Further to yesterday’s article about five million people being issued with incorrect income tax calculations, The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) is calling for a review of HMRC’s computer systems.
HM Revenue & Customs’ Real Time Information system is supposed to simplify the pay-as-you-earn process, “to ensure that it is fit for purpose”.
It was revealed on Thursday that HMRC sent an unknown number of inaccurate P800 statements and payment demands had been sent to taxpayers.
Natalie Miller, President of the ATT, said: “We have been drawing HMRC’s attention to the quirks and complexities of RTI in meetings and correspondence from its inception. We have also highlighted the significant burdens it places on employers and agents.
“What we are seeing now are real and serious practical problems for possibly many thousands of employees at a time when building confidence in the system is crucial. Some of those difficulties might have been avoided if HMRC had heeded advice from ATT and similar bodies at an early stage.
“In light of this latest revelation, we are calling for an urgent review of the RTI system to ensure that it is fit for purpose. This is essential because every employer and employee is entitled to know that PAYE is being dealt with properly.
“What we need is a thorough investigation of what has happened by a team which includes not just HMRC personnel but external specialists. Only that will give the necessary degree of confidence in the system that is vital for everyone who depends upon it (employees, pensioners, employers, payroll bureaux, tax advisers, other parts of government and HMRC itself). The review’s remit should extend to other areas of RTI where systemic problems have been identified. The ATT and many other professional bodies stand ready to assist HMRC in that review.”
HMRC said the errors were “based in part on incomplete information from employers”, which led to the ATT highlighting issues with new system.
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