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  • FIRST POST
    • Former MSE Helen
    • By Former MSE Helen 11th May 12, 2:10 PM
    • 2,324Posts
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    Former MSE Helen
    MSE News: 3.5m to get tax refunds but 1.6m to be asked for more
    • #1
    • 11th May 12, 2:10 PM
    MSE News: 3.5m to get tax refunds but 1.6m to be asked for more 11th May 12 at 2:10 PM
    This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

    "3.5m taxpayers will get refunds averaging £380 FROM next week, while another 1.6m will be asked to repay a typical £540 ..."

Page 1
  • Stephen Leak
    • #2
    • 11th May 12, 2:59 PM
    • #2
    • 11th May 12, 2:59 PM
    Are the HMRC actually able to get anything right? And how are we to know that the "correct" figures are any less incorrect?

    What with today's revelations of corruption, it's time to replace this national scandal of an organisation with two new ones, for income tax and VAT, who can do their jobs properly.
    Last edited by Stephen Leak; 11-05-2012 at 8:29 PM.
    • chrismac1
    • By chrismac1 11th May 12, 5:18 PM
    • 2,562 Posts
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    chrismac1
    • #3
    • 11th May 12, 5:18 PM
    • #3
    • 11th May 12, 5:18 PM
    "We are improving the PAYE system further, which will make it easier for employers and pension providers to administer as they will tell HMRC about PAYE payments at the time they are made – as opposed to only at the end of the year – reducing the need for corrective actions at a later stage."

    This is utter tosh. They can't cope with the volume of data from employers once per year, their whole system falls apart for weeks. So what on earth makes them arrogant enough to think they can cope with it every month?

    Don't just take my word for it. The proportion of accountants and book-keepers who think HMRC can make this work is a VERY small minorty, go to any website such as accountingweb and follow the threads on all the ways HMRC is likely to muck this up.

    You ain't seen nothing yet! The annual tax reconciliation shambles will simply become a monthly tax reconciliation shambles with 12 times the volume of data for HMRC to (utterly fail to) cope with.
    Hideous Muddles from Right Charlies
    • Mikeyorks
    • By Mikeyorks 11th May 12, 5:27 PM
    • 10,287 Posts
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    Mikeyorks
    • #4
    • 11th May 12, 5:27 PM
    • #4
    • 11th May 12, 5:27 PM
    I'm curious as to how these precise figures in the News item emerge - when taking into account that employers still have 8 days (to 19th May) to submit the pay and tax data for their employees.
    Obviously someone has a pretty impressive crystal ball - or not.
    If you want to test the depth of the water .........don't use both feet !
    • Mikeyorks
    • By Mikeyorks 11th May 12, 5:31 PM
    • 10,287 Posts
    • 4,696 Thanks
    Mikeyorks
    • #5
    • 11th May 12, 5:31 PM
    • #5
    • 11th May 12, 5:31 PM
    This is utter tosh. They can't cope with the volume of data from employers once per year,
    Originally posted by chrismac1
    So how is it they (allegedly) consider they can move into the annual reconciliation the minute the window has closed for employer submissions?
    If you want to test the depth of the water .........don't use both feet !
    • chrismac1
    • By chrismac1 11th May 12, 5:46 PM
    • 2,562 Posts
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    chrismac1
    • #6
    • 11th May 12, 5:46 PM
    • #6
    • 11th May 12, 5:46 PM
    They paper over the cracks. They need to take the whole UK tax database down for 5 full days - name one other business in the country still stuck in the 1970s-style "take the whole thing down for days" mentality.

    Then when it comes back up submissions go AWOL for days. next we move into the so-called reconciliation which is nothing more than just spewing out data with no sense-checking, hence the all too common error where a guy who has changed jobs on a £25k salary gets reconciled at £50k because the idiots can't progamme the system to flag up stuff like this as an exception, they just spew it out.

    And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
    Hideous Muddles from Right Charlies
    • Mikeyorks
    • By Mikeyorks 11th May 12, 9:34 PM
    • 10,287 Posts
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    Mikeyorks
    • #7
    • 11th May 12, 9:34 PM
    • #7
    • 11th May 12, 9:34 PM
    They paper over the cracks. They need to take the whole UK tax database down for 5 full days - name one other business in the country still stuck in the 1970s-style "take the whole thing down for days" mentality.
    Originally posted by chrismac1
    You ramble. What has that to do with the annual submission of P14s that you initially whinged about?

    The break to change over the tax year is much earlier. And is more to do with archiving (35M ?) old records and then doing database integrity checking as a result of the disturbance, than anything else.

    But then - with 100 clients? ...... I don't suppose managing the largest and most complex databases in the UK comes within your ambit? Only within your usual sniping range.
    If you want to test the depth of the water .........don't use both feet !
    • chrismac1
    • By chrismac1 12th May 12, 4:44 AM
    • 2,562 Posts
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    chrismac1
    • #8
    • 12th May 12, 4:44 AM
    • #8
    • 12th May 12, 4:44 AM
    Before setting up in practice, I ran the finances of a business with £80m sales and did numerous database cutover activites, including what at the time - 2006 - was the largest Sage implentation in the UK. Note Sage would definitely not have been my choice, but that's another story.

    In any of these data migration exercises, if we as the finance team had even suggested running the databases or the cutover exercise the way HMRC runs theirs TWICE A YEAR we'd all have been sacked - or as a minimum in the process.

    The very notion that a modern business can in effect run without any information for 5 working days twice per year - and then run rubbish for a few days when it comes back up - is bonkers. Ask any poster on this site how they'd feel if their bank decided to do this.

    There is a totally different mindset within HMRC from top to bottom. A mindset last seen in most of the UK's businesses when Vicky1 was celebrating her Golden Jubilee, not QE2.
    Hideous Muddles from Right Charlies
    • 50Twuncle
    • By 50Twuncle 13th May 12, 4:03 PM
    • 9,357 Posts
    • 2,441 Thanks
    50Twuncle
    • #9
    • 13th May 12, 4:03 PM
    • #9
    • 13th May 12, 4:03 PM
    HMRC are one big joke - they gave me back over £8k in overpaid income tax 2 years ago and last year - they overtaxed me again (blaming DWP this time !!)
    I am on self assessment this year - hopefully I won't make such schoolboy errors !!
    • TM1976
    • By TM1976 13th May 12, 4:24 PM
    • 717 Posts
    • 281 Thanks
    TM1976
    The reason this happens is because it's not possible to say for sure how much tax someone should have paid until the tax year has finished. This has to happen every year, the fact that it does happen just shows that HMR&C is doing what they are supposed to do.

    I deal with HMR&C a lot and I have a lot of gripes about the way they do things but this isn't an error it's just a part of the process. Beats me why MSE constantly try to knock HMR&C on this issue.
    • Mikeyorks
    • By Mikeyorks 13th May 12, 4:34 PM
    • 10,287 Posts
    • 4,696 Thanks
    Mikeyorks
    I am on self assessment this year - hopefully I won't make such schoolboy errors !!
    Originally posted by 21Twinkle
    But if you're incapable of ensuring your Code numbers(s) are correct and married to the right income streams ........ why will you make a better fist of SA?
    If you want to test the depth of the water .........don't use both feet !
    • chrismac1
    • By chrismac1 13th May 12, 4:55 PM
    • 2,562 Posts
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    chrismac1
    It is a routine part of the reconciliation process, agreed. However, there are a few simple things HMRC could do which in my view would greatly reduce the problem, without radical changes to recruitment policy and so on.

    Tax coding 810L - WTF does this mean to 80% of the UK population? Nada. Instead, let's have 8,105. Let's make it clear 8,105 is the tax-free pay, so if someone gets a coding notice of 6,105 they know HMRC thinks they have 2,000 of taxable benefits or whatever.

    And yes I know there are lots of notes with the coding notices. But I still get probably 5 queries per month on these notices from my client base. This includes, for example, a partner in a large architects' practice who can understand complex technical drawings but cannot fathom 80% of the post he gets from HMRC.

    People who work for HMRC are too enmeshed in the whole culture to understand just how few people out there have a clue about the majority of the stuff they send out. The HMRC website is pants too. I have numerous links saved on my PC just so I can send clients directly to the correct HMRC page because I know I am saving them lots and lots of fruitless searching time.
    Hideous Muddles from Right Charlies
    • AirlieBird
    • By AirlieBird 13th May 12, 6:11 PM
    • 1,039 Posts
    • 851 Thanks
    AirlieBird
    The HMRC website is pants too. I have numerous links saved on my PC just so I can send clients directly to the correct HMRC page because I know I am saving them lots and lots of fruitless searching time.
    Originally posted by chrismac1
    There is a lot of useful information on the website, but I agree that the navigation and site design could be much improved. But it's better than what it's going to be. I worry about how much information will be lost and how difficult it will be to find next year when every government dept closes their website and migrates to the single gov.uk website, of which the beta version looks very dumbed down and designed to be read by 5 year olds.
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 14th May 12, 10:02 AM
    • 11,749 Posts
    • 22,757 Thanks
    Pennywise
    The reason this happens is because it's not possible to say for sure how much tax someone should have paid until the tax year has finished. This has to happen every year, the fact that it does happen just shows that HMR&C is doing what they are supposed to do.

    I deal with HMR&C a lot and I have a lot of gripes about the way they do things but this isn't an error it's just a part of the process. Beats me why MSE constantly try to knock HMR&C on this issue.
    Originally posted by TM1976
    Agreed, but a lot of the over/under payments wouldn't arise if HMRC acted on P45/P46s and other information given to them and issued correct coding notices during the year.

    I've got a number of clients with 2 or more sources of income and it's like pulling teeth to get them to issue the right coding notices, even when I've told them exactly what codes are required for each source of income and given them estimates of income from each etc. It's particularly bad when total income exceeds the HR threshold but each source of income is within the BR band - HMRC systems just can't cope and it needs manual intervention which means you need an HMRC worker who undertands and knows how to do the manual over-ride to the PAYE code - far too many can't comprehend it and get it woefully wrong. It usually takes a few attempts to get it right and then, come January, they issue new codes for the subsequent year and it's all wrong again. Pure madness!

    Same with employees/directors who have expenses reimbursements to declare, but which are zeroised by expenses relief claims. HMRC ignore the SA return when they issue the PAYE codes, so they code out the expenses but don't code back in the corresponding claim for relief, thus more phone calls and letters to them to put it right. And again, this happens every single year! There's just no mechanism for such information being carried forward to following years, so computer issues a wrong code again automatically.

    Another classic example of their incompetence is the increase in mileage allowance from 40p to 45p. Common sense would have dictated that they should increase the amount in the PAYE coding notice to accommodate this, i.e. if the code includes the prior year allowance (as is normal), for £1000 then the codes should have been automatically uplifted to allow for £1125 under the new increased rate. HMRC didn't do it. That is so basic that it's unbelievable it wasn't programmed in to their systems.

    And another, despite the state pension age for women being increased, HMRC systems are still "assuming" that a state pension is received from the 60th birthday and automatically adjusting the PAYE according. Again, nothing but poor programming of their systems.

    I agree with Chrismac, the RTI is going to be a complete and utter foul up unless they've got some major software re-writes going on in the background. The systems shut down twice a year is a major problem and will cause serious difficulties if HMRC don't get their act together and provide continuity of services for when RTI comes in. This year, there were employers who couldn't produce payslips using HMRC systems at the start of April because HMRC was down and they couldn't file the end of year P35, which in turn meant the HMRC payroll couldn't be rolled over into the new tax year which badly affected (especially weekly pay), required to pay staff at the start of April. If that kind of thing is allowed to happen under RTI, it will end up a complete fiasco. A five day shutdown is utterly ridiculous - a day or half a day is bad enough and wouldn't be tolerated in a business environment.
    Last edited by Pennywise; 14-05-2012 at 10:09 AM.
    • keveen
    • By keveen 14th May 12, 1:17 PM
    • 127 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    keveen
    I got 2 refunds without asking for them which is great news for me. They must be trawling through everybody's taxes to see what pennies they can squeeze out of us. But at least they did do the proper thing and give me what I should have had in the first place. A pity they didn't spend more time trawling through corporate accounts and making the biggest companies pay their fair share of tax.
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    • molerat
    • By molerat 14th May 12, 3:46 PM
    • 20,851 Posts
    • 15,123 Thanks
    molerat
    I got a cheque for just shy of £1800 for 09/10
    https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/give-support/donate-now/
    • Rupert Bear
    • By Rupert Bear 14th May 12, 4:44 PM
    • 1,267 Posts
    • 630 Thanks
    Rupert Bear
    I completed my tax return online for years 11/12 and have just checked to see I will receive a refund of £132.00. Not a lot but every little does really help.
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