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Checking PAYE payments

Is anyone else baffled by HMRC's website ?

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I've just checked a PAYE account back to 6th April 2017, following a claim from HMRC that the client was £4600 in arrears.   I've found all 19 payments - including the Class 1A NIC - matching the RTIs as on the Government Gateway.  There's no breakdown of the supposed debt in the HMRC letter.  There may be a bit of interest - but even that's a bit weird because four of the seven months for which there are interest charges were paid on on before 19th - and, anyway, it only amounts to £62.

If the client owes this money, it's definitely from before April 2017.

If I click on a payment, it's allocated to three or four different months for no logical reason.

Does anyone else find this site totally unhelpful or is it just me ?

Replies (29)

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By bernard michael
25th Oct 2018 15:22

I've got the reverse problem. HMRC keep claiming that the client is in credit when he patently isn't. The credit amount changes monthly. I've given up arguing with them. The amount varies between £1200 and £1870

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Replying to bernard michael:
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By Matrix
25th Oct 2018 19:26

Yes we have the same problem for a client, unknown credit on the account. Got a letter, called up and HMRC said it was the employment allowance, so checked and they have claimed exactly £3k. No idea what else it could be (not even P11D) since they always pay the exact amount on the RTI in time.

I can't see the payments for this tax year tho- anyone else find the payments aren't showing?

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By Cloudcounter
25th Oct 2018 15:36

Without going into detail we had a case where a client was first told he owed £14k, then that he was due a refund and then months later an officer turned up at his premises to collect the £14k again.

When we pointed out that the online record said totally differently, he said "Oh you can't rely on that"

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By Maslins
25th Oct 2018 16:04

Our staff have fairly frequently been told they can't rely on the figures on the HMRC portal. Only plus point for us is the lion's share of our clients never have a PAYE/NIC liability, as just one employee on £702/month. I pity firms with lots of payroll clients who aren't reliable. Must be a nightmare!

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RLI
By lionofludesch
25th Oct 2018 16:08

Well, I'm not going to just accept a letter saying "you owe us £4600".

Unless, of course, they'll accept a letter from me saying "you owe me £5000".

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By Wanderer
25th Oct 2018 16:44

The HMRC online system is totally unreliable.

Whenever you get one of these demands out of the blue just ask for it to be referred to the disputed charge team.

You'll find it falls into one of HMRC's black holes never to be seen again!

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/business/finance-strategy/what-you-need-...

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By SoL
25th Oct 2018 20:32

I find the structure/presentation of the PAYE information to be unusable.

I also have a "phantom" overpayment for a client that's proving impossible to reconcile.

It seems as if the website developers have had no input from anyone who actually knows anything. How is it possible that the "Allocations" screen displays tax year information (as you would expect) but the "Payments" screen is on a calendar year?

It seems unbelievable that this is a "live" HMRC resource.

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By GW
25th Oct 2018 21:57

"If I click on a payment, it's allocated to three or four different months for no logical reason."

Is HMRC teeming and lading?

Although PAYE is worse, I've spent half the afternoon trying to sort out HMRC's mysterious transfers on a Corporation tax account.

We need John the plumber with his smartphone to sort out HMRC's bookkeeping.

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By NYB
26th Oct 2018 10:27

A problem that irritates me beyond belief. I now just do a quick check and forget it. Allocations v payments dont tally. Payments received also have most strange amounts. From the drop down menu to access each year allocations, the drop down doesnt tally with the year. For example you have to go to 2016 to get 2018 or similar.
Complete shambles re something that should be straightforward.

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Replying to NYB:
RLI
By lionofludesch
26th Oct 2018 10:41

Oh well, it's not just me then.

At least everything's ready for MTD.

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Replying to NYB:
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By Paul Hawes
26th Oct 2018 15:12

It sucks that you can't always see the correct payment amount. I spoke to HMRC when having an issue trying to work out the correct balance on a client's account and wanted to double check all the payments they received but the amounts shown were only the amounts allocated to a period, so for example if client paid £150 but only £100 was allocated to a PAYE period it was showing as £100 paid. Seems ridiculously pointless to me. Another issue we had was where HMRC refused to offset maternity allowance against one period so even though the client had paid the correct amount in total they were saying the later period was overpaid and were chasing for outstanding amounts on the earlier periods. ARGH!

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By SteLacca
26th Oct 2018 11:54

PAYE online is about as much use an an old dog's [***].

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By adam.arca
26th Oct 2018 13:49

It seems I'm missing a trick here.

On my HMRC login (which is the old fashioned one), I can't access payment details, whether right or wrong, at all. I know that the lack of this was a moan a year or two ago and hadn't realised it was now possible.

How are you all doing this?

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Replying to adam.arca:
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By sally1964
30th Oct 2018 08:18

You have to log on through the beta site.

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By Joyces
29th Oct 2018 09:47

Had a credit on my own PAYE account so I knew without a doubt it was incorrect, my online tax account showed the same figures I had on my system so the only place where this ever changing credit existed was in the letters HMRC kept sending to me quarterly - Wrote to HMRC three times over several months (seems to be the magic number of letters these days before anyone there bothers to reply) and several weeks later I got a letter waffling on about how the system had incorrectly applied some interest to the account and this had now been removed... i.e. they had no idea where the credit had come from but eventually someone had worked out how to remove it!

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By atleastisoundknowledgable...
29th Oct 2018 10:17

3 years ago a (now but not then) client paid c£5.5k to his SA account instead of his ltd PAYE account. Looking through the SA payments page, there was about £100 reallocated over prior years, £750 exactly allocated to a future year (?! NB £nil PoA due?!?), £165 repaid by chq and £4657.99 “credit transfer”. 3 calls to HMRC and I still have no idea where this went!

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By NH
29th Oct 2018 10:46

And if you have a client with CIS its an even bigger can of worms, we have clients showing that they are in credit going back 4/5 years when the repayments have all been made, its totally unreliable.

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By AdShawBPR
29th Oct 2018 10:55

I agree and find the PAYE information to be almost unfathomable. It's also a different view from what the client can see on their own log in and a different screeen when HMRC look. We deserve better.

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By graeme kempson
29th Oct 2018 11:31

Client in the Construction Industry. Over last 24 months have written 3 times with copies of reconciliations, with proof of CIS deductions and payment dates without response although they seem to some adjustment work in meantime.
So they receive the cash or voucher, and they partially allocate these amounts to the liability that looks the 'oldest'. So one payment or voucher is spread over multiple months, and then they charge interest and penalties to further muddy the water.
It is complicated by the fact that NatWest make it very difficult to date each payment when remitting?
A complete mess...

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By Bruce Roberts
29th Oct 2018 11:45

WE spent over two years trying to sort out something similar to this. I now refuse to get involved and tell HMRC that if they think there is a problem they should open a PAYE investigation and send an officer to review the records. My advice is to not engage and make HMRC do their own work in sorting out the problem.

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By lionofludesch
29th Oct 2018 12:03

HMRC are now merely a bunch of brigands and highwaymen.

How did we get reduced to this stage ?

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By Charlie Carne
29th Oct 2018 12:05

This is yet another instance of HMRC not providing helpful information to their "customers" [sic]. I have complained to HMRC on numerous times over the years that it is impossible to reconcile my clients' PAYE payments to HMRC if their portal only shows what payments have been allocated to a particular month, rather than showing what they have received in that month.

It got so bad with one client, that they sent a collector to my office (which is where the PAYE scheme is registered) to collect the apparent underpayment. After lengthy investigation through her back-end systems (not available to us mere 'customers'), she was eventually able to discover the exact month in which the payment was missing from their records but, on further assurance from me that it had been paid, they discovered it in their Suspense account (not sure why, as the bank payment reference was the same as for every other month). Three months later, HMRC had still not transferred it from Suspense to clear the outstanding sum and were still sending threatening letters! The very helpful lady from the Collector's office who visited me admitted that the back-office had no idea what they were doing and that the staff were not trained to the level that they used to be when she first joined HMRC many years ago.

I had hoped that the new agents services account would resolve a lot of these issues, as initial rumours were that we would be able to see all payments, how they were allocated and that we (as agents) would even be able to re-allocate payments between periods and even from one tax heading to another. I despair when I see how complex these new agent services accounts are to just register for MTD for VAT.

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By philipw
29th Oct 2018 16:09

I have found that consistently HMRC split up PAYE payments for no apparent reason, and (sometimes) into figures that mean nothing. More than once I have written to them about this, but nothing changes, and the client has had a few letters demanding arrears when none exist!

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By Homeworker
29th Oct 2018 18:19

I too have found it impossible to reconcile liabilities and payments. It would help enormously if HMRC would not split payments that obviously belong to a single period but just leave any under- or overpayments showing against the period they belong to (even if it does mean interest is charged).
When we first had access to HMRCs detailed PAYE records (due to having a small number of clients we were allowed to "join" the new system early) I had real hopes that we would be able to sort out discrepancies going back several years but it is just too difficult to do.
At least with the PAYE system you can actually find payments made - with the CT system it is next to impossible to locate payments unless they have been allocated correctly to the year concerned.

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By andrew1211
30th Oct 2018 09:46

HMRC allocate FIFO regardless of which month a payment is supposed to relate to which causes the confusion. If you accidentally missed a month but then paid subsequent months on time (or early) and assuming the monthly amounts were broadly similar the HMRC system would never show you as owing anything other than a small difference each time. By the time the system thinks there is an underpayment the next month has been paid.....and so on

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Replying to andrew1211:
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By graeme kempson
30th Oct 2018 09:57

Well they should desist. If any sales ledger clerks did this, then they would pretty soon get moved on. If you can't tell the customer (and that's what they want us to think we are?) precisely what they owe and what far, then you are unlikely to get paid. In fact payments tend to cease until the situation is clarified?
And with CIS deductions from contractors and customers, it is never "broadly similar" from month to month

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By MissAccounting
30th Oct 2018 10:33

Don't see what you are all moaning about? Just sprinkle some MTD fairy dust on, set up a Direct Debit with HMRC and all will be good in the world!

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By seonaid anderson
30th Oct 2018 12:25

Can anyone understand how they calculate the interest on the HMRC site. I've tried to get HMRC to explain but I get different answers whoever I speak to and none make sense.

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By seonaid anderson
30th Oct 2018 12:25

Can anyone understand how they calculate the interest on the HMRC site. I've tried to get HMRC to explain but I get different answers whoever I speak to and none make sense.

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