceitful?)they fail to take account of why these errors are so commonplace, and their part in this. I struggle to read reports such as these, as they make me so angry. But thanks anyway, Rosie.
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Alan the Geordie
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3032 Posts

Posted - 29/06/2007 :  15:53:51  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
Ali,

Do you and the other lasses not realise that foreign tourists pay a small fortune and spend many uncomfortable hours packed in an environmentally unfriendly airliner to have a wander around London?

All it cost you was was the bus fare!

You should all be a bit more grateful

(having lit the blue touch paper I think I'd better retire to a safe distance )

Edited by - Alan the Geordie on 29/06/2007 15:56:45
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 29/06/2007 :  19:30:45  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
Oh Alan, I'm not going to argue with you! I don't get out much, and it was huge fun. I don't know about 'wandering' around London, it was a mad rush, but it was good to meet up with some of the gang and help try to make HMRC understand a little bit more about life at the sharp end of tax credits. The rail company did well out of me but it was worth every penny. It's not every day that you get to be ignored by HMRC actually in person, and it makes a refreshing change from simply having your correspondence ignored. It was also hugely enjoyable being ignored outside number ten, and I look forward to us being ignored again by the national newspapers.
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Alan the Geordie
Admin



3032 Posts

Posted - 29/06/2007 :  21:40:30  Show Profile Send Alan the Geordie a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Ali M-W

Oh Alan, I'm not going to argue with you! I don't get out much, and it was huge fun. I don't know about 'wandering' around London, it was a mad rush, but it was good to meet up with some of the gang and help try to make HMRC understand a little bit more about life at the sharp end of tax credits. The rail company did well out of me but it was worth every penny. It's not every day that you get to be ignored by HMRC actually in person, and it makes a refreshing change from simply having your correspondence ignored. It was also hugely enjoyable being ignored outside number ten, and I look forward to us being ignored again by the national newspapers.



Spoken (written?) like a natural born optimist!
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n/a
deleted



240 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2007 :  09:55:24  Show Profile Send n/a a Private Message
ivory towers - why dont we all get together in London, say October - and make some real noise, similar to the pensioners with the council tax problems, the media will have to take note then, banners the lot..... anyone up for it...we could even be on tv at no.10??? Do it correct, give notice to the powers that be etc..
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Ali M-W
Mod



3558 Posts

Posted - 08/07/2007 :  10:38:49  Show Profile Send Ali M-W a Private Message
I like that idea. Maybe, once charitable status has been approved, Paula can go into T-shirt production and we can become more visible and vocal - a sea of banners and T-shirts! What say others?
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