back to article Tax dodgers aided by old IT

A decision to delay investment in a new IT system means the taxman has a poor grasp of the billions he is owed, according to an influential group of MPs. The Public Accounts Committee today said some £11.2bn was at risk of being lost to the Exchequer because HMRC deferred buying a new debt management system in favour of "other …

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Grenade

Well, if they can do without the dosh

Why keep the law mandating those taxes on the roll anyway? Oh that's right, taxes are there to squeeze money out of citizens, not because they are needed to fund anything important, so you might as well piss it away to your industrial friends in the name of "creating jobs".

Note how they're apparently pushing for some expensive ERP/CRM type system. Those are really useful and can be depended on to deliver on every promise, as el reg readers know so well.

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Colander Servers

They definitely can't keep up with the data they're receiving. I sent something in last year and got a letter asking me for the same information for the three previous years. WTF? I sent them that information at the same time in each of the preceding years, so where did they file it (circular file, perhaps?)

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Anonymous Coward

Time to reap what they sowed

Perhaps they should have thought of that before signing an extension to their contract with Crapgemini resulting in hundreds of job losses and demoralisation of those who remain and support all those antiquated compliance systems. Plus Labour's pathological need to change the tax rules every goddamn year, adding stupid exceptions, tweaks, special cases, and throwing bones to politically expedient causes makes compliance an utter nightmare. What's the bet that without budget to pay for change requests to bring them into line with the new tax rules, all these systems are throwing false positive (or letting through false negatives) all over the place.

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Flame

Same problem with WFTCs

As with working families tax credit administration - which turned into a total disaster. Best defence seems to be throwing periodic appeal spanners in their debt collection works. They misadvised to claim in the first place using telephone advisers hired off the street that didn't have a clue what the regs were, then misprocessed forms containing handwritten qualifications, then a few years later they blame claimants who acted in good faith and can prove it.

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Thumb Down

Hmm

"With £11.2 billion at risk of non-recovery". Is that 11 billion based on the assumption that everybody is fiddling the maximum they can being caught? As most people are honest I suspect that figure is drastically smaller in reality.

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The 11.2 billion

is only what MPs should be paying on their expense claims, hence the non-recovery certainty.

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Grenade

Non - Recoverable Joe

The Tax Man can ask all he likes, if I aint got the money he can go whistle.

Paying the rent & putting food on the table comes first, bailiffs and other threats be dammed.

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Happy

Ha bloody ha

Maybe what they should be recommending is simpler tax laws or just fewer taxes. Why don't they just add 10% to every credit card transaction and let Visa and Mastercard take care of it all.

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re: Ha bloody ha

Works for me. I'll use my amex...

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FAIL

Hmm...

"You will lose out on £11bn because you don't know who owes you!"

"OK, we will buy and new IT system at a cost of £2bn"

<time passes>

"Your new IT system has actually cost £8bn and lead to £20bn in lost revenue!"

"OK, we will buy and new IT system at a cost of £4bn"

<rinse and repeat>

If MPs are so worried about lost revenue, perhaps they should hire back all the tax inspectors they let go? But then that would raise costs, mean cost-saving targets are missed (even though a tax inspector 'earns' more than they cost) and the senior civil servants would not get their fat bonuses. Can't have that.

This is merely another ruse by our corrupt MPs to score directorships/perks for grateful IT companies.

It makes me sick.

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I'll sort this...

"Weaknesses in the Department's existing systems prevent it from analysing debts by age and value and from calculating a taxpayer's total debts across all taxes,"

SELECT sum(value) FROM income_tax GROUP BY taxpayer ORDER BY age, value

Seriously.

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N2

Excellent

But we all pay too much tax anyway

& this just portrays them as the wasters they are.

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@The BigYin

You forgot the step where having spent £8bn and not received any savings they announce they are scrapping the system to save £500M

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Good news

Well at least it looks like this IT system is not going to write any DVD's to be later lost in the post. It probably can only output punch cards or paper tape.

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Paris Hilton

Well ...

... it looks like they had better pull their fingers out innit?

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Black Helicopters

Worrying

I'm anticipating a five-figure tax rebate from PAYE - a little more than last year's rebate. Are they lining up an excuse not to pay?

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