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, 23 April 2013

RTI Face-To-Face

Now that RTI has been running for almost 3 weeks, HMRC are planning a series of face-to-face sessions across the country to give employers the chance to ask experts about Real Time Information.

HMRC are running several sessions in each of the locations below, at various dates and times throughout April and May.

As per HMRC:
"Please call 0845 603 2691 to reserve a place on a session at a date and time that suits you. Alternatively, you can book on some sessions using the online booking tool - these sessions are highlighted below. Just click on the location to book.
Belfast (Opens new window)
Birmingham (Opens new window)
Cheltenham (Opens new window)
London - Bromley
London - Croydon
London - Enfield
London - Euston
London - Staines
London - Tolworth
London - Wembley
Nottingham (Opens new window)
Portsmouth (Opens new window)
St Austell
Swansea (Opens new window)
By happenstance a loyal reader posted a comment yesterday afternoon outlining his/her experience of RTI:
"I've just tried to send my first monthly file by HMRC RTI software.
Having put all the data in, the software refused to connect to HMRC.
I rang the helpdesk.
15 minutes later, I finally got through to someone.
Their first suggestion was my HP laptop (i5, 8Gb RAM, W7 WEI 6.4) was not the right spec. Then they suggested I didn't have enough hard disk space (I'd have thought 32gb on an SSD was sufficient).
After 30 minutes, I had had enough of some temp following a script and taking notes (she put me on hold then went off to ask a senior staff member to explain the difference between single and dual core processors).

I tried emailing the helpdesk (email address on website).
I did get a reply by email.
It said I needed to call them on the phone helpline.

HMRC Helpline ? No, I don't think so
So, what have your experiences of RTI been (both from within and without of HMRC)?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Before they lecture us about our systems they should examine their own critically!

    Example is as follows:-
    Taxpayer (PAYE) advised 30/1 by HMRC of shortfall as a result of medical insurance provided by previous employer. Taxpayer submits cheque to cover 26/2. Subsequently 20/3 HMRC acknowledges receipt and issues further taxcode. Taxpayer queries tax code as has by now noticed that HMRC have taken the money i.e. cleared a/c on 6/3 ( 11 days! Pretty quick for HMRC handling anything allowing for their inefficiency in post handling - oh, there was money in there...).
    HMRC unable to trace payment, this despite it having cleared taxpayers a/c (no they are not customers they are taxpayers). Various gentle reminders by phone (you try getting through) and eventually, confirmation that yes we have received the money and you are due a refund and we will put you back on the proper, standard tax code. That was this week and the taxpayer still has to wait at least 2 weeks more before the taxcode and refund are sorted. That was this week, which in real time by my reckoning is about 3 months at least.
    RTI, don't make me laugh, they are quick enough off the mark chasing what they think they are owed and processing, just does not balance out the other way.
    HMRC & RTI - ROFL.

  2. A few minutes spent reading some of the questions raised on the AccountingWeb will show that there have been plenty of issues particularly concerning the transition from the 2012-13 to 2013-14 tax years. One particular issue has been that HMRC have muddied the water over when those already on the pilot had to submit their final return for the closed PAYE year by setting two different dates. These 19 April 2013 for the closing Full Payment Summary (FPS) and 19 May 2013 for Earlier Year Updates

    This has caught out quite a few employers on the pilot who assumed they had until the middle of next month to finalise their return for 2013 but now potentially face penalties for missing the April 19 deadline

    To make matters worse the software to enable Earlier Year Updates under RTI is not ready and will not be be released until May

    In addition to confusion over this issue it is also patently clear that although RTI data is feeding through the Government Gateway to HMRC it is certainly not being updated in Real Time on the underlying Revenue systems so that employers who have made a FPS or EAS are being told that they may have to wait upto two weeks before they can send any NI number Verification Request (NVR) for any employee. To my mind this is the real weakness of RTI since any failure in the parts of the system that handle the employers submissions quickly leads to backlogs of unprocessed data building up which takes time to clear. This issue is likely to get worse as the system ramps up in size as more and more businesses start sending in their PAYE data each month. It is worth remembering that some of the biggest employers in the UK have been exempted from making full RTI returns until October 2013 so the system is nowhere near running under full load at the moment