As this recent article in the FT shows, HMRC software simply isn't up to the job:
"Software glitches are putting thousands of people at risk of paying hundreds of pounds too much tax next year, as programmers struggle to cope with an increasingly complex tax system.What hope is there for Making Tax Digital on time, on budget and fully functioning?
Experts blamed the “horrendously complex” changes to the taxation of dividends and savings income for errors in the tax computation software for the 2016-17 tax year which ended on Wednesday. They said the problems were caused by the interaction of the new tax-free allowances for dividends and savings and the zero per cent savings rate band.
HM Revenue & Customs will provide a fix for 2017-18 tax returns but in the meantime those affected are asked to file paper returns.
Giles Mooney of Absolute Accounting Software, a software provider, said the “insanely complicated set of rules” were to blame for the inability of the HMRC coders to solve the problem before the end of the tax year.
Caroline Miskin of the ICAEW, the professional institute, said the problems affected a “quite small” number of people but followed similar problems affecting HMRC’s online filing systems. “They seem to struggle to implement software changes necessary to reflect changes in law.”
Tax does have to be taxing.
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