Tax refund delays on the rise

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Rachael Power
Community Correspondent
Sift Media
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The frustrations of taxpayers’ refunds disappearing into interminable HMRC security checks has not gone away, according to founder and blogger Elaine Clark.

Clark revived the issue last week in a blog post  complaining about delayed tax refunds, including one that was eight months late. 

The Revenue's decision to withhold significant tax refunds due without good cause or reason was frustrating and “morally repugnant”, she wrote.

As Shirley Martin noted, the problem has been around since 2010. But other people commenting in Any Answers noted that the delays have become even more common of late. blogger leshoward reported, “I have seen an increase in the amount of time required to process repayments, especially VAT voluntary disclosures. One method appears to be setting a date two or three months or more in advance to visit to verify the claim. The main problem is that the taxpayer has to do the chasing and, in some cases, establish the legal right to the money.”

In Rebecca Benneyworth’s 2010 article, Martin explained that repayments can get “inhibited” if there is something on the record, such as a no repayment signal, that will prevent the repayment from actually being created.

If you view the client’s statement and the repayment is not shown as having been created, then it has been inhibited. “If the repayment is shown on the statement as having been created but you haven't had the money then it will have been selected for security checks,” she said.

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By halesir
29th Jan 2013 12:12

30 Days from payment

Scenario - client's SA return shows £1000 due 2011/12. Coded out 2013/14 by HMRC. Unfortunately client also pays the tax direct to HMRC in mid January 2013. HMRC web site shows tax available for refund. After discussion with client we phone HMRC and say client likes idea of coding out and can he have refund please? HMRC says yes but client will have to wait 30 days for his payment to clear! (Even the most inefficient banks can do it in 5). Contact Centre could not explain why? Can the Revenue? I doubt they'll bother because Working Together is a joke.

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29th Jan 2013 20:24

Try getting

a refund for a Limited Company when the P35 doesn't tie up with the figures Longbenton hold.

2007/08 still outstanding after sending all statements etc.

The whole thing is getting worse and will eventually cllapse. I wonder how many of the disgruntled Civil Servants come from HMRC?

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By Albasas
30th Jan 2013 15:38


Are they strictly on topic here? In any case they deserve special recognition for some of the longest delays (I've) ever experienced in repaying company CIS tax. 

You hear nothing from them and then find out that a correct 19 May 2012 P35 claim now has to be backed up with a written claim. Then possibly statements of deduction. Its now January 2013. You'd think they would be embarrassed some 8 months later into paying up but no.

Factual Contractor information gathered that proves your company subcontractor has suffered tax deductions at source is not enough. They want to audit the company bank statements too. No minimum payment up front either to the company's account for the tax they know is due but are seemingly playing 'poker' with. Sometimes the solution here is simply to 'walk away' and offset the Ctax due by the company against this CIS withheld. Let HMRCs internal machinations wrangle out a problem, more often than not, of their own making. CIS Longbenton and the company Ctax District can sort it all out for themselves then you would think? Not always sometimes you are left with the impression they want you to go down the tax office and put in a shift there to fix it at their end too. Company CIS is like a tax version of the 'hot potato'. HMRC staff seem to fear making repayments for some reason and are indirectly punishing innocent companies cash-flow; and; pushing administration costs of this tax into the uneconomic in general practice terms. Not right or fair.

So what's the story?




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30th Jan 2013 16:34


when they do set off, they charge more interest on outstanding CT tax than they give for outstanding CIS. We are nearing another April so more problems.

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25th Feb 2013 12:57

CIS repayments

Like johnjenkins I am still trying to get 2007/2008 sorted out for a limited company client.

I too have tried the AAM route but that is not proving fruitful either.

Incidentally when I raised the point with the AAM that 2005/2006 & 2006/2007 were still not reconciled I was told that HMRC no longer have the records and it is too late.

Only when 2007/2008 is sorted do I have some confidence in moving forward to then try and agree 2008/2009, 2009/2010, 2010/2011 & 2011/2012

I also agree with the comments made by Albasas.  HMRC appear to be playing "poker",ruining the cash flow for genuine taxpaying companies and pushing up their administrative costs to grossly uneconomic figures.


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26th Feb 2013 10:37

delayed tax refund


According to IRS tax refund this year will be delayed again. You will not be able to get your tax refund as easily as you might have expected. Fortunately, you still have access to payday loans to cover things while waiting on your tax return. It will be about a month before those returns can be processed, and then there is a waiting time period after that to get the money.

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