Taxing technology

Why is it every time the Government gets involved with IT systems, it gets them so screwed up?

 I've used online banking for my personal and business accounts for years, and if they didn't pester me to go see my Personal Banker every so often for a coffee, I would never be in the place if it wasn't the only way to get cash in.

Shopping's been problem-free too, even importing stuff from the States to the UK (once the taxman had his cut).

Being in IT, I've even had business partners that shared online business services.

They've all been hassle-free.

So why is it when I try an use any Government systems, they roll over and die, or throw up reasons why they won't comply.

Last year it was an online tax return. Started to fill it one day, went back a week later to carry on, and the whole thing had disappeared and I had to drive to the tax office and complete the thing face-to-face with and adviser, who was very nice an helpful.

Tonight, I decided to try their newest toy, and renew my vehicle licence online since I had all the required documentation – the newest version are all generated electronically from a centralised system.

Logged in, satisfied the system that I met all the identity criteria, had the current documentation, and that it was all valid and up to date, and got to the fourth of five stages to completion, and it threw me out. I'm not identifying which online, but it claimed not to be happy because one of my documents was 'in transition'.

Probably a fair comment, apart from the fact that its 'in transition' status existed more than 3 WEEKS AGO! 

And this from an organisation that has the power to take your vehicle off you and crush it if you commit an offence that they take exception to, and only allow around 10 DAYS for that process to take place.

Not likely to happen?

Well, it did, in Haringey, London. The stories posted in here somewhere. Driver's vehicle was crushed after 10 days, having been towed because one wheel was on kerb when it was parked. The vehicle had just been sold, so the documentation was 'in transit', and the authorities decided that he couldn't prove the vehicle was his and claim it, so into the crusher it went.

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