HMRC Takes 6 Months to Process Forms – Part Two

by admin on March 1, 2011

tax formOk guys, this is a bit off topic, but hey this is my blog right?

I recently secured a short term job in Norway and had to apply for a form called an E101. This form is an application to pay UK national insurance, whilst working in the foreign country.

I completed the form in September 2010 and after approximately three months got the form sent back because I had not put in the end date of the work, which I didn’t know.

I contacted the HMRC and explained that I left this question blank because I didn’t know when the job would end and asked them what I should put. They explained that they couldn’t advise me on what to put so I made a guesstimate of around 12 months, added that to the form and sent it back.

Approximately another three months later, I got a reply saying that my application for an E101 had been turned down because the work was expected to last more than twelve months.

Now I know that maybe I should have put in a date in the first place, but I did add a comment “not known” on the form.

But 6 months to get to this stage from a governmental department I thinks is just too long.

This story is ongoing. I contacted the HMRC on the phone number that was on the letter and was told to phone another number. After trying for half an hour to get through because the line was engaged I phoned the original number was transferred to someone who told me that someone would call me back in the next few days.

We live in such a fast paced world now, with internet, cable TV, mobiles, etc etc and we are used to getting things fast. When we hit something like the HMRC, which is like visiting an old dinosaur it can be nothing less than extremely infuriating.

I expect the HMRC is bogged down with massive volumes of work and people who work there are probably just there for the pay cheque and not particularly interested in customer care or satisfaction, but maybe it’s time for a re-think. Change the system and work ethic and embrace modern technology. Create a nice working environment and encourage good customer care – there’s nothing wrong with that and it’s progress for everyone.


I managed to get through to a helpful advisor after being passed from department to department and she fast-tracked the form through in one day – faith in human nature restored!

Until next time..

Update 15th July 2011

The job in Norway has gone on longer and I had to apply for another E101!

I have now been waiting for two months and have been told it will be another 4 – 6 weeks minimum to get the new E101 through.

Update 14th October 2011

After four months of waiting for the new E101, I was sent out a letter with two questions – the first question asked why the Norwegians were employing myself and not Norwegian workers – the second question asked me confirm that I wanted to pay UK national insurance, which is what the E101 form is for.

Another two months past and I phoned the tax office to see what was happening. They explained that they have now to write to the Norwegian tax office and this could take up to 3 months to get a response! If that is the case, then this new application will be at 9 months. Honestly, can you believe this is occurs in this day and age. What is wrong with an email – it takes just seconds to send. This incident begs the question – how are our politicians and governmental departments assisting us, the workers, to secure jobs. They just seem to be putting up barriers and hurdles to get in our way – what is the point of them?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Colin S April 5, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Hi I am having a similar problem with HMRC in Newcastle. Coincidentally
I am also in Norway. You do not have the name of helpful
Person who fast tracked your E101?
Regards Colin


admin April 5, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Hi Colin
Unfortunately not, but I can sympathize with anyone who has to obtain one of these forms or deal with this department. I suggest you phone the HMRC and explain that you have been waiting for however long you have had to wait and emphasize that you need it to meet your tax obligations. Good luck though!


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