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Why should we bother with RTI when the Revenue don't?

Why should we bother with RTI when the Revenue...

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My client has just received a letter from Debt Management demanding £1001.35 for unpaid CIS deductions to month 6.

As I use Moneysoft to file my reports, which I do religiously, as the software reminds me to, I know that this is incorrect and that the client is in fact owed £98.38 by the Revenue.

First step is obviously to ring Debt Management who are as helpful as a chocolate teapot as they are unable to supply any breakdowns.

Debt management then transfer me to the Employers section and after all of the voice activated security checks and customary 10 minute wait, I am told that my year to date totals do not agree with the Revenues.

Having then been asked the usual stupid questions like "are you sure that you've filed all of your reports..." (apparently there is only one FPS showing on their system) I am told that, after further investigation, and another wait, that they can find my submissions on the account but they haven't been transferred over on the system and somebody will have to manually transfer the figures over to rectify this problem.

Why do we bother when we are continually met with such incompetence?

Even more worrying is if this type of error (for want of a better word) is not addressed, will they start sending out penalty notices if the system isn't picking up the submissions? Moneysoft produces submission reports with correlation ID's so the penalties can be argued against, but the clients are not going to be too impressed at receiving them and who's going to pay for the extra work generated by the Revenue?

Replies (18)

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By mbdx7ja2
12th Nov 2013 13:49

Only on one point, but

"who's going to pay for the extra work generated by the Revenue?"

You can send a bill direct to HMRC for your fees with dealing with errors that are wholly HMRC's fault, which this would appear to be an example of.  Historically I have done this for enquiries into tax affairs on occasion, and they have been paid, but times have moved on and I'm not sure whether you would still have any luck being paid as they'd probably dispute that as well.

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By Moonbeam
12th Nov 2013 13:52

Yes, I agree with you

I need to work out next year's payroll charges so I can send everyone a letter on 1st Jan.

I agree that HMRC will have no hesitation insisting that their rotten systems are right and levying swingeing penalties from April. None of my current payroll clients have had any false accusations made against them by HMRC, but it's early days.

I agree it's going to be more work for us, but not for every client. At present I'm thinking there will need to be an increase in payroll fees to reflect the extra work for RTI, but very unsure of what's fair for both client and me.

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Hallerud at Easter
12th Nov 2013 14:50

I think it is due to the Computer Issue weekend of the 18th Octo
I posted the undernoted on Friday re the HMRC issue that may have caught your client. To date I have had two incorrect £100 late submission penalties (I expect a third as I submitted three CIS returns on the 18th Ocober.



 CIS to 5/10/13 and HMRC Computer issue Posted by DJKL PM | on Fri, 08/11/2013 - 15:16  130 | report printMore social links   Linkedin Google+ Primary tabsView(active tab)Edit 

One of our entities received a debt management letter  dated 4 November today, stating we owed £1,034.76 re CIS for month ending 05/10/2013.As I had done a nil online return, on 18/10/13, I checked online and the return was showing as made on said date.

I then phoned debt management who advised that the CIS nil return had not come through to RTI return and advised phoning CIS. (Number they gave turned out to be Aviva but I could have taken it down incorrectly.) They did not at this time mention their figure was an estimate nor did they mention, which I later found out, that there had actually been a computer issue re CIS on the w/e of the 18th. (Why do they not talk to one another).

Then phoned CIS who confirmed we were all up to date but did advise that they had some computer issues that weekend (really clever, lets play with the system at the deadline date) and that whilst my online return was showing as 18/10/13, in fact it had only been added by them to the system on 7/11/13. The chap was very helpful and also wiped a penalty of £100 that had been applied to our account  for late submission ,on the reasonable basis that the return had not been late.

Then back on phone to Debt management, gave them the story, they said their figure of £1,034.76 was actually an estimate (would have helped if they had said during the first call) as they did not yet have a nil return from CIS  on their system, they further advised that they only get a CIS update twice a month. Chap this time quite understanding, pleasant and helpful, issue looks like it is down to timing.

If what I have been told is true I now have a real sympathy for HMRC staff. Whoever designs, runs, operates and updates their systems appears to have squandered thousands of man hours across the UK  (mine re the three calls / checking were circa 1.25 hours) because they have botched an upgrade/repair at a very poor time, someone should have insisted the works were done between the 20th of the month and the 5th of the following month.!


So, given I expect two more of these (I did three CIS returns on the 18th), if you all start getting a slew of Debt Management letters which you cannot understand HMRC's online portal re CIS may be the culprit.



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By puzzel
12th Nov 2013 18:21

Same problem prior to Oct

Had the same a month ago and posted a comment:

The RTI system is flawed, they have even admitted it over the phone.

But this does not work well with client relationship.

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By taxhound
12th Nov 2013 18:24


My client had a demand for "unpaid CIS" in August.  Thought we had sorted that one, but got another demand for the same amount today.

More time wasted.

I dread to think what will happen when penalties kick in....

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By petersaxton
12th Nov 2013 20:18


If clients are going to have to pay various penalties to HMRC for being late or getting things wrong I think it is reasonable for HMRC to have to pay penalties to clients when they get things wrong or do things late.

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Replying to wendybradley:
By Mouse007
12th Nov 2013 20:28

That's far too moderate

petersaxton wrote:

If clients are going to have to pay various penalties to HMRC for being late or getting things wrong I think it is reasonable for HMRC to have to pay penalties to clients when they get things wrong or do things late.


That's far too moderate and reasonable

I'd suggest a much more robust approach

How about "double the difference" ?

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By Yvonnel_b
13th Nov 2013 21:17

I have got about 10 clients who I do payroll for. I use Moneysoft.

In the middle of Oct one of them received an underpayment notice. I checked all the figures & payments - all seemed ok and paid up to date.

Phoned debt management - not very helpful & said I need to phone employer helpline. Both phone calls cost me lots of time as lots of music heard.

Employer helpline went through all the monthly figures with me - some of them did not mach mine. They said they got them from me.

So I disconnected & checked the figures & reports again. I did not find where they took their figures from - so phoned them again. They said they would investigate that.

I have not heard from them since then but I am not sure if it is sorted...

I wasted over two hours for that.

I also phoned Moneysoft who confirmed lots of clients have the same problem and HMRC has got a mess. Nothing wrong with my figures or the software.


Yesterday I got a letter of underpayment for another client........... I have not even picked up the phone to call hmrc.


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Replying to DJKL:
By John Wheeley
18th Nov 2013 13:58

Underpayment (or not?)

This has also happened to me. HMRC issued a statement and tried to collect an underpayment.  When I went checked online, the underpayment had mysteriously disappeared.

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By petersaxton
13th Nov 2013 22:22

HMRC are not worth dealing with

I used to have a routine where I would make my calls to HMRC on a monday morning. I was usually on the phone all day getting nowhere because the people who answered the phone seemed to lack knowledge, the access to data necessary or were just not motivated to help. I decided to avoid contact with HMRC as much as possible. Life is so much better.

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Replying to chicken farmer:
By Mouse007
13th Nov 2013 23:23


petersaxton wrote:

I decided to avoid contact with HMRC as much as possible. Life is so much better.


come to my arms

if only, if only, all the others on here would join us and actively refuse to “call”, "talk to", "discuss with" HMRC


been doing so for years now mate

it works, ignore the buggers.



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By Yvonnel_b
13th Nov 2013 23:28

Ok if you do not call, discuss, talk to hmrc - what do you do when you get an underpayment letter?

Shall I write to them - confirm the figures and tell them to correct them at their end?


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Replying to mrme89:
By Mouse007
14th Nov 2013 09:24


Yvonnel_b wrote:

Ok if you do not call, discuss, talk to hmrc - what do you do when you get an underpayment letter?

Shall I write to them - confirm the figures and tell them to correct them at their end?


Write, it's quicker than n phone call attempts, being on hold for ½ hour each time and ending up talking to some numpty who knows nothing about tax.


The last time I spoke to them, after spending 20 minutes explaining to who ever it was how ACT was repayable after a director's overdrawn loan account had been repaid, I put the phone down and was asked "who was that you were talking to?", "HMRC" I replied, "but you were explaining how the tax system work", "exactly, that's the problem".


I quite simply do have have the "resources" (in HMRC speak) to waste unpaid time in fruitless telephone exchanges with HMRC.


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By petersaxton
14th Nov 2013 03:10

My view

I've written to them more often now. Phone calls can work but usually not worth the grief.

I give as much detail as possible and then let them get on with it. Three months later you may get a reply that makes you happy. Slowly slowly catchy monkey!

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By MarkKing
18th Nov 2013 11:59

We had a good one come through the other day.

Client gets demand for underpaid PAYE/NI for 3 months.  None of the figures match their, relatively small, deductions so the client calls HMRC and is told there are errors in the FPS submissions.  Great, now the client thinks we're the ones in the wrong and calls us.  We have confirmed submissions for all months and the client confirms all paid.

We call HMRC who kindly agree to talk to us this one time only (despite having online access we were not agents for phone calls???).  They claim that they have two FPS submissions for every month from month 2 onwards.  This is obviously ridiculous as there is one employee on fixed salary so why on earth would we have filed twice.  We tell them they are wrong and they agree it must be an error so put a note on system to say all is paid up.  What's even better is that the debt they were chasing doesn't even match duplicate submissions!

The problem is that firstly, they actually only have our word for it and accept it blindly but more worryingly for us, they cannot change what the system shows and admitted the client will be chased for this outstanding debt they invented for the rest of the year.

Fantastic. Year end is going to be a hoot!

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By markgosling
18th Nov 2013 15:27


What will the penalties be for late RTI filling?

Will one day late mean automatic penalty?

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By taxhound
18th Nov 2013 19:41

I had a great one today

demand from Debt Management for CIS for 5/7/13 and 5/8/13 c £800 in total.

Rang debt management and told them nothing is due.  HMRC had been told a while back, in the correct format that no returns would be due for the forseeable future.  He said fine, just pop on line and file nil returns for those two months and it will be corrected.  Great I said, and what about the penalties that will then follow for late returns?  He could not answer that one.

Apparently the amounts demanded were "estimates based on recent returns as none had been filed".  I did point out that (a) we had told them none would be filed as the company is not doing much at the moment, and (b) there had been no CIS for many months so how could it be an average of recent months? 

So I got rid of him from the phone and rang the CIS help line.  They said - oh, nothing to do with us.  It is from the RTI people (even though there is no active payroll at the moment and it says CIS on the demand).

So I rang the employers help line who told me they will close the scheme as it is not currently being used and make it all go away.  Let's hope he is right.

Time wasted?  Well over half an hour (including over 10 minutes on hold to the employer's help line).

Amount I can bill the client without him complaining like crazy?  Not much... 

RTI - saving us all time and money? 

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By petersaxton
19th Nov 2013 16:23


There doesn’t seem to be any logic between 64-8s, FBI 2s, online access and whether we are accepted as an agent.

RTI system doesn’t seem be able to be corrected. Whatever has happened – whether right or wrong – HMRC seem to think they can’t change it.

Late filing penalties are set out here


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