For the third time in a week, a client reported having had a late filing penalty for 2020. In all cases I had revised the 2019 Return to show cessation of Self Employment, phoned HMRC and got a confirmation that the record has been closed. I had at the same time emailed confirmations to the clients only for penalties to have been issued.
In each case I have spent the usual 40 minutes waiting on the phone as the Agent Priority Line has been cancelled under HMRC's "Working against Agents" programme. My previous calls are all on record and new 'referals' have been initiated.
At first I thought that the original call-takers had put down the phone and done nothing, but now I suspect that a new system is to blame. They used to cancel the 2020 Return and send out a letter, but they now 'send a referal to Class 2'. I have no idea why this fresh step has been inserted but it seems that 'Class 2' are not responding, gumming up the works. I have a feeling that mine are not the only such calls being received at the moment.
Can anyone else provide their expereinces and insight? I shall start making follow-up diary notes in future such cases and check if confirmatory letters have not been received - in other words a loss of trust in HMRC