The Telegraph reports on a "wee HMRC error" discovered by Blick Rothenberg, relating to the the self-assessment account of one of its clients.
HMRC stated that a refund of tax was due.
All very nice, except that no refund was actually due.
Blicks then checked the accounts of all of its clients, and found that in every case HMRC claimed that it owed refunds of between a few pounds and £24K.
The error appear to be connected to the recent downtime of HMRC online self assessment system.
It seems that other tax firms have also noted similar errors.
An HMRC spokesman is quoted by the Telegraph:
"We are urgently investigating this issue which appears to affect a small number of agents. There is no question of anyone receiving money they are not entitled to or being asked for money they do not owe."
By happenstance the problem came to light at the very same moment that HMRC was reported to have more than tripled the pay of Deepak Singh (a key architect of its new PAYE system) to stop him walking out at a crucial moment.
Singh is now on a package worth £600K a year pro rata, as he stays on for 3 months as acting chief information officer (CIO); he failed to land the post permanently.
Singh has been mentioned on this site before, back in July I wrote:
"One rather nice little benefit for Singh of this arrangement, is that he is only liable for corporation tax of up to 28% on his earnings for these 3 months, compared with the higher-rate of income tax of 40%."
With regard to the current IT problems, isn't it lucky for Singh that all these problems came to light just before he left his temporary position?
Tax does have to be taxing.
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