Friday, May 21, 2021

ICAEW Members Castigate ICAEW


On my HMRC site I have noted that the ICAEW have given HMRC a well deserved kicking for its appalling service levels:

"ICAEW members are reporting that poor performance is being experienced across almost all HMRC services and ICAEW has been pressing for greater transparency about the problems being experienced and for a clear recovery plan. The Tax Faculty outlines the problems that have been raised and the action it has taken..."

However, the membership of the ICAEW are also pissed off with the ICAEW over its light touch towards HMRC failures. 

As per AccountingWeb:

"However, many in the profession have expressed the view that these are ongoing problems date far beyond the events of the pandemic.

None of this is to do with Covid, but it shows what happens to a system which is already broken when you give a huge kick, it just fragments and shatters,” commented AccountingWEB member irealyshouldknowthisbut.

“Covid-19 has provided the ultimate excuse for poor customer service to get even worse across much of the public sector and throughout the banking industry. We now see more clearly than ever the contempt in which we are held by these incompetent bullies,” added another member.

ICPA chair Tony Margaritelli concurred: “We hear that they value the work that agents do, but we don't actually see any real genuine evidence of it,” he told AccountingWEB. 

According to Margaritelli, the fact that ICAEW chose to publicly report on HMRC’s poor performance is significant in showing that people should be holding them to account more.

“They very seldom do [criticise] - they’re always very supportive, and rightly so,” he said. “But on both sides, when things are not right they need to be called out.”

Nicholas Smith, head of tax at Duncan & Toplis, concludes that enough members must have complained for the Institute to make such a public stance. “The one genuine bright spark that HMRC did was to have the agent dedicated helpline. And suddenly here we are two years down the line and we still haven’t got it back.”

It is a pretty poor reflection on the ICAEW that it needs a groundswell of negative comments from its membership to actually say something in public mildly critical of HMRC! 

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