Where to get help regarding SA refund "pending"

Or just sit and wait?

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Hello

 

I completed and submitted my client's 2022/23 quite promptly last year and they then knew that they had £600 to pay by January.  They made several payments on account and were soon £600 "in credit".  For personal reasons, they suddenly needed some cash and asked for a refund in September 2023.  The resulting bank payment has been "pending" ever since.  They received a HMRC statement for the £600 in December and promptly paid it for fear of being in debt.

I called HMRC in January and was told that the refund was being security checked but the client would hear from them by the end of February.  After getting no response on an online chat I was told we would get a response by the end of March.  Again, nothing so I went back on the chat and was given a new response date of 31st May.  I then followed up with a call the the ADL who confirmed the 31st May date and was further told that every time the client or I chased for a response (or made a payment) it would push the response date further back.

I know they need to make these checks for AML purposes but why does it take so long?  I wonder how I would fare if I tried this tactic when HMRC are chasing a client for a payment.

Does anyone have any similar experiences or better still - a trick to hurry it along?

 

Replies (15)

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DougScott
By Dougscott
11th Apr 2024 12:07

Unfortunately HMRC are unaccountable and inefficient.

You could try making a formal written complaint on the basis that you were told "every time the client or I chased for a response (or made a payment) it would push the response date further back" and say you will be making a claim for compensation. That ocassionally works.

Thanks (1)
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By Paul Crowley
11th Apr 2024 12:14

The threat of delaying the refund if you ever call again is heard so often that that it has become a mantra for HMRC.
It you ignore and do not call, then it will stick in stasis for ever. A Human needs to get it moving.
This is not HMRC doing AML. This is HMRC operatives fobbing off.

Thanks (2)
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By mbee1
11th Apr 2024 13:10

Send in a formal complaint and ask the client to send a copy to his MP. Seems to work. I've sent more complaint and MP letters in the last year that I've ever done.

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By K81
11th Apr 2024 13:12

i had a client due £3000 repayment from 2023 tax return filed in July 2023. After chasing & chasing £2800 was refunded in February - I am now trying to get the £200 back - why they did this is anyone's guess - there was/is no tax due. Unfortunately the online request for repayment is not working in this case.

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Replying to K81:
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By Paul Crowley
11th Apr 2024 13:47

I have rarely been successful in making a claim for repayment using the agent portal.
Just do not bother now.
@OP if it is just £200, I would suggest to client to submit this year's tax return and start over.

Thanks (1)
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By SkyBlue22
11th Apr 2024 13:38

I concur with the complaint avenue. Usually gets something dislodged.

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By AlgernonB
11th Apr 2024 16:38

You've had the usual run-around from HMRC, and over a fairly small sum of money. Try a letter of complaint fully annotated with dates tried, HMRC responses and with a copy to your client's MP. Good luck.

Thanks (1)
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By zxcvb
12th Apr 2024 11:51

Update: Thanks for the helpful replies. Happily the client still had a copy of the original repayment claim (almost 12 months ago so longer than I initially thought!) and I had kept the online chats so everything is documented and traceable.

Complaint now submitted - I'll update here when it's resolved (whenever that may be...)

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By zxcvb
08th May 2024 10:11

Update - HMRC have acknowledged the complaint. "The complaints team will aim to provide you with a full response within the next 16 weeks”!
Not sure if this has pushed back the refund response date (29th May). Dare not contact HMRC to ask because of the threat of push back.....

Stay tuned

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Replying to zxcvb:
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By FactChecker
08th May 2024 23:13

Here's a thought (apparently as yet not considered by HMRC) ...
... instead of employing people just to 'respond to complaints',
why not put the equivalent resources into 'resolving the complaints'?

And when that proves to be a resounding success, maybe allocate resources to 'prevent some complaints' (*before* they need to be raised by abused taxpayers).

Thanks (4)
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By zxcvb
20th May 2024 16:29

Update: Email received from named Complaints Investigator at HMRC, taking ownership of the case. Aims to reply by 28th May.

This is 10 days after correspondence went to MP (to which we've had no reply)

Thanks (1)
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By zxcvb
22nd May 2024 14:50

Update: It seems that the cause of the blockage has been revealed. Notice of compliance check today received for years before we acted.

To be continued, although that's probably the end of this thread!

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Replying to zxcvb:
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By FactChecker
22nd May 2024 18:48

Is compliance check the cause of the blockage OR the reaction to your complaint?

Anyway, good luck as you move on to the next task requiring something from HMRC!

Thanks (3)
Replying to FactChecker:
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By zxcvb
24th May 2024 09:41

Good point!

And of course, we only have 30 days to respond, from the date the letter was printed, so that's a week gone already.

I wonder what would happen if we didn't reply and then every time they chased we pushed back the response date and told them that if they chase again it will make the response even later.... Actually, I know what would happen but it's nice to dream......

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By zxcvb
10th Jun 2024 10:10

Final update: Complaint upheld. Small ex-gratia payment to client for "worry & distress" and payment of my bill for time spent chasing.

Thanks all for your advice on this one.

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