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Complaint to my MP

Complaint to my MP re incorrect revised tax calculculations

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I've sent the following email to my MP:

I have submitted several tax returns for my clients and I am now receiving revised tax computations from HMRC which are wrong because HMRC have double counted the SEISS Grants received.

It would appear that HMRC have made a major mistake and are asking for tax from taxpayers when there is no tax to pay or even when taxpayers are due a refund.

It shocks me that HMRC don’t appear to have been doing adequate testing at the development stage and there doesn’t seem to be anybody reviewing the revised calculations before they are sent to taxpayers.

The clear conclusion I have arrived at is that HMRC are incompetent.

Please don’t be fobbed off by HMRC claiming it is only a few isolated examples. It has happened with every tax return I have submitted that have included SEISS Grants.

It doesn’t bode well for HMRC trying to push through Making Tax Digital if they can’t get a simple matter right such as taking into account SEISS Grants.

Please ensure that Making Tax Digital is stopped until HMRC are not adjusting correct tax calculations and replacing them with incorrect calculations and are able to deal with letters received from the public in an acceptable time scale and not waiting for three months or longer before responding.

<end of email>

Please note that this is not a complaint about MTD. It is pointing out that HMRC shouldn't be making more changes when they appear incapable of doing simple things properly.

Replies (23)

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By alialdabawi
18th Sep 2021 21:01

Where is/have been the OTS?

Simplification of taxes is as much about the administration of taxes as it is about tax law.

Indeed, simplifying the administration of taxes is far easier and more easily achievable, with a minimum level of input.

If the OTS - or government as a whole - cannot even simplify such things, there is no chance that Making Tax Diabolical will go as evisaged by the tunnel-visioned numpties pushing it.

Quick and easy wins first, please.

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By Tax Dragon
18th Sep 2021 21:07

Be an interesting petition. We could all sign.

There's probably a thought in the ivory tower that IT deals with the issue. So I hope the tower-dwellers - or at least your MP - realise(s) that your SEISS example links the HMRC errors with HMRC IT - ie it's the combination of HMRC and IT that isn't working (the CGT IT is another example) and therefore that HMRC plus MTD doesn't solve it, MTD being an IT project.

(IT as in IT, not as in ITSA.)

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
RLI
By lionofludesch
19th Sep 2021 07:12

Tax Dragon wrote:

(IT as in IT, not as in ITSA.)

As in Ivory Tower.

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By AdamMurphy
18th Sep 2021 22:00

If it's like the post I saw previously in the week, it's because SEISS isn't being entered correctly in the tax return which causes this.

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Replying to AdamMurphy:
By petersaxton
18th Sep 2021 23:13

When there were discussions about where the SEISS grants should be posted, the common decision was as Other Income but when the tax return was issued there was a box for the grants - 27.1.
I didn't realise that until I'd submitted some returns but either HMRC were incredibly slow in sending out revised tax calculations or there was something wrong with their calculations.
I'd submitted two tax returns with the SEISS grant as Other Income on 04/05/21 or 05/05/21 but amended both of them on 29/07/21 but I received incorrect tax calculations on 09/09/21.

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Replying to petersaxton:
My photo
By Matrix
19th Sep 2021 06:51

So the several returns you refer to in the letter to the MP were amended returns you submitted to correct the SEISS? I would have called the SA helpine and got this referred first. Maybe the amended return hasn’t been picked up or needs manual intervention.

We spent a long time working out the boxes but luckily no problems with those submitted and clients have had tax repayments etc. earlier in the year.

Thanks (1)
Replying to petersaxton:
RLI
By lionofludesch
19th Sep 2021 10:14

petersaxton wrote:

When there were discussions about where the SEISS grants should be posted, the common decision was as Other Income but when the tax return was issued there was a box for the grants - 27.1.
I didn't realise that until I'd submitted some returns but either HMRC were incredibly slow in sending out revised tax calculations or there was something wrong with their calculations.

I don't know that it was the common decision. I've always thought a separate box would be needed, as soon as I knew that HMRC would be taxing SEISS on a year of receipt basis and I said so early in the debate. Many agreed with me. Just sticking it in Other Income in the accounts wouldn't be feasible for year ends other than 31 March/5 April.

I suppose we're all guilty of not reading the instruction manual from time to time but, whilst I'm often critical of HMRC, this is not one of those occasions.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
18th Sep 2021 22:38

All the SEISS returns I submitted were grand.

Admittedly, there were only two.

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By alialdabawi
18th Sep 2021 23:00

I had only one and it came back with a wrong, revised, calculation.

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Replying to alialdabawi:
RLI
By lionofludesch
18th Sep 2021 23:17

This is jolly interesting. It's either 100% right or 100% wrong.

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By Leywood
19th Sep 2021 09:25

I would’ve thought you would have written a more strongly worded email. Sorry Peter but it doesn’t read as packing a punch.

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Replying to Leywood:
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By johnhemming
19th Sep 2021 13:03

It sounds, however, that this is an SEISS box issue.

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Replying to johnhemming:
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By Leywood
20th Sep 2021 09:46

Well, yes , in this case.

Maybe its a good thing not to have been more forceful then in this instance.

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By Paul Crowley
19th Sep 2021 13:15

I sent an Email about MTD concerns to the then Lord high Chancellor
Standard non personal reply, by email

All he has done since is to be the mouthpiece defending the new tax on people that work

Not expecting a real reply

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By johnhemming
19th Sep 2021 15:00

If you wish a better more individual response you need to write to your MP and ask them to write to the Minister. The minister then signs the letter that is written back to the MP and if you are lucky also reads it.

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Replying to johnhemming:
By petersaxton
19th Sep 2021 17:35

In the past they have got a minister to reply

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By Calculatorboy
20th Sep 2021 01:00

All mine are fine using taxcalc ( they've now sorted out the errors in previous versions, tbh taxcalc messed up , even a child could spot their errors ,... makes you wonder )

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By Duggimon
20th Sep 2021 09:47

I think it would only have been fair to HMRC and to your MP to have included the fact you filed the returns incorrectly in the first place.

I've had several returns held up due to SEISS checks and have had a couple of revised calculations out this week, both times it's because my client has advised me of slightly incorrect grant figures, resulting in circa £10 adjustments.

I put the SEISS grant income in the SEISS box and left it out of other income.

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Replying to Duggimon:
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By Tax Dragon
20th Sep 2021 10:08

Also that "several" (in the OP) meant "some", and "some" meant "two" - these definitions being provided in a separate section later in the thread.

Maybe filing an amended email with the MP is advisable.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
By petersaxton
20th Sep 2021 16:08

I sent five in total. The two I talked about had the more extreme dates. I have sent the MP further emails.
Another thing is that HMRC dont refer to the date of the tax return submission. This would ensure that if corrections have been made then no action would be needed until the correct tax return was actioned.

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Replying to Duggimon:
By petersaxton
20th Sep 2021 16:02

I have sent further emails explaining the alterations.
I still think it's crazy that I sent incorrect tax returns in early May and amended them in late July yet I got incorrect calculations sent in early September. Does it take 4 months to respond to the incorrect tax returns or over a month to respond to the correct tax returns wrongly?

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Replying to petersaxton:
RLI
By lionofludesch
20th Sep 2021 16:14

petersaxton wrote:
Does it take 4 months to respond to the incorrect tax returns or over a month to respond to the correct tax returns wrongly?

Four months seems about par for the course.

I'm not saying that's acceptable, because it isn't, but that's the low bar that I've become used to.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
By petersaxton
20th Sep 2021 16:38

That's good because I'm telling my clients to ignore the letters.

One of my clients had a repayment available to request from HMRC - why can't they just send out the refund!?

I requested it but nothing happened. I phoned HMRC and they said they didnt pay it because my client didnt respond to a letter asking for ID and other questions. I asked why they said I could request a refund when they knew they weren't going to action the request. "That's another department." I asked if I could speak to somebody in that department. "No."

I phoned client. They said they never got such a letter.

I phoned HMRC and they said they would send out another letter in FOUR months! The HMRC guy I could talk to said what is usually included in these letters so I obtained them from my client and sent them to HMRC. Will they wait for FOUR months before reading the contents?

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