HMRC SEISS Issue

Now I know the legal answer here.... This is a what would you do question.

Didn't find your answer?

A client who I've just got on the straight and narrow - again(!).  Just completed and submitted 2021, 2022, and 2023 Tax Returns. Great, he paid, even better...  Expected repayment after interest and POA's corrected was significantly higher than I thought - on reviewing online, the 2022 tax was not what I submitted! Cue a 60 minute call to HMRC (45 mins on hold on the priority Agent line).  HMRC couldn't see what the difference was, until we went through every figure.  They had removed the last 2 SEISS grants I had declared (taken from the bank statement).  HMRC then confirmed they did have that information & what was submitted was correct - the "computer" automatically removed it, but they had no idea why.  They then asked me to write in.

So (just received the comp stating my figure did not match their information, despite confirming on the phone it did!), what next?  Client is seriously struggling, and the submitted Return was correct. HMRC have on record I told them that, and indeed that the submitted Return matched the record they could see.  Do I waste yet more time writing to them, or just tell the client it's wrong and see if HMRC do anything?  I know the correct answer, but this is a how much more time can I be bothered to spend on something I've told them is wrong, and I won't get paid for question.

The over-repayment is about £1900 but I am fed up of battling to prove my correct Returns are correct (years of this, and no easy way to say "just use the Return I submitted!".  Moral issue?  I just wondered what others in practice would do - I'm sorely tempted to just lose it in the increasing pile of HMRC non-replies.

Heading to retirement, nearly 34 years in and out of HMRC, seriously considering that Reggie Perrin had the right idea!

 

Replies (12)

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By Roland195
18th Dec 2023 13:35

One point to consider is that the SEISS grants have been removed from the calculation as HMRC are now assessing them as repayable. This is plausible given 2021 has only just bee filed however I would also assume you would have received notification of this.

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Replying to Roland195:
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By OldLag
18th Dec 2023 13:47

Thank you. I hadn't considered this. Nothing has been received to date though, so I don't think it applies.

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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
18th Dec 2023 13:38

It sounds as if you need a rest.

Start by asking yourself what's in it for me? (possible answers: not a sausage / possible blame / disciplinary hearing.)

Then ask yourself whether your client would stick his neck out for you, were your positions reversed. Reggie Perrin didn't get where he is today by being nice to people! Go give this undeserving client of yours a large spoonful of GROT!

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By OldLag
18th Dec 2023 13:49

Correct, nothing! I do need a rest, I do! Thanks.

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Replying to OldLag:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
18th Dec 2023 13:57

Great! Super! ;-)

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Replying to I'msorryIhaven'taclue:
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By richard thomas
18th Dec 2023 14:07

Great! Super! C*ck-up on the HMRC front, as usual.

When I was a young tax inspector in the 70s, one of the taxpayers whose accounts I examined was the late John Barron. The letter I put through to my straight-laced District Inspector to approve read as follows:

Dear Sirs [his accountants]

"I didn't get where I am today by not determining this appeal under s 54 TMA in the figures as submitted". But he wouldn't approve it.

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Replying to richard thomas:
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By I'msorryIhaven'taclue
18th Dec 2023 14:36

Ha ha, he didn't get where he was without knowing a flatulence cushion!

Great story.

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By Wanderer
18th Dec 2023 17:55

OldLag wrote:

Do I waste yet more time writing to them, or just tell the client it's wrong and see if HMRC do anything?  I know the correct answer, but this is a how much more time can I be bothered to spend on something I've told them is wrong, and I won't get paid for question.

Just write to HMRC telling them. There will be something in PCRT about it.

Also note FA 2007 schedule 24 Section 2:-
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007/11/schedule/24

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Replying to Wanderer:
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By Roland195
19th Dec 2023 09:34

But to what extent does "just write to HMRC telling them" need to be pursued to, in the event of no response at all or that they disagree?

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Replying to Roland195:
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By Wanderer
19th Dec 2023 09:39

I'd say just one letter complies with FA 2007 schedule 24 Section 2.

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Replying to Wanderer:
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By OldLag
19th Dec 2023 12:00

Yes, I guess so. I knew the answer, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who is sick of HMRC "correcting" things which were correctly submitted. I do wonder if we stick up for what's fair often enough, and just allow them to inflict their astounding incompetance on us.

I was just wondering what others in practice feel about this sort of thing - especially in late December, when I've really got more important things to worry about.

Thanks for the link to the ever more difficult to find legislation though.

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By Tax Dragon
20th Dec 2023 22:54

You could have written the letter in the time it's taken you to initiate and respond in this thread.

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