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Moneysoft Problem - update

Not a question - just an update to an ongoing PAYE issue with HMRC

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Client suffered the problem with HMRC's intermittent error on RTI submissions whereby they record the wrong figures so the employer is recorded as owing more PAYE & NI than they actually do.  There is an earlier thread on this with various comments from people saying that it takes over a year for HMRC to sort it out.  This has happened with Moneysoft submissions =- don't know if it has also happened with other software.

My client's problem became obvious very quickly as an employee got a letter from Universal Credit saying he was no longer entitled to anything as he earned so much per month.  He got in a flat spin & I advised him to contact the Universal Credit helpline with his payslips & bank statements & surprisingly enough he got his problem sorted out very quickly & they admitted they had the wrong figures at their end (this does rather suggest that it happens quite often).  This didn't feed back to HMRC who show quite a chunk still owing by client for month 2 payroll after the client paid the correct amount (correct amount per their own payroll).

I phoned the HMRC online helpdesk yesterday as per Moneysoft advice and got someone aiming for worst employee of the year who basically refused to do anything at all & firmly said they can't do anything.  Phoned the Employers Helpline this morning & got someone very helpful who said they prefer to see if it will get sorted out by the next month's submission, ( i.e. they don't want a repeat submission of Month 2 by the client) but they have put a note on the employer's record - we had quite a discussion about the Universal Credit situation as evidently the HMRC staff member had received a similar call about this before so he was pleased to hear that UC had sorted it out so quickly.

Since my call, the employee with the problem has forwarded a tax code that he received after his worrying contact from UC.  This shows that the problem is with HMRC as they have clearly set up a duplicate employment - - so apart from sticking a large lump adjustment to reduce the code for estimated tax you owe this year, they have down how the remaining tax free amount is used and the remaining small code amount goes to the employer & then there is a second employment with the same employer shown as getting no tax free pay with a BR code.  I will call the employers helpline tomorrow at 8am with this detail & hopefully this can be properly sorted without taking a year.

 

Replies (16)

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By Not Anonymous
23rd Jun 2022 10:14

Did you change payroll number by any chance for this employee but not record this as a change on the Full Payment Submission for the employee?

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Replying to Not Anonymous:
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By Hugo Fair
23rd Jun 2022 12:57

... or report them as a Leaver and then change your mind? or transfer them from a different PAYE scheme? or ...

There are lots of ways in which the HMRC system can end up misinterpreting the FPS so as to cause a 'duplicate employment record' at their end. Very few (if any) of these will be the fault of the submitting software (Moneysoft or other payrolls).

So in that sense Moneysoft are right to say 'nothing to do with me guv' ... not that it excuses either the rude response or the helpful (but incorrect) one that you've received.

Under NO circumstances should you fall for the default HMRC suggestion to 'submit a correction' (because what you've already submitted is, presumably, correct) ... it is for HMRC to clean up their own data and I'm afraid that that is what you'll have to badger them to do.

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Replying to Hugo Fair:
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By Wanderer
23rd Jun 2022 17:14

Hugo Fair wrote:

Under NO circumstances should you fall for the default HMRC suggestion to 'submit a correction' (because what you've already submitted is, presumably, correct) ... it is for HMRC to clean up their own data and I'm afraid that that is what you'll have to badger them to do.

Whatever you do make sure you follow Hugo's advice here. Steadfastly refuse to submit any 'corrections', despite how many times HMRC tell you to do so.
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By Not Anonymous
23rd Jun 2022 13:04

It may not be the fault of the payroll software but it can sometimes be down to the data the employer/payroll agent enters in the software.

But impossible to know what the cause was without a lot more information than we have at the moment.

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By Jo Nokes
23rd Jun 2022 14:29

I had a similar experience last year. No fault of Moneysoft, entirely down to HMRC’s system, misinterpreting data, adding tax to one employee, and not having the second employee on the record. They blamed me for confusing the employee works numbers, which I hadn’t. Eventually, the query was escalated to the specialist dept, but they insisted that the individual employees also had to telephone to sort things out. Do not be deterred, but don’t spend to much time on it either. Stick to your guns

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By TessaW
23rd Jun 2022 16:48

I don't do the payroll for this client but as I have the agent version of Moneysoft software & use it for other clients I have been able to look at the client's data. Unusual situation in that the employee left in March 2022 to join another firm. Only lasted a week there - he realised that my client's firm was a better employer so asked to rejoin. So leaver on the March RTI submission & then a starter on the April RTI submission. Client set him up in April with a different works number and it is odd that HMRC dealt with April just fine but got the figures all wrong in May. Hopefully will be straightforward for HMRC to correct though.

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Replying to TessaW:
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By Wanderer
23rd Jun 2022 17:24

TessaW wrote:

..... and it is odd that HMRC dealt with April just fine but got the figures all wrong in May. Hopefully will be straightforward for HMRC to correct though.

I have dealt with about half a dozen of these over the years. It always involves a new joiner and the initial month(s) of this new joiner's tax / NI being duplicated or triplicated into later figures by HMRC.
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Replying to TessaW:
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By Not Anonymous
23rd Jun 2022 17:52

With or without a new starter declaration on the Full Payment Submission?

Presumably the new works number used in April was used on the May submission?

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By TessaW
23rd Jun 2022 16:52

By the way - it was definitely not Moneysoft who were unhelpful - they are stuck as it is clearly an HMRC error. They suggested I just try calling again & see if I can get a different person after I reported back regarding the unhelpful person at HMRC - who was on the HMRC online helpdesk. The helpful person I got on the 2nd call was also HMRC but the employers helpline.

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Replying to TessaW:
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By Wanderer
23rd Jun 2022 17:23

No one at HMRC will sort this until it is escalated to the Disputed Charges Team (a.k.a. Charge Resolution Team). Before that you will just get standard responses copy & pasted from here:-
https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/debt-management-and-banking/dmb...

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Replying to TessaW:
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By Hugo Fair
23rd Jun 2022 20:29

Apologies to Moneysoft then, I obviously read your OP too fast ... at least I didn't blame their software at the same time!

The issue is definitely at HMRC's end (your description being similar to one of the scenarios that I guessed at earlier) ... "leaver on the March RTI submission & then a starter on the April RTI submission - client set him up in April with a different works number and it is odd that HMRC dealt with April just fine but got the figures all wrong in May."

FWIW I presume the employee got paid for the one week at a different employer - but as Month 12 or as Month 1?

My guess is that it was Month 1 and that the 'new' employer's FPS (with both the starter and leaver details) wasn't received/processed by HMRC until *after* they processed the April FPS from your client.
If so, their 'intelligent' software was at that point unaware of the intervening employment ... so (and this is truly guesswork) decided that the leaver flag in your client's Mar FPS was being 'corrected' (i.e. employee never left)!
But it also recognised that a new Works Number means 'create a new employment record' and so did that as well.
Then in some unfathomable (to me) way it got its underwear truly in a twist when trying to allocate the earnings/tax from the other employment when it subsequently processed their April FPS (hence only 'corrupting' the employee's records from May onwards).

Anyway, whether my guesswork is correct or not, remember ... your client has submitted the correct data, so it is down to HMRC to sort out their own mess!

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By TessaW
24th Jun 2022 11:52

Thanks to all for replies. Phoned the Employers Helpline again this morning & got another very helpful member of staff. He is arranging for a disputed charge to be put on the balance showing as owing for month 2. The bad news is that I was told that the major problem with the employee, who has been allocated 2 employments with the one employer erroneously by HMRC resulting in problems with his Universal Credit, is not going to be fixed quickly. The overall issue - affecting employee & employer - goes to the one team who deal with these discrepancies on the payroll account. I asked if I needed to warn the employee that he could have exactly the same problem with Universal Credit after this month's payroll & from the very indirect response it was clear that the answer was "yes".
However, when I said that I had heard that these problems took over a year to fix he did say that this was the case last year but it should now be just a couple of months.
As an aside - this employee had left in March 2022 - went to another employer but stayed such a short time that he got no payment there, and he then returned to my client, his previous employer, in April 2022.

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Replying to TessaW:
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By Hugo Fair
24th Jun 2022 12:19

DWP are able (although whether they are willing may be another matter) to put a flag on that individual's record ... such that it requires manual intervention.
In theory that will ensure a lack of automation (based on faulty data from HMRC) ... until the fault is corrected.

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By TessaW
24th Jun 2022 11:57

I should perhaps add that the HMRC staff member said very firmly that in his experience all these problems were caused at a software level & not by HMRC.
However surely this just means that HMRC's own testing of payroll software is a little superficial as Moneysoft is on their list of "recognised" software.

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Replying to TessaW:
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By Hugo Fair
24th Jun 2022 12:15

FWIW ... wrong (HMRC) and wrong (you).

1. All these problems are indeed "caused at a software level" - but not due to faults in commercial payroll software. The issues arise because there is a disjunct between what HMRC specified (as the rules for RTI development) and their (lack of) understanding of how their own systems process submissions across different scenarios.

2. HMRC's 'recognition' process has never involved ANY testing by them of the various payroll packages (it's almost entirely self-certification by the developers nowadays) ... but even when they used to do some testing it was only of specific 'cases' (defined by them) not of all the real-world permutations we encounter!

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Replying to TessaW:
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By jjswjjsw
28th Jun 2022 10:22

I've had similar issues with HMRC creating duplicate records/records with different figures to those submitted, on the last 2 occasions these were for payrolls not prepared in Moneysoft. So if it is a software issue then my experience gives another 2 software companies also at fault.

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