VAT data shift creates problems for taxpayersby
The transfer of VAT records from a legacy HMRC mainframe to a new platform has created payment problems for taxpayers and submission issues for tax agents.
HMRC has many old legacy computer systems, some of which date from before the merger of the Inland Revenue and Customs & Excise, which formed HMRC in April 2005.
In 2016 HMRC’s information technology strategy set out the new basis for IT systems supporting tax administration on three core platforms:
- Individuals Tax management platform (ITMP) – for all personal taxes
- Enterprise Tax Management Platform (ETMP) – for all business taxes
- Customs Declaration Services (CDS) – replaces CHIEF for import and export
There are also cross-cutting platforms that allow functions to work across all taxes such as: debt management, case management, data and risk analytics.
Email issues anticipated
In Agent Update 82, issued in February 2021, HMRC hinted of the problems to come when the VAT main frame is decommissioned and the data is moved on to ETMP.
HMRC is required under the banking regulations to hold a valid contact point for all taxpayers paying by direct debit. This is so HMRC can warn the taxpayer in advance of the date that direct debits will be taken from their account and of the amount to be taken.
HMRC says: “Due to the very short timeframe between submission of the VAT return and payment of the tax, we are unable to send postal notifications to customers. Instead, we’ll have to use customers’ email addresses to inform them.”
Tax agents were asked to urge clients to provide HMRC with a functioning email address, by updating the business’ VAT registration details held within the business tax account (BTA).
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