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HMRC Is Shite
HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.
Thursday, 9 April 2009
Tax Refund Delays II
Re yesterday's piece about tax refund delays, here is an article from SME Web that may shed a little more light on what is going on:
"HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) delays in processing paperwork are slowing down vital refund payments to businesses, says PKF Accountants & business advisers.
HMRC makes security checks on 10% of tax refund claims to ensure they are not fraudulent.
Where a claim does not pass the initial test it is transferred to a new specialist unit in Bristol to investigate further - the taxpayer is not informed.
This special unit only accepts written communications so, once a case is referred there, there is no way to speed up the process or find out why a refund has not been made.
In PKF’s experience across the country, the involvement of the new unit adds at least a month to the refund process.
Peter Harrup, tax partner at PKF says, "This two stage process can make the wait for a tax refund even longer – struggling taxpayers are having to wait months for their refunds. Clearly, HMRC have to check that claims are genuine, but officers should keep taxpayers informed of what is going on and keep delays for small businesses to an absolute minimum.”
In the Pre-Budget Report last year, that Chancellor announced a temporary extension to the loss carry back rules to allow losses to be carried back up to three years.
But the small print of the announcement said that any refunds would not be made until Budget day (22 April) at the earliest.
PKF says there is a rumour that even refunds that have already been submitted may not be paid until the Finance Bill has received Royal Assent – likely to be in July.
Peter Harrup says, “There is a sharp contrast here with the Government’s statements on ‘Prompt payment’ to suppliers: it aims to pay suppliers within 10 days and promises to pay within 30 days. The circumstances may be a little different, but the impact of a delay on a struggling business can be just the same – a cashflow crisis.
“While I doubt that HMRC is deliberately delaying tax refunds to protect the Government’s own cashflow, it must improve its performance on making refunds at this difficult time for many businesses."
Tax does have to be taxing.
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