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HMRC on-line records show tax repayment has been made but no repayment issued

HMRC on-line records show tax repayment has...

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Has anyone else experience a situation recently whereby HMRC on-line (income tax) records report that a repayment of tax has been made but no repayment is forthcoming ?

I have a client who is due a significant tax refund which, according to his on-line self-assessment account records, was paid to him on 16th June. Having waited patiently for the funds to appear in his bank account I am now advised by HMRC that the repayment has been selected for 'checking'. HMRC call centre have confirmed there is nothing on client records to suggest any problem with the repayment or any reason why it should not be issued, but no-one at HMRC could tell me how long this 'checking' process will take or when repayment is likely to be released.

Not only does this make me look stupid in having advised my client that his tax repayment was on its way to him, but the unexplained delay has created a cash flow problem for my client as a consequence of the repayment not being remitted as reported.

I intend to make a formal complaint to HMRC regarding this matter and should be interested to know if anyone else has encountered a similar problem.

Replies (18)

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By stepurhan
30th Jun 2010 09:25

HMRC Security Checks

This is a long-running problem with HMRC online systems that I have complained about before. The refund has been sent for "security checks". If you phone up no-one will be able to tell you how long it will take to get through security checks as that department is apparently uncontactable.. I have pointed out that the online system is effectively giving false information if the payment hasn't actually been sent out but it would appear nothing has been done to resolve that issue.

If your client is genuinely suffering cash-flow issues as a result of this it is worth raising this with HMRC. I did have a case where the client was suffering hardship due to a delayed refund and it turned up soon after I notified HMRC of this fact.

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By petersaxton
30th Jun 2010 09:30


HMRC seem to be totally incompetent. Why should they think that it's ok to indicate that the repayment has been issued to the client when it hasn't?

The sooner we get rid of the clowns in charge the better.

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By cymraeg_draig
30th Jun 2010 10:45


The sooner we get rid of the clowns in charge the better.


Posted by petersaxton on Wed, 30/06/2010 - 09:30


The problem is they give them a spot on BBC's "Watchdog" then put them on the birthday honours list instead.  What a joke.

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30th Jun 2010 11:13

Security checks

I've also had this on several clients.  On one occasion it took 6 months! Regular calls to HMRC don't seem to help as you cannot speak to the repayment processing department and have to request that an internal email is sent to them requesting that they call you back ... the return call never happens.

Good luck

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By andypartridge
30th Jun 2010 11:15

Bad news

These 'security checks' can take several weeks, even months.

It shouldn't be you looking stupid to your client. Point the finger where the blame lies.

-- Kind regards Andy

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By juliekpb
30th Jun 2010 11:33

reapyment held for security checks

I would suggest you phone them again, advise them of your client's cash flow problems, and that he has threatened to go to his MP if it is not with him within the next 10 days.  This usually (but not always) gets HMRC to pull their finger out.

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By yardy
30th Jun 2010 11:49


Our worst case took 8 months and multiple phone calls from both client and us to get the repayment actually issued.

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By halesir
30th Jun 2010 12:19

Tax Repayment Security Checks

See my posting 17/6/10 and responses. HMRC web site says refund made 27 April but it actually went for security checks. HMRC now tell me that the repayment was passed for issue on 3 June but it has still not been issued. Case is now subject of a formal complaint and I will be requesting compensation for the time spent chasing this refund.

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Should Be Working ... not playing with the car
By should_be_working
30th Jun 2010 13:22

All the time

We tend to get two types of problem when the repayment isn't issued automatically (as per the SATR)

1) Account in credit ... request repayment online ... nothing happens (account still showing credit) ... phone up ... robot sets repayment to go, takes about two weeks.

2) (A new one in my experience). SATR filed mid/late May, SA account duly shows a repayment due so we phone up (don't bother requesting online anymore) ... 1/2 weeks later account is nil, repayment showing as having been made on 7/6-  fine. Then on 25/6, nothing's appeared in the account ... panic - did we put the right account details on? Yes, phew, just useless HMRC. We phone up again on 28/6 ... repayment sent on 25/6 ... appears in account on 28/6, only more than a month after SATR submission (not too bad, I suppose, reading some fo the above) but, more to the point, two weeks after online system claims repayment made. Client, a student, was waiting for the money so he can put deposit on university digs.

Anyone would think the Treasury was short of mon...


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By DMGbus
30th Jun 2010 13:31

These sort of security checks needed to be extended!

Might I suggest that these security checks be extended to salary payments to management within HMRC?

Logically, as I see it, salaries are being paid but no evidence of people doing what they're paid salaries for - a classic case of "phantom" employees fraud.  Do the employees in HMRC management really exist?  Or do they exist and not do the job they're appointed to do?  

Of course, I could be wrong, and it's just incompetence or absenteeism (*) or maybe even Government cashflow issues that are the problem here!  "Security checks" is a great "justifier" for delaying issuing refunds when the cash might not exist to make such repayments!

The security checks should start with the very highest level of HMRC management within the civil service.  I'm sure things would soon get sorted if this logical approach was made.

(*) I've seen recent reports that some public sector workers can self-certify and are never questioned about so-called sickness absences of upto 14 days- no "back to work" interviews or the like. They get 26 weeks continuous full pay when on sickness leave, so it is claimed they come back to work for a few days or so after 6 months before going back on full sickness pay for a further 26 weeks.   Whether this is true or not might be ascertained by comparing sickness absence rates in the public sector as compared to the private sector.  


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By cymraeg_draig
30th Jun 2010 15:15

Not a level playing field

I wonder if we should do "security checks" before paying our tax bills ?

Just a guess, but I suspect we would be charged penalties & interest - well, whats good for the goose is good for the gander, maybe HMRC should be made to pay penalties & interest on all repayments not received within 5 days of being requested.   

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By davisgrant
02nd Jul 2010 11:24

All the time!!

Unfortunately this is a very common problem. I am finding more and more that each repayment requires several phonecalls to get to our clients.

Simply putting an 'X' in the box is often not enough for HMRC to even acknowledge a repayment is due. I often have to re-send the computation and if you are claiming extended loss relief this is now being referred to a special team for checking.

Once a repayment has been agreed and issued it is not the end of the story. The cheque/bank payment still has to be agreed and may be held 'on review' for some time if you do not prompt them to send it on.

All in all it seems that HMRC like to hold on to these amounts for as long as possible, especially the larger ones. The only way to get a repayment these days is to chase, chase and chase again.

Good luck!!

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By JeffWH
02nd Jul 2010 12:51

Don't hold your breath

Our latest one took 6 months, no amount of calls, threatening to contact our MP or complaints made any difference.  The client suffered hardship and severe cash flow problems resulting in him almost being evicted, did that make any difference to HMRC? Not a jot.  Their answer is 'he will receive repayment interest so he is not losing out'.  He did receive interest - the grand sum of 14p.  Little compensation I feel when the problems this caused have cost him hundreds of pounds.  Don't bother to write to complain, you'll be lucky if you get a reply, and if you do, they have the law on their side everytime.  Just to add insult to injury, he has now been 'chosen at random' for an investigation into his previous SA return!  Coincidence?  I would advise caution in how strongly you complain in case this results in a 'random' time consuming and disruptive investigation.

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By westland
02nd Jul 2010 13:49

Delayed tax repayments

I've had at least two similar situations. On the first, I spoke after some effort to a Revenue officer who could find no reason for the check on the face of the record, and rang me back later to say that he was unable to pursue the matter any further. On the second, I was told that there was significant delay in issuing repayments and that I would be wise to expect about 6 weeks between request and issuance. Maybe this is circumstantial evidence that HMRC poicy of trying to code all income is backfiring.


Cameron Gordon ltd, Bristol

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By Nick HP
25th May 2012 15:01

Built in delays

Someone at the HMRC Help Desk told me today that it takes "up to 10 days" from the  "Bank Payment Issued on DD/MM/YYY " date on the website before the money hits the recipient account even if no checks whatever are subsequently performed to slow the payment down. This is just the time it takes, end of story. Since this money is paid via BACS which has a fixed 3 day payment cycle, then the repayment clearly is not "issued" on the day they say it is.


It is hard to think of any other walk of life in which someone could get away with blatantly misrepresenting the facts like this without falling foul of the law. There is a huge difference between "I have issued your payment" and "I have mentioned to Doris in accounts that it might be quite nice if she could get around to paying you when she's got a spare moment"

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By Nick HP
18th Jun 2012 08:47

Further to the above

A further 3 weeks and 4 phone calls have passed since the above and finally this morning I was told that the case had been passed on  for security checks and I could expect a progress report within 3 yet a further weeks. Hey ho

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Replying to Glennzy:
By lennyrebel81
24th May 2013 09:58

Similar circumstance

Yup i am another victim of this SATR fiasco. My accountant submitted my application on 6/4/2013. 2 weeks later he called me to confirm my figure i will be refunded. Happy days right??? No!! 2 months later no correspondance or any sign of payment. So i took it upon myself to give them a call. It was confirmed over the phone the figure my accountant gave me and that it is now going through "additional security checks".They said it would be processed in a week. Its now 3 weeks after that date and still nothing. Accountant has told me he will contact them next week if nothing has been issued but im starting to think its not going to make the slight bit of difference. Worst thing abbout it is i have always only waited a month max in the past and the one year i actually need it on time this happens. What is person to do...........???? Nightmare

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