HMRC's online self assessment systems ignored applications to reduce payments on account for 2016/17 without notification, a number of tax agents have reported.
Kevin Salter, deputy chairman of the ICAEW technical committee, blogged about his experiences with an application filed on 12 December that was not actioned by HMRC - despite receiving confirmation of the reduction from the tax department.
He discovered the online glitch after looking up a different point regarding his client’s tax liabilities. But the online system showed the full amount on the submitted 2016/17 as still being due.
When Salter called HMRC he was told the application had been “rejected”. In his blog Salter fumed: “There was no indication or notification that this had happened, and the first we would have known about it had we fortuitously not logged in would have been in February when the client would have received a statement, or more likely, a surcharge penalty for non-payment. HMRC were able to make a manual adjustment to put through this postponement.”
He added: “Who ever thought of the transferable marriage allowance? This must be an absolute administrative nightmare!”
His is not an isolated case. Several other ICAEW members reported similar issues. David Holm found that a reduction submitted on 14 September had also not been overlooked by HMRC Online. After contacting the agent line, Holm reported: “They said that inexplicably their system had treated the reduction as being for 2015/16 and, because the 2015/16 return had already been filed, the reduction was ignored.”
Robert Lee had to get the agent helpline agent to manually input his clients’ applications after he realised they had not been processed.
Salter, who posed the question “What hope for Making Tax Digital?” in his blog post, reported other online issues – including a partnership self assessment registratioo form filed in February 2016 that sat unprocessed in HMRC’s system.
“Three weeks to the filing deadline now and hopes of getting a UTR on time are fading fast!!” he wrote.
What experiences have you encountered with HMRC online SA forms and reports? Have you had to call the agent helpline to get missing data processed - and how did they respond?
About Richard Hattersley
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