Thursday, 13 May 2010

HM Revenue and Customs

A few days ago I received a letter from HM Revenue and Customs asking me to complete a tax return on line. Yesterday I received another letter this time from Leicester requesting me to do the same. So in accordance with their wishes and in the hope that I might get a rebate I went on line to complete a self assessment. Imagine to my surprise that I could not complete the assessment because I had to register.

As I attempted to register I was informed that I needed an activation pin number which they would issue but it might take up to a week before it arrived! I could not believe it because on the two letters that I received I discovered that I had a name, a date of birth, a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), a National Insurance Number, an Employer's Reference Number, a Pension Reference Number, PAYE Reference,a User ID, a password, a Tax Office Reference and now I need an Activation PIN!! The mind absolutely boggles!

My final question is why does it take up to a week to issue?

UPDATE: Today I received another letter this time from Government Gateway enclosing my User ID which I already knew! This is where the government wastes so much money. Still no Activation Pin though.


bewick said...

Ha ha. The waste goes on. The User ID and password work for a few of the Government "portals". You still need the PIN to fill in self assessment though.
Be warned WRITE THEM ALL DOWN (or keep the papers)
As I remember the activation PIN must be used quickly because it expires. I didn't and had to get a new one. Once activated there is nothing more to do apparently because you are an "on-line" user thereafter. I also seem to remember that the general portal log-on is different from the HMRC one which makes life a little confusing!
As one who has designed systems I find this one somewhat incompetent. I recognise the need for security but this perhaps goes too far. After all once activated anyone with access to your log-on can access your records anyway.
Similar vein - the NHS.
I received a letter advising me that the bowel cancer test kit was available to me again. Didn't fully read the letter - one of those "roundtoit" things but a week or so later the kit arrived. Why not just send it 1st time round?
Also now being bullied by the NHS to complete their patient survey. The first was a letter with a survey. I haven't visited the doc for 20 years so had nothing to say. Not to be put off I got a 2nd letter and survey form. It was almost threatening!
Total waste of resources but then as an ex LG senior officer I know how people try to justify their existence

bryboy said...

Hello Bewick tks for your interest. The next step was just as weird because when I got in I couldn't complete the self assessment because it kept rejecting the information. I am still working on it but no matter how I try and present the information I get the 'red print' telling me that I've done it wrong again! I'm on the verge of picking up the phone but don't know if I can spare the time!