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PAYE disputed charges - how many and how long?

Disputed charges

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Just wondered if anyone else is having a problem with errors in the PAYE RTI system and disputed charges.

I now have disputed charges on four of my clients, two of which have been outstanding for over a year.  I only have about 30 clients that I do the payroll for, so that is a hit rate of about 13%.

I have just spoken to the employer helpline to see where they were with one of them and the response was that they don't have any idea how long it will take to sort it - the disputed charges team give no timescales.  In the meantime, employer clients and now their employees are being chased for money that they don't owe.

Interested to hear if my experiences are typical, or am I just unlucky?  Had anyone actually had their disputed charge resolved? If so, how long did it take?

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By bernard michael
14th Nov 2017 15:20

I have the opposite. HMRC claim that the client has overpaid his PAYE and try to insist that we correct the situation. We are happy that only the correct PAYE has been paid per submitted documentation and the problem is probably some form of mis-allocation by HMRC. Strangely we get a letter about very 3 months and the figure both increases and decreases

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By NYB
14th Nov 2017 15:22

Can very rarely get any clients account to balance. The whole payment/allocation system is utterly shambolic with payments showing rarely agreeing with what has been sent - Talk about RTI - a joke. They bang in chasing money that is not owed but don't perform their end - just carry on with threats etc.

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By Charles_Bennett
14th Nov 2017 15:48

The whole system seems to be designed to confuse as much as possible. I can only assume it's no easier for the disputed charges team to follow than us.

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By SteLacca
14th Nov 2017 16:01

Still have a discrepancy from March 2014 (fully reconciled and proved to be HMRC error), reported to them 18 months ago not resolved.

They originally wanted an EYU, though were a bit stumped when I asked exactly what should go on it, since the FPS/EPS submissions were all correct.

On the positive, HMRC seem to have given up asking for it.

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Replying to SteLacca:
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By neiltonks
15th Nov 2017 11:25

This has long been an issue. HMRC try to use the EYU to synchronise their data with employers' data, but it was never designed to be used for this purpose. It's a mechanism for employers to report adjustments they make to payrolls from a closed tax year, nothing more.

HMRC are well aware of the issue, and keep telling us it's being kept under review. Time will tell whether anything comes of this. What is certain is that nothing changes in 2018/19.

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Replying to SteLacca:
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By Paul Hawes
20th Nov 2017 13:31

This is the dumbest thing ever with PAYE. We have had a couple of times where HMRC have refused to tell us the figures they hold for the year so there is no idea how to fix it via an EYU. Wish it was possible just to resubmit the correct figures and that would be the end of it.

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Tom McClelland
By TomMcClelland
14th Nov 2017 19:10

Problems were designed into the RTI system and HMRC was aware of this from the start. Absurdly the final design of RTI was fixed in stone *before* the pilot scheme began, so no opportunity was available to improve the live RTI service based on the experience of the pilot (which immediately of course threw a spotlit on the reconciliation issues that have plagued RTI ever since)

The biggest problem, repeatedly pointed out in the software developer "give and take" sessions before and during the RTI pilot, is that there is no outgoing reconciliation service to allow employers or their agents to view the detail upon which HMRC are basing their demands. So you can't tell how they've arrived at their wrong figure. Providing this detail would quickly solve 95% of disputes. But of course RTI is now regarded as "complete", so there is no IT budget at HMRC's end for making improvements. Only year on year tinkering as necessary for new PAYE initiatives.

EDIT: There is no budget for improving RTI on the IT side, but evidently there is a huge budget for hundreds of people to work in the disputes team resolving problems that exist because of RTI's poor (but improvable) design.

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By Moonbeam
14th Nov 2017 20:17

I've had 2 clients with similar problems to those you mention. One of them has had problems for 3 years with an error caused by the wretched sage software. I knew nothing about that one at the time.
If you want to try to solve things then send an email to the people below. Just occasionally they can actually fix things:
disputedchargequeries.nic&[email protected]

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By Kate Upcraft
15th Nov 2017 18:10

Some of you will know I write about this on accounting web regularly reflecting what I hear every day from agents and employers when lecturing. I only run 4 Payrolls these days to help local charities and two have disputed charges. HMRC have recently stated in an answer to a PMQ that they receive 590m records p.a. Via RTI. We must remember that Each disputed charge is caused by taxpayer (that’s employee and pensioner) records being corrupted which now can have very significant consequences thanks to the deployment of dynamic coding in July by HMRC and the accelerated rollout of Universal Credit. With 590m records, One system relying on invalidated corrupted data is bad, two together spells meltdown for some people’s finances and the employers and agents that support them

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Replying to bassett1:
By SteLacca
16th Nov 2017 09:49

That's as maybe, but what is the cause of that corruption. Since ALL RTI capable software has to meet HMRC's requirements, and since HMRC systems ostensibly validate information as it's submitted, then any corruption can only be caused by HMRC's systems themselves.

That being the case, then why don't the numpties fix their bloody systems.

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By Kate Upcraft
16th Nov 2017 13:18

For the simple reason already outlined here a)they have to accept there are issues in their system and b) ask for money to fix them. I’m hoping a and b might happen before I retire but as I’m only due to work for five more years I’m not holding my breath!

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By Selaen
20th Nov 2017 11:03

I reported a ~15k difference in March 2016, and I phone them on a monthly basis just because I get bored. Every time they tell me "the team will get back to me on the 18th" and surprise surprise, they never do.

We've received a few interest letters, which have been responded to in the most passive-aggressive way I could (because I get bored).

I just wonder what kind of a mess they're in as all our crew qualify for seafarers' relief and thus get their tax back. You'd think HMRC would check their tax records and put 2+2 together and fix it at some point. Oh wait, here I go again with the high expectations...

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By bernard michael
20th Nov 2017 14:50

Why should we have to re-submit figures they already have. They need to sort their systems out rather than leach off the good will of accountants

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