The chances are you’re right…

HM Revenue and Customs internal complaints departmentInternal data from HMRC has been leaked to show that a remarkable 58,110 complaints were made to HMRC’s internal complaints system in 2010/11.

What is even more shocking is that in an astounding 57% of cases, HMRC ruled that they had made a mistake and found in favour of the taxpayers!

So what kind of complaints are being made about the Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs?

Well, it seems that not only are mistakes being made in calculating tax bills and delays in sending tax bills out but the poor treatment of taxpayers by Revenue staff also seems to be a cause for concern.

One main cause for concern appears to be HMRC’s notorious Debt Management Office which has been described as “pursuing innocent people in a heavy handed manner”, something we should not expect from a Government department surely?

However, the complaints don’t simply result in a slap on the wrist and a standard apology from HMRC staff, a phenomenal £363,954 was paid out in compensation to taxpayers and tax demands worth £968,782 were dropped completely.

That equates to almost £1.3m in errors, as astonishing figure.

Even after such compelling figures have been leaked, figureheads at HMRC still don’t seem to accept there is a problem.

Their official stance is that they serve “millions of people every year, and received just under 75,000 complaints in 2011/12.”

A spokesman claimed that as only around 2% of complaints were then investigated by the Adjudicator that they have successfully resolved the majority of complaints.

But why are the complaints being made in the first place?

First Tier Tax TribunalAnd of course there is also the number of cases being taken to the First Tier Tax Tribunal, an independent tribunal for taxpayers to take disputes against HMRC.

Between 2009 and 2011 over 8,000 tax disputes were taken to the tax tribunal which would have more than likely been referred to the tribunal after taxpayers failed to resolve them with HMRC directly.

According to figures released on HMRC’s own website however, taxpayers appear to still have the upper hand when taking a case to tribunal.

60% of cases where there was no hearing (either due to being resolved before a hearing date or one party pulling out) were resolved either wholly or partially in favour of the taxpayer… Yes, that is even more mistakes therefore by HMRC.

And of the 40% of cases which did go all the way to hearing, 26% of those were decided in favour of the taxpayer.

All in all it the figures are not really telling a great story about the country’s taxman.

Promises have been made to improve customer services and boosting staff to turn around post faster than ever but at the moment HMRC are really not cutting the mustard.

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