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, 16 April 2013

Faster Payments Confusion

My thanks to loyal reader Stuart Jones, who pointed me to an article on his site 3CA Blog about a wee bit of confusion caused by HMRC's advice contained in Employer Bulletin Issue 44 (April 2013) about faster payments.

The Faster Payments website states:
"The service allows customers to make payments over the phone or through online banking all day, every day, and be assured that they reach their destination almost at the touch of a button."
Unfortunately HMRC have issued a rather confusing caveat about speed of payments. As per Stuart:
"HMRC suggest that a payment made on Wednesday 22 isn’t credited until Thursday 22 (whichever day that is!). I’m not certain if they do agree that the money will be credited on Wednesday 22 or they disagree and it will not be credited until the following day, i.e. Thursday 23"
Helpfully, HMRC then state that:
"Late payment penalties are wholly avoidable by allowing enough time for cleared payments to reach us by the payment deadline."
Anyone care to clear up the confusion?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. An example of their systems at work when dealing with taxpayers money.
    Letter arrives, you owe HMRC £x revised tax code is ***?
    Remittance sent (cheque) for exact amount
    next letter arrives thanking taxpayer and stating amended tax code is now ^^^&, and you still owe HMRC £y
    phone call to hmrc, yes we can see we have amended your tax code but we can't trace your payment (some might say WTF?!)
    full details of remittance given and date bank a/c debited
    many weeks later still nothing

    "tax doesn't have to be taxing"

    HMRC would not know customer service if it bit them on their collective arse

  2. FPS is only promised to process within 24 hours, while most transactions are almost instant at times of high volume it will be cleared within 24 hours. So you should really allow a day for it to go through. And the quote about late payments is an extract from guidance on BACS payments, which can take 3-5 working days. You would think someone like you would know all about FPS Ken.

    1. So not really 'Real Time Information' at all then. If any one else in the world of IT application development described the sort of message based quasi batch processing system that HMRC are clearly using to process RTI PAYE data as a 'Real Time' system they would be sued under the Trades Description Act.

    2. Anonymous - HMRC added the quote to the bottom of page 23 which is headed:

      Make your electronic PAYE payment at the right time

      Sometimes you just have to put your hand up and admit it's your fault not the taxpayers'!

    3. I should add that I emailed Alison Bainbridge at HMRC on Monday to point out the mistake.

      I have not received a reply up to now.

      Does anyone care in HMRC senior management?

    4. "Does anyone care in HMRC senior management?"


      I think, but I'm not totally sure, that the answer may edge towards NO, by a slight margin of error!

      HMRC senior management caring? Hell would freeze over before that happened. This lot are running without control or oversight and will get as much out of the system as they can. Be stupid and get caught, take early plunge and all the benefits that means. These hypocrites have been on maximum bonus/benefits/promotions for years and could not give a .......!

  3. RTI = Ridiculous Technological Ineptitude

  4. I emailed HMRC about the errors and received this reply from Angela Bell,of the Personal Tax Customer, Product and Process Directorate, Stakeholder Management Team.

    Thank you for pointing out the mistakes in the table on page 23 of the April 2013 Employer Bulletin and please accept my apology. Unfortunately some of the days had changed during production of the Bulletin and this wasn’t spotted prior to publication.

    In the 2nd example in the Table, about payment due in August 2013, ‘Monday 20’ should read
    ‘Tuesday 20’ and ‘Wednesday 22’ should read ‘Thursday 22’.

    In the 3rd example, about payment due in September 2013, both instances of ‘Saturday 22’
    should read ‘Sunday 22’.

    I regret the errors which have occurred but hope you will agree that the Table contains some useful information. We will try to get the Table updated to show the correct information as soon as we can.

  5. Regarding Faster Payments - although this does also apply to paying by BACS/CHAPS....

    You have to realise that the banking system is completely different in an Organisation like HMRC as before it hits your VAT Acocunt/PAYE or whatever, it has to go through Citibank (they are a load of sh*te) and then, providing you, the tax payer have entered the correct reference number when transmitting your payment, it should then hit whatever account you are paying to. Faster payments do NOT hit your account instantly, like they would if you were paying an individual. You are normally best to wait at least 24 hours later before checking if a payment has been received - and 3-5 days later if you pay via BACS.
    I can tell you that, when a payment needs tracing (and it normally is because traders/tax-payers have NOT included a valid ref number) it WILL be given the original date of receipt when allocated to the correct account.