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The Real Time Information reporting system is seriously flawed according to Peter Bickley of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

There was a good article in The Mail on Sunday and I was dealing with a case at Worthing where the payments for Income Tax and National Insurance had been received by HMRC but had not been recorded against the various times.

As a result HMRC have issued a winding up petition against the company although admitting that it had received the money and there was possibly no payment due for Pay As You Earn.

A Debt Collection Officer, who really is a glorified clerk at Worthing, apparently made the decision whilst agreeing to an adjournment of the actual hearing for a further six weeks to allow the matters to be corrected. She said that she was going to run an advertisement advising all and sundry that a winding up petition had been issued against my client company.

I was appalled in view of the fact that she actually had agreed a six week adjournment and so the issue of whether or not the advertisement appeared would not have actually done any damage or hindered HMRC’s position with regards to the winding up petition.

She went on then to say there was CT outstanding in spite of the fact that chartered accountants had lodged amended accounts showing not only was there no CT payable but there was a refund due. Also information was given to the Debt Collection Officer that an arrangement had been put in place to pay off a substantial sum of CT based on estimated pending the accounts being lodged.

I was appalled. And then she referred to the fact that if I wrote in she would put it in front of her manager. She then changed her mind on the second telephone interview by saying that she had spoken to the manager (name not given) and they had made the decision to proceed with the advertising.

I was absolutely shocked. I wrote in, I provided all the information and frankly I’m appalled by this lady’s attitude – this is no way to treat people who are genuinely trying to run a business – and this business by the way employs 800 people.

So Mrs ‘Debt Collection Officer’ from Brighton how do you feel today?

It’s an absolute disgrace and this sort of thing should be publicised.

PS – I also sent her a copy of the article from The Mail on Sunday

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