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.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Debt Collection Issues

DebtIn June I wrote:

"A loyal reader (who runs a small business) advises me that last week he got a letter from HMRC claiming that he had missed PAYE and NIC payments for the period 6th April to 5th May 2010.

Fair enough, except that he pays these quarterly and the amounts were not yet due for that particularly quarter.

On calling HMRC using the number given on the letter he was told 'it's because of the new penalty rules, this letter has gone out to all quarterly payers'

It seems that there are still issues wrt HMRC chasing up payments that are not yet due.

Accountancy Age report that Alan Boby, tax partner at Ellacotts, has highlighted the same issue with one of his clients who pays PAYE and national insurance on a quarterly basis.

The client had been contacted by HMRC's debt collection division on 15 September, a month before their latest quarterly payment of around £700, which is not due until 19 October.

When Ellacotts approached HMRC on their client's behalf, they were told that demands for unpaid PAYE and national insurance for July and August 2010 had gone out and the client had been wrongly caught up in the trawl.

Boby claims that there have been other cases, which have led to HMRC issuing internal instructions to their offices informing them that demands had been made by mistake for monthly PAYE to employers who only needed to pay quarterly.

HMRC are quoted:

"HMRC does not recognise the scenario described.

We can confirm that no current PAYE debts whatsoever have been placed with
debt collection agencies

Feel free to comment if you have received a demand for a payment not yet due to HMRC from a debt collection agency.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. "HMRC does not recognise the scenario described."

    I am sure they will recognise it once it is all over the press and then it will be the taxpayers fault for paying quarterly.

  2. Read HMRC response. "No current Paye has been passed to Debt Collection agencies". This, in and of itself, is true. However, these erroneous debts have most definitely found their way to DMB - old Collector of Taxes. Ask me how I know -I work for DMB Field Farce.

  3. I am surprised they managed to get to speak to someone ....

  4. April to May? The first quarter is up until the 5th of July so they are/were due.

  5. I think you have misread it. Kens comment in June was about the April to May payment. The latest one is about the 2nd quarter due in October.

  6. It takes about 2 seconds to go online at HMRC and report nil due for each of the first 2 months of each quarter. Problem solved.

  7. How does doing a return solve the problem?

    If HMRC are passing cases to DMB before they are due then they may still get passed on even if a return has been made.

    HMRC processing stuff correctly may solve the problem though.

  8. Nick Lodge head of Debt Management in HMRC (formerly Tax Credit fiasco player) has said to staff that he can live with mistakes like this. Turning every experienced member of staff into a de-skilled phone jockey was his 'baby' and he will never admit to any real problems. I weary of apologising for crap like this and also saying 'I'm sorry but I can't do that (anymore)', even though 18 months ago I could!