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Desperate plea for information.

Desperate plea for information.

Didn't find your answer?

Anyone using self assessment online-beware. I will never use it again.

1.Does anyone know of an action group of aggrieved online filers who have suffered as a result of bugs in hmrc's online submission system?

2.I am being investigated and am being pressured to admit that I was careless in filling in the form! The online system checks for errors and does not let you proceed, so how can I have been careless?  They say if I admit this carelessness, they will then work out the penalties. So what should I do? I do want to be rid of this investigation as I have multiple health issues. At the same time I am not at all sure that I made an error. It is not as if I concealed anything. What if I remain steadfast and not admit any misbehaviour? After all there are two potential culprits here. I am one. Their software is the other. If I did not misbehave, then it is their software that generates the return form is at fault. They have modified their software for 2009/2010 tax year so this error can not happen! How does anyone take on the mighty tax apparatus?

I do not believe I am the first one to be caught and wont be the last. This has come to haunt me 2 years after retirement. If I had been filling the form on paper, it is unlikely I would have made the error. I suggest all online filers pause and think! Is it worth using this system when even if it has bugs in it, they make you responsible for it and hound you into submission.

Replies (4)

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By Guest1
23rd Jul 2010 09:57

I'm assuming that

you haven't been professionally represented in either; the completion and submission of your tax return ("the" return) nor, in respect of the HMRC investigation?

If that is the case and, given your various health issues, if you can afford to instruct an accountant/taxation adviser, I would strongly suggest that you do. I think you would find that, in those circumstances, many of your problems may be resolved very quickly.

If you are unable to provide such instructions and wish to deal with all of this yourself then, in those circumstances, I would request a factsheet from HM Revenue & Customs or simply go to

The factsheet will also explain that you can approach your local MP and, in my experience, they can be quite useful.

I wish you well whichever route you decide to take. Stress is a terrible environment and should be avoided if at all possible.

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By geoffwolf
23rd Jul 2010 10:26

referring to the above

If you cannot afford an accountant's fees then there is a charity called Taxaid which you will find on the internet who may well be able to help.The charity uses qualified tax practitioners who give up small amounts of time  on a regular basis.


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By petersaxton
25th Jul 2010 09:29

Error checking

“The online system checks for errors and does not let you proceed, so how can I have been careless?”

It can only check for certain errors.

What is supposed to be wrong?

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By Andy3T
28th Jul 2010 18:51


I echo Peter's comments.

Is the inspector saying that you were careless in filling out the form, or are they saying that you were careless in obtaining / treating / disclosing the underlying data - I note that they may say the former but usually mean the latter.

Some HMRC letters can be poorly written and difficult to interpret for someone unfamiliar with tax jargon and expectations, they can also be very intimidating even when HMRC is trying to be helpful.  An accountant should be able to see fairly quickly from looking at the letter what sort of letter it is, whether HMRC have focused queries or are just fishing, whether they are trying to inform you of potential penalties or threatening to impose them, etc - how far advanced is the enquiry?  Are they just starting or have you exchanged several calls/letters already?

In addition to an accountant or Taxaid, you may be able to get advice from Tax Help for Older People or, in desperation, the citizen's advice bureau. 

Can you post (anonymised) extracts of the paragraphs that are worrying you from HMRC's letter?  We may be more able to point you in the right direction.  Could you also say which tax office is dealing with the matter - it can make a big difference?

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