Beware – clients’ statement of account errors

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A new IT related problem is emerging which relates to client addresses held by HMRC. Accountingweb Member Iain Lindsey has written into the Any Answers forum to warn fellow members to be wary.

He writes: We have just received our 600 or so clients statement of accounts and I have noticed that out of the first 200 I have reviewed at least 4 clients addresses seem to have changed back to addresses that they vacated at least 6-7 years ago. I have phoned HMRC and alerted them of this - it seems that all the addresses have been changed by the Revenue computer but no-one seems to know why at present. This creates a problem in that this Junes statements are now being sent to obsolete address - even though past statements have gone to the correct addresses!! This of course may hinder some clients i...

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04th Jul 2007 15:08

Address Errors
I emailed the Treasury about the address fiasco and received a request to email them the UTRs of any affected clients so that their "IT experts" could try and track down the "glitch".

If anyone feels charitable, they could sent just the UTRs and brief message to:

[email protected]

John Proctor
Head of Performance & Governance
PAYE, SA, NIC Process
HM Revenue & Customs
South West Wing
Bush House
London WC2B 4RD
020 7438 6158

Apparently without UTRs for at least some of the affected tax payers, their IT boffins have not got any idea as to where to start looking for the problem.

Thanks (0)
By Capitax
26th Jun 2007 09:17

HMRC Client Addresses
We have had a few incorrect addresses recently reverting to 5/6 years ago including a Tax enquiry letter! The enquiry Inspector could only apologise and found no excuse for the error.

Another "computer" error we have discovered is a sudden increase in demands for maximum Class 2/4 NIC in deferment cases as the Contributions Agency in Newcastle has not picked up the PAYE P14 figures for 2005/06. Again the Inland Revenue are "looking" into this. The other annoying factor is that the demands are issued before the computations which does not help with client/agent relationships!

Frustrating needless to say!!!!


Copy of email below says it all:-

"To: .Anaesthetic Consultants; .Consultants
Subject: Erroneous NI demand

I think this may effect others too!

I had a demand for additional NI payments on my private practice yesterday. When I phoned the very helpful office they told me that a large number of datafiles had not come across form the NHS from 2006 so they had no record of a lot of NHS staff having paid any class 1 contributions therefore we were coming up as self-employed only on their database (thus they charged full class 2 and 4 on the private income).

If you send a covering letter along with a copy of your P60 they will sort it out for you! "

So if you are seeing a hospital consultant shortly don't mention computers and tax.

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27th Jun 2007 23:14

Don't worry, your irritating little problems will be ironed out when all these systems are merged into the government's sooper dooper database of databases (you know, the ID one with our irises and DNA on it). There won't be any mistakes, because any mistake would be catastrophic both for the system and the individual.

Trust me. I know what I'm talking about.

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27th Jun 2007 16:36

Yep, the IT is barfed again...
I logged on to Corp Tax Online this morning, and was told that we have exactly 1 client (instead of the actual 65). There is a notice on the HMRC home page - they know about it, and they're working urgently....

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By Anonymous
26th Jun 2007 14:07

Oh dear, oh dear,
Spoken to HMRC and they do not recognise the problem!

Software is not infallible, and HMRC's systems seem to be getting less and less robust by the minute. Maybe Lord Carter should be wheeled back in to reappraise the situation together with his recommendations.

While I am on this particular soapbox, I wonder whether HMRC shouldn't just go and do a "Homeoffice" and split its activities into two again. Services across the board are dire, and the department needs a rethink (and less staff cuts).

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By Anonymous
26th Jun 2007 21:26

I have had a problem
In that the one client they chose to change was previously bankrupt and they have changed his details back to when he was an undischarged bankrupt. I rang up HMRC who didn't know anything about the computer problems and told me I was going to have to send in all kinds of documents to prove he was discharged (in 2000!) to get it changed. I asked them if I could send them a bill for my time with the information. They went away and thought about things and then confirmed they would be changing it without me needing to write in.....

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26th Jun 2007 14:56

address problems v HMRC
That's interesting... It was a person from HMRC who actually told me about the problem in the first place, although we had already noticed the wrong addresses on a couple of clients. I was told by this person that she was on a special team trying to sort the problem out and given the information that it had been caused by a computer problem. I wonder if it's just a case (again) of the majority of the HMRC operatives not knowing what is going on. Often we seem to know more than they do in the sense that they have no information outside of their own individual jobs!

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24th Jun 2007 21:51

I have had the same problem when completing clients' tax returns online. One client's address had been changed by the Revenue's computer to an address he lived at about 25 years ago. Another client's address had been changed to his son's address.

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