HM Revenue and Customs should log hours
You mean record the time they spend on the toilet?
No silly, record the time they spend working on their case files.
Don’t they do that already?
You’d have thought so because logging case hours is standard practice in the “commercial” world but HMRC is exempt.
Oh nice, what pray tell makes them so special?
Well HMRC say that it’s not just about the cash.
They feel that their job is to police a system, they don’t want anybody to think that they can get away with a bit of ‘back-pocket’ because it’s ‘only a small amount’. The term used is “materiality” HMRC say, “We investigate without sense of materiality, it doesn’t matter to us if it’s £10, £100 or £1,000 it simply has to be right.”
And how is that working out for them?
According to HMRC figures every one of your tax £1s yields a £2 result from a Self Assessment investigation.
Well that’s not too bad, they are doubling the cash!
True, “not too bad” is accurate, but “not too good either”. The reality is that if they started frying bigger fish – rather then boiling small potatoes – they could be getting figures as high as £70 for every £1 spent.
And I’m guessing you have the answer…
Yes, if you want to change the system for the better get HMRC investigators to log work hours on each case file. If you log hours then you can see how much the case is costing which makes accurate reviews much easer.
Get out of town, there would be anarchy! If plumbers and window cleaners thought they could pocket cash jobs nobody would ever pay any tax and the whole system will break down.
Err what simply because HMRC investigators logged their work hours so managers could see what the investigators were actually doing with their time all day? Get a grip: tax investigators exist to get results (and bring in cash) not to flog dead horses for a 1:2 ratio. Logging work hours would be a way of motivating staff, separating the wheat from the chaff and increasing revenue streams.
That seems to make common sense.
Well now you can see why HMRC are dead set against it.