Is your idea of HMRC determined by the nature of the helpful Tweets, Webinars, Blogs and Informatics that they are putting out in ever increasing numbers? Do you think that they are there to help you and your business like some sort of Citizens Advice Bureaux? Do you feel that they will give you the best advice possible and that they are always right when it comes to tax and vat?

Should your idea of HMRC be coloured by the words of Judge Howard M. Nolan in the recent Tribunal case regarding HMRC in relation to vat? The emphasis is mine:

“The refusal by HMRC to allow the Appellant to go on to the cash accounting basis of account for VAT when the Appellant was entitled to change its basis for accounting for VAT in that way; the failure to suggest that the Appellant should consider making bad debt claims, as well as other individual errors on the part of HMRC lead to the clear picture that this sorry story is one in which the Appellant plainly has a reasonable excuse for the late payment of VAT.” Or

“had again carefully examined all evidence in the file and she said that she could not locate any occasion when any VAT officer had sought to help the Appellant by suggesting that the Appellant might make bad debt relief claims.”

The taxpayer said “that he had never encountered, in a 40 year career in the same industry, quite such abuse and hostility”

If you think HMRC is “There for you” and you are happy to place your trust in them to “do the right thing by you” good luck to you but if you want someone who is on your side, who is qualified to make the right decisions and actually someone you can actually sue if they get anything wrong then.