My commiserations to a loyal reader who wrote to me the other day, regarding a refund made to her by HMRC which ended up being sent to the wrong person/account.
She has given me permission to publish her email to me, and asks if anyone else had similar experiences?
"...Self-employed, so have fluctuating income. HMRC makes demands for up-front payment for which I don't have funds in my HMRC account, therefore charges interest on any shortfall. In spite of request for respite, this is declined. So, now have to have significant funds in account.There has, subsequent to the above email, been a development:
Return from business trip abroad to find letter from HMRC to tell me that my claim for repayment is being refunded to the tune of £5,000 (just the sum in the account), only the person and account to whom it is "refunded" is not me or mine.
Horrified, ring HMRC who are now to investigate.
I am now in a state of panic as:
a) HMRC demand I keep money with them
b) HMRC appears to have been hacked, or it's some sort of inside job
c) HMRC has my bank details
d) HMRC may continue to expect me to keep money with them...
oh yes, and e), f), g) etc. I cannot expect interest on the sum they have taken from me, they have every security detail I own, I will be expected to pay up on time for fear of penalty, HMRC appears to have wide-open security itself etc.
Am writing to Margaret Hodge MP and my own MP, but I am one very furious taxpayer."
"Things moved along a little yesterday and I discovered that the bogus “refund” had been revoked/recalled, suggesting that it has been held up in their system. That’s good news if it means it hasn’t gone to the hackers, but it is still deeply disturbing that HMRC has it on record that my account was logged into on 24 May when I know I have not logged into it for months. "Comments and views welcome, as always.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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