Despite the ongoing spin from HMRC that RTI is working well, reality it seems is not as rosy as the spin.
A quote attributed to an HMRC call centre employee sums up the situation in a nutshell:
"Oh don't bother looking at the dashboard, all the postings are wrong on there."As per AccountingWEB:
"AccountingWEB member Kenny Achampong challenged this optimistic view:The fact is that so much political capital has been invested in Universal Credit/RTI that it cannot be allowed to be seen to fail, even if it is failing!
“Whenever I speak to them they tell me they can't give me clients’ PAYE income details either on the phone or by post as there is an issue with the details supplied by the employer. I try to find out what exactly the problem is and it’s normally not having the correct year end info reconciled, but have also been told they cannot give any details out as the information they have is just too unreliable now.”
Michael Harle offered a classic good news/bad news summary of the situation: “I agree this delay is of benefit to clients and accountants alike. I do fear the real reason is that HMRC finally worked out how many penalties they would have to issue, and then deal with, next month and realised they are hopelessly under resourced to cope with this.”
These observations are typical for many AccountingWEB members, who are having to wrestle with RTI’s technical and procedural details. But because of the direct link to the universal credit and welfare reform, those closely involved with the project highlight the top-level political significance of the issue. With universal credit now stalled, it’s difficult to tell what the operating parameters for RTI are supposed to be and which way HMRC and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) are likely to turn next."
The people who will bear the cost of the failure are both HMRC staff, who have to work around the problems, and the hapless taxpayers who have to waste time and money proving that their figures (not HMRC's) are correct.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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