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RTI Returns & Universal Credit Issues

Universal Credit not recognising HMRC information

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I'm just wondering if anyone else has ran into the same issue as I have.  Basically, to cut a long story short, I registered a client for PAYE in December. Due to several factors, lost mail etc I received the PAYE reference codes in Feb, filed the returns for the Nov, Dec & Jan months straight away and the Feb month end salaries when they were due. One of the employees recived notification that she was losing her Feb Universal Credit payment because she earned way too much money. Turns out Universal Credit took the 4 months' RTI returns filed in Feb, added them all up, decided she was paid 4 times the usual ammount and cut the month's Universal Credit. Of course she fought it, sent payslips etc but they are refusing to budge, she has been informed she's lost about £200 and she just has to suck it up. 

I spoke to Universal Credit on her behalf, explained the the 4 returns filed Feb were actually for the Nov-Feb period and the staff member admitted their system was not the same as HMRC's in that they cannot differentiate between the pay periods, they just see the date the information was uploaded and what the figures are.  I asked how that would work with the 'on or before' rule, wherein we could file early - I can forsee a potential issue where an early filing for a weekly paid employee may falsely inflate their monthly figure resulting in lost benefits for that period. I failed to get an adequate response other than 'just file on the payday then', even if that means working 7 days a week. I don't think so. It appears with Universal Credit its not a case where the money you may lose one month due to an early RTI filing is made up the next is your pay drops a bit, it seems to be geared towards paying less out.  I don't fully understand the ins and outs of Universal Credit as yet but from what I've experienced so far payroll providers now have to be careful when filing to HMRC due to Universal Credit's crappy systems not getting the full picture from HMRC. The employee in question fought them tooth and nail to try sort this matter but it appears to be a classic case of 'computer says no'. 

Anyone else come across this yet?


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