HMRC tax errors pertaining to their PAYE system have been well documented in recent months and accountants have now pointed out two more areas that are proving problematic for the bumbling taxman. With Christmas just around the corner thousands of people could face having to pay HMRC refunds back to the tune of several hundred pounds.
Many people would agree that the only thing worse than getting an incorrect tax demand is getting a refund only to be told, shortly after you have probably spent it, that you must pay it back. The dreaded brown envelopes are due to arrive on doormats across the country but despite this HMRC continue to shrug and insist that this is just how tax works.
Richard Mannion, a director of accountants Smith and Williamson, said: “The first problem concerns HMRC asking for tax repayments to be sent back and the second relates to online requests sent by taxpayers under the self assessment system which seem to have been lost by HMRC’s computer system.” When it came to working out if people had paid the correct amount of tax for the 2009/10 tax year HMRC did not include employee benefits thus they under estimated their tax liabilities. This is what is causing the Revenue to request recently issued refunds to be paid back.
The second problem, which has a similarly nauseating effect when coupled with the idea of Christmas, pertains to online requests for the repayment or the reduction of tax payments sent to HMRC between October 1st and November 15th. It appears that all requests of this type, made online, have been lost. This problem has now been fixed apparently but anyone who made a request of this type over the 6 week period specified should issue the request again. The potentiality of the situation could mean that thousands of people who thought they had successfully submitted a request have in actual fact not.
In light of the problems HMRC have spoke out in their defence and have said that the likely hood of any request for repayment prior to Christmas would be slim. While this seems fair enough the scale of recently documented problems seemed to increase as time went by. Hopefully it won’t be the same on this occasion