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Stalling self assessment API spells trouble for HMRC’s digital future

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The deteriorating performance of HMRC’s self assessment pre-population API has cast further doubts on the tax authority’s ability to deliver a smooth landing for its Making Tax Digital for income tax self assessment project.

25th Jan 2023
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Accounting practices currently filing client returns ahead of the 31 January tax return deadline have flagged a decline in the performance of HMRC’s self assessment (SA) pre-population application program interface (API) service, with several outages and a reduction in successful data retrievals compared with previous years.

“I ran the SA API for partners in three partnerships yesterday,” Kevin Ringer, partner at Harold Smith Chartered Accountants, told AccountingWEB. “In every case, the SA API downloaded for one partner but not the other. Two of the failed partners were employees, the other was on private pensions. I also did two sole traders with private pensions – they both failed too.”

“It’s worse than ever,” commented AccountingWEB member ireallyshouldknowthisbut yesterday. “Even now it’s at best 30%–40% populated and frequently returns employer name with no figures and has data missing.”

Referring to a husband and wife company client, member Winnie Wiggleroom added: “Same pay, same payroll, one [set of data] there, one not – how does that work? The data is very helpful when it’s there but it cannot be relied upon.”

“At this time of year, the APIs are crucial,” tax professional Catherine Newman told AccountingWEB. “Clients tell you the net figure when you need to know their P60 figures and the tax. The APIs worked for the first few years, but since then they’ve been unreliable and added time to an already time-consuming process.” 

Ireallyshouldknowthisbut agreed that if the service worked as HMRC had intended, “it would cut out a large number of errors” on issues such as P11D data, which would in turn dramatically reduce the work HMRC does in amending returns based on standing data.

Digital transformation stalled

The pre-population API service was launched in 2017 as part of its Making Tax Digital (MTD) transformation programme and a “digital by default” approach. 

The service offers agents the ability to click a button on their commercial tax software and pull information held for that taxpayer by HMRC into client tax returns – with the aim of saving time, improving accuracy and reducing the chances of enquiries (and possible penalties) later down the line.

At the time of launch, data accessible via the APIs included income and tax deducted from employments and pensions, marriage allowance claims, limited information on class 1 primary and class 2 national insurance contributions, P11D benefits and taxable state benefits.

Initially, the signs were promising. Between April 2017 and mid-February 2018, HMRC responded to 16.4m pre-population requests, providing data for nearly a million taxpayers, and approximately 10,000 accountants used the service.

However, the service has been dogged by significant issues, including missing data streams, accuracy, capacity and timing.

The initial APIs only returned data on a limited number of categories, with information on state pension, CIS deductions, student loans or amounts coded in and out of PAYE all missing.

The pay and tax information are also not returned until a PAYE reconciliation has been completed by HMRC. This process has no set timeline and its conclusion has ranged from June to September over the past few years. The process is to allow HMRC to receive PAYE information (including P11D forms) from employers, check and verify it, then copy the data over to a separate system and make it available to the pre-population service. 

This reconciliation process has been a point of frustration for accountants. As all employers are required to submit final RTI Full Payment Submissions by 5 April, employee pay does not change after that date. While P11Ds don’t have to be filed for three months after 5 April, the majority of employees do not use the forms, so HMRC could start reconciling on 6 April and then re-run the exercise for P11Ds received later.

HMRC had been developing a phase 2 version of the pre-population project, intended to pull through more information for agents (including state pension data) in a more timely fashion. However, the tax department halted work on the project in February 2020 with no clear explanation – although the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’s Tax Faculty reported “significant issues” with its development.

Further problems emerged when it came to reporting Covid-19 grants, with more than a dozen AccountingWEB readers flagging inflated figures on self assessment returns by recipients of self-employed income support (SEISS) grants – including one member who reported that a million-pound SEISS claim had appeared in one of their client’s tax return.

‘Doesn’t bode well’ for MTD ITSA

The API service’s patchy performance is the latest in a series of digital transformation projects gone awry for the government and may have played a part in its decision to delay Making Tax Digital for income tax self assessment (MTD ITSA) until 2026

While the additional two years may have bought HMRC’s hard-pressed developers some breathing space, there is still cause for concern among accountants and developers that the latest timeline is still not feasible. The self assessment pre-population API service currently consists of five APIs and has been running for almost six years, while the current MTD ITSA documentation lists more than 20 APIs.  

“APIs are fundamental to MTD ITSA,” commented AccountingWEB member Kevin Ringer. “When HMRC started talking about MTD and APIs, it claimed to be using ‘agile’ techniques to ensure bugs are fixed rapidly. But the SA API hasn’t worked reliably since its launch in 2017. If HMRC can’t get the SA API working after all this time, it doesn’t bode well for the dozens of APIs that are needed for MTD ITSA.”

Income Record Viewer: Authorisation needed

Earlier this year, HMRC also launched a new Income Record Viewer (IRV) service which provides agents with a similar dataset for all taxpayers, not just those in self assessment.

While the service is not intended to be a competitor to the API connections that serve the commercial tax software landscape, it serves as a way to review previous years or see how figures are shaping up in an incomplete year.

“Where it scores highly is in being updated in-year,” commented AccountingWEB member and former software developer Hugo Fair, “giving an employer-like perspective (including the tax code that *should* be in use).”

AccountingWEB understands that the IRV data is populated based on Real Time Information (RTI) and isn’t delayed for the HMRC PAYE reconciliation.

The new service has been praised for providing much of the information missing from the pre-population API service, but has attracted criticism as agents with an existing 64-8 authorisation still need to obtain further client consent before using the system. 

“It would take a full-time member of staff the best part of a year to work with every client to get us authorised for the IRV,” commented Ringer. “This is not sustainable if HMRC requires separate digital authorisations for every new regime they launch.”

HMRC has responded to claims that the authorisation process is heavy-handed by stating that the APIs give access to sensitive income and tax data, which could be used for identity theft, and cited client security and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) obligations.

Replies (42)

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
25th Jan 2023 17:22

If it worked, it would be brilliant.

IF. IF IF. IF. IF

HMRC need to get a grip on basic projects like this before trying to do new things.

Thanks (9)
Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By Hugo Fair
25th Jan 2023 19:00

And 'worked' needs to mean consistently & predictably.

As I said on another thread ... if the API returns an unknown %age of the relevant data items, then it is saving no time at all for those 'filling' a form.
And if the 'missing' data items are different for different taxpayers (seemingly randomly), let alone if some of the data appears to be wrong (or at least in the wrong category), then considerably MORE time is expended trying to double-check everything than when you started with a simple blank form.

It is one of the clearest examples of where HMRC's lack of practical experience leads them to think that, say, 80% accuracy is an improvement in efficiency rather than an additional barrier to the existing methods.
It really has to be *very* near to 100% accurate & reliable to be of any practical use.

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By SteveHa
26th Jan 2023 08:30

Quote:
HMRC has responded to claims that the authorisation process is heavy-handed by stating that the APIs give access to sensitive income and tax data, which could be used for identity theft, and cited client security and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) obligations.

What a load of made up BS.

Thanks (7)
Replying to SteveHa:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
26th Jan 2023 09:08

Yup. The old "GDPR" excuse which holds no water. The follow up question should be "which parts of the GDPR guidance, exactly?"

And "how is the data that agents have access to (ie the same flipping data apart from older and more patchy), is not sensitive income and tax data, and why cant that be used for identity theft?"

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By mbee1
26th Jan 2023 08:53

Still waiting for a response from the HMRC Agent Forum re the IRV. I suspect that it won't work for clients dealt with in PD1 whher lots of our clients are dealt with. The 60 CGT doesn't work for clients there so it won't be a great deal of use to us.

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Morph
By kevinringer
26th Jan 2023 09:08

"HMRC has responded to claims that the authorisation process is heavy-handed by stating that the APIs give access to sensitive income and tax data, which could be used for identity theft, and cited client security and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) obligations."

That is an EXCUSE, not a REASON. Evidence:

1. We only need our agent user ID and password to log into GOV.UK (no 2SV required for agents), and this gives us access to taxpayer name, date of birth, address, UTR and NINO along with other information such as some state pension details, some NI details. By saying additional security is needed for the SA API, are HMRC admitting that APIs are a bigger security risk than GOV.UK?

2. When HMRC launched CJRS, HMRC knew agents were essential to deliver the funds to businesses. Yet there was no mechanism for authorising agents for CJRS. So what did HMRC do? HMRC ignored GDPR and all security and gave us full access to CJRS for any client for whom we had online employer PAYE access. So if HMRC were happy to regard employer PAYE authority as applying for CJRS, then surely HMRC should be happy to accept the existing SA authority as applying to IRV. After all, HMRC DO accept the existing authority applies to the SA API. So what's the difference with the IRV?

Point 2 proves that when HMRC has the will, HMRC finds the way. The fact that HMRC has not found a way for any other new regime (IRV, 60-day CGT) is solely down to HMRC not having the will. Why doesn't HMRC have the will? Maybe HMRC doesn't want agents involved at all.

Thanks (6)
Morph
By kevinringer
26th Jan 2023 09:10

Tom's article is about failings in the existing SA API. Even though me and other agents have supplied examples of SA API failings to HMRC, and HMRC have given some feedback on the Agent Forum, HMRC have not said what they are doing to fix the SA API.

Thanks (3)
Morph
By kevinringer
26th Jan 2023 09:44

The Accounting Web effect: HMRC updated their IRV guidance yesterday https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-access-to-the-income-record-viewer-for-a...

"If any of your clients are digitally excluded, give them a number to call HMRC and they will be passed through to the Extra Support Team, who will talk them through the process over the phone."

This isn't a practical solution because most digitally excluded taxpayers are elderly and either have hearing problems or are not used to phoning organisations with voice menus and long queuing times. The work around is to call each client into the office one at a time and make the call with them present. That is not economically viable. Even if my digitally excluded clients had good hearing and were willing to queue for 30 minutes to speak to HMRC, we'd still have to contact each client individually to talk them through the process. No, HMRC's work around is not practical. The practical work around is for HMRC to accept the 64-8.

Thanks (2)
Replying to kevinringer:
By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
26th Jan 2023 09:57

There are also quite a number of UK tax payers who are not digitally excluded but don't have a UK passport or drivers licence, so are unable to obtain a digital tax account in the first place.

Thanks (3)
Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
Morph
By kevinringer
26th Jan 2023 10:10

Yet they could all sign a 64-8. Come on HMRC, it's far easier for you to accept existing authority than to require all these thousands of taxpayers to phone you.

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Replying to kevinringer:
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By Tomazaan
27th Jan 2023 11:36

I tried to set up a Government Gateway account for an elderly client a couple of days ago so that I could gain access to her PAYE information via the new system. I went round to her house as long term it would be worth the cost. We failed because HMRC systems will not recognise her name, date of birth and NI number. I have no idea where the problem is and double checked everthing with her SA record.
I now need to spend even more time trying to find out the discrepancy.
Why does HMRC make our lives so hard?

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By flightdeck
26th Jan 2023 10:05

HMRC are in denial about their state of their IT. It is clearly slowing grinding to a halt. Only thing that would be worse is giving the inevitable re-write job to a non UK company.

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By johnjenkins
26th Jan 2023 10:08

When a concept is wrong it won't work. IR35 is a classic example. MTD with QU for those earning between £10k and £85K will not work and I can only assume someone somewhere in authority has realised this, that is why there is another 2 (not just 1) year delay.
This is not just HMRC it is the whole of technology. It is moving so fast that people can't keep up consequently problems.
So what does HMRC do? Not bother getting old systems right and wait for the "all singing, all dancing" new system to iron out all the problems, or do what they should do and get their house in order before even attempting new stuff.

Thanks (4)
David Ross
By davidross
26th Jan 2023 10:21

An excellent article - thank you Tom. A relief to know that it is not just me!

.... and a clue as to the real reasons for the delay in MTD for ITSA. Not the development of the interface for the quarterly filing (which I understand is OK) but the linking up of legacy systems. As we found out from the problems that Banks such as Barclays had with the launch of Open Banking, a lot of these big organisations are creaking with 1960s technology.

Of course the other organisations can recruit programmers whilst HMRC has turned them into enemies with its IR35 obsession

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By RFL H
26th Jan 2023 10:38

All the signs of a failing organisation including the boss blaming his "customers" for calling too much.
Time for a new leader.

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By rmillaree
26th Jan 2023 10:52

ref paye viewer

To be fair to hmrc this statement is pretty much b llocks

“It would take a full-time member of staff the best part of a year to work with every client to get us authorised for the IRV,” commented Ringer. “This is not sustainable if HMRC requires separate digital authorisations for every new regime they launch.”

the invite sent out is the same to all clients - its perfectly possible to send mass mailshot to all cleints - it takes me less less than 30 seconds per "application in the area so client can enter code " - so i would say its technically possible for junior to do 500 requests in one day.

Once requests are entered we have table of who has accepted or not so its fairly easy to monitor who has acted and who hasnton ongoing basis.

It is poor that we need to do it and it simply doesnt work for digitally excluded which is completely unacceptable but its complete b llocks to say it will take someone a year to do this task for those that it can be doen for.

It suits me massively to have this data - so i can see its in my interests to get on with job of signing clients up - success rate so far is about 40% in my busiest monthn - and its given me some really useful info. If you do at suitable time when client is actively emailing on ethat also ups chances they are ready to act.

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Replying to rmillaree:
Morph
By kevinringer
26th Jan 2023 11:52

Many of my clients are digitally excluded (HMRC has granted MTD VAT exception to half of my VAT clients) and the majority of the remainder are digitally challenged and would need hand-holding, which is why I said a member of staff would have to "work with every client to get us authorised for the IRV". My timescale is based on a small scale signing-up pilot I ran and how much time it actually took extrapolated for the whole client base.

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Replying to rmillaree:
David Ross
By davidross
27th Jan 2023 11:15

EXCUSE ME !

In my ignorance I never knew about this "Income Record Viewer" so when I saw your reply I thought that could be the answer for a client who never got her P60, cannot get it and has not been 'populated' by TaxCalc's Fetch facility.

Problem is, she does not have a Personal Tax Account (it has been a long battle waged over many years to persuade them, and only a few clients have bothered). To get 'authorised' I have to generate a link and email it to her. So how is your 'junior' going to do 500 in a day?

But the fundamental is WHY SHOULD WE HAVE TO? We are already authorised agents so the authorisation should have been migrated to this whizzy new system by HMRC. Further proof that their IT is CR*P.

And whilst on the subject of the Agent Services Account, a major gripe is that throughout (eg VAT) there is no client list. For every instance one has to enter a reference to look at that particular record, no overview. So we are peering through a glass darkly and have no real idea what is there.

AAARGH !!!

Thanks (3)
John Toon
By John Toon
26th Jan 2023 10:52

So is it the API to blame or the database of data the API is calling on???

Thanks (1)
Replying to johnt27:
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By djtax
26th Jan 2023 12:15

Interesting observation. From discussions in/around the HMRC Agent Forum it is apparently the underlying data that is at fault - HMRC go overboard denying there is anything wrong with the actual API software and they get very irritated when we use the convenient short cut expression 'API' in these discussions - not least so they can blame a different dept for the total mess the 'API' system is in!

Thanks (1)
Replying to djtax:
Tornado
By Tornado
26th Jan 2023 12:30

Common sense, something that is sadly lacking at HMRC, says that new procedures should not be introduced until the systems (all systems) have been tested and are working faultlessly and after some 7 years and at least about 3000 million pounds, there is very little to show for this project.

MTD for VAT is a pale substitute for the original plans and MTD for ITSA simply cannot work in any format.

I have not checked, but I would guess that HMRC have a legal requirement to provide systems that work properly which they clearly have not done.

Thanks (2)
Replying to Tornado:
Morph
By kevinringer
26th Jan 2023 13:06

I don't know about their legal requirements, but they did accept Lord Carter's recommendations to ensure all systems are adequately tested before being mandated. But HMRC has a short memory and has probably forgotten. That will explain why so many of the GOV.UK services have "beta" on the header: the ASA being an example.

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By listerramjet
26th Jan 2023 10:54

HMRC should be concerned about the security implications of its "project", but this sounds like an excuse to cover its poor performance rather than any real concern for security. I wonder if they have defined security standards around how they verify that any particular user has rights to see the data being requested. And what about standards around data quality and errors? And how do they deal with issues such as responsibility for the data submitted to the system, which as I understand it has always been the responsibility of the taxpayer rather than the agent.

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Replying to listerramjet:
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By johnjenkins
26th Jan 2023 11:24

As I understand it, fraud (security) was the reason why HMRC couldn't develop "agent strategy". Looks like same old same old.

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By Moo
26th Jan 2023 11:36

'As all employers are required to submit final RTI Full Payment Submissions by 5 April, employee pay does not change after that date. '
Not true Tom, corrections to prior years can be made by employer.
Had a case recently where this happened with correction to 2021/22 payroll made December 2022. Prepop continued to pull in the original incorrect figures but correction was reflected in the figures on client's personal tax account. We made white space note and attached pdf of the personal tax account information to her return.
I will be encouraging all personal tax clients to set up an HMRC personal tax account as this seems to be more reliable source now for P60 / P45 information for 2022/23 tax returns. Prepop was nice while it lasted but now clearly needs to be treated with caution.

Thanks (1)
Replying to Moo:
Morph
By kevinringer
26th Jan 2023 11:44

https://www.gov.uk/running-payroll/reporting-to-hmrc:

"Send the FPS on or before your employees’ payday..."

That means all FPS must be submitted on or before 5 April. Yes amendments can be made afterwards, even years afterwards, but the original would have had to be submitted by 5 April.

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Replying to kevinringer:
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By Moo
26th Jan 2023 13:45

Sure, but that doesn't mean the figures are then set in stone as Tom was implying.

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Replying to Moo:
Tornado
By Tornado
26th Jan 2023 12:10

"I will be encouraging all personal tax clients to set up an HMRC personal tax account "

Great idea. I suggested this to all of my clients a long time ago and the result was that a very small proportion jumped through the application hoops and set up accounts. The down side is that many of them quickly forgot their log in details (and ask me what they are, which of course I do not know) and have never gone back in, those that do look at these Accounts, cannot understand the figures because many of them change daily, and then ask me to interpret the tax liabilities and payments which I cannot do as it is too time consuming and the client would not understand anyway.

So suggest to your clients to open up Personal Tax Accounts if you like, but do not be surprised if there is little enthusiasm for this and many are likely to say that you are their Accountant and can provide them with most tax information, which of course you can do, and ask why they need a Personal Tax Account.

As with MTD, the Government's arrogant belief that everyone is gagging to keep their records digitally and everyone will want to deal with their taxes through a Personal Tax Account is just that, - ARROGANCE - resulting in a total misunderstanding about how the real world works.

Thanks (3)
Replying to Tornado:
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By Moo
26th Jan 2023 13:53

I am sure you are right, only a few clients will manage to set up the personal tax account and even fewer will manage to access it subsequently.
Am also planning to tell them to use it for reclaiming tax overpayments rather than putting bank details on the returns, that should increase the uptake a bit.

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Replying to Moo:
By kenny achampong
27th Jan 2023 09:53

The personal tax account has the same issues as API. My client left a nursing job in April 2021, the hospital have ignored all requests for a copy of the P45 now she is locked out of their portal. So I finally got her to set up her personal tax account this week, and it says in April.

Taxable income = 0. Income Tax paid = 0. National Insurance Paid = £125.46.

Some tax rate that is.

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Replying to Tornado:
David Ross
By davidross
27th Jan 2023 12:27

As commented elsewhere, I entirely agree - it is devilishly difficult to pass the self-identifying questions, which is what take-up is so poor.

My main motivation for encouraging PTAs is the access to excellent data about NI history and State Pension qualification. Holes in contributions can be discovered and plugged before it is too late.

BTW I am since October the proud possessor of a NIRP and a Bus Pass (great for visiting the pub)

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Replying to Tornado:
David Ross
By davidross
27th Jan 2023 12:27

As commented elsewhere, I entirely agree - it is devilishly difficult to pass the self-identifying questions, which is what take-up is so poor.

My main motivation for encouraging PTAs is the access to excellent data about NI history and State Pension qualification. Holes in contributions can be discovered and plugged before it is too late.

BTW I am since October the proud possessor of a NIRP and a Bus Pass (great for visiting the pub)

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Replying to davidross:
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By Hugo Fair
27th Jan 2023 15:01

Negative Interest Rate Policy?

Thanks (1)
Tornado
By Tornado
26th Jan 2023 11:50

I can also confirm that the amount of information in the API, particularly related to income under PAYE where there is often nothing recorded at all, has deteriorated over the last couple of years.

The easiest information of all to provide is the amount of State Pension paid to someone but that has never appeared in the API and although it is possible to find out what the pension was though the Agent Online Account, this often does not have any information even though you know the client received a State Pension. Asking the client what pension they received does not help as they almost all believe that they are paid monthly and in some cases the amounts received untaxable benefits. All HMRC need to do is send people what is effectively a P60, which will solve all problems

The API has headings for other income but I have never seen any of these completed other than, thank God, the amounts of SEISS that people received, even into the 2021-22 Tax Year.

As I have said before, and will say again, MTD for ITSA is unworkable now and will remain unworkable so it is effectively DEAD, and HMRC will have to acknowledge this very soon or they will just dig their hole bigger and never be able to get out of it.

Taking a pragmatic view of the situation is where Accountants are King. We deal with our clients in a way that suits them but are still able to prepare Accounts that are complete and accurate by asking the right questions and whilst information in API's is very useful for us, there will never be a situation where MTD will do better than us.

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By djtax
26th Jan 2023 12:20

This is merely one area of concern amongst many others. HMRC is a national disgrace. Heads should roll rather than wait to collect the obligatory gong on retirement for their 'excellent service to the nation'!

Thanks (4)
Replying to djtax:
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By Catherine Newman
26th Jan 2023 12:36

Disgraceful performance by JH this morning. I wish they had had more time to discuss poor performance-the MP who raised it was brilliant but not spend 1/2 hour on a Minister's tax affairs.

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By Catherine Newman
26th Jan 2023 12:53

I'm not getting confirmation emails now.

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Tornado
By Tornado
26th Jan 2023 12:54

As I have said before, I will not be embracing MTD for ITSA.

This is not because I don't have software to suit, it is simply that I do not have resources to submit 100's of quarterly Returns on time. I will not be employing more staff to do this as there will not be enough income Return to cover the cost, plus there is the ever present risk of not submitting Returns on time which would not be my fault yet I still need to argue with perhaps dozens of confused clients that the penalty is theirs and not mine.

There is no convincing me that quarterly returns are of any benefit to anyone.

Whatever HMRC think, people always leave their Returns to the last minute (5.7 2022 Tax Returns out if 11 million still outstanding at the start of January 2023) and this chaos will still apply to Quarterly Returns.

Thanks (4)
Michael Bennett, Owner of Michael B Bennett Ltd
By Michael Bennett
27th Jan 2023 08:49

I have some great examples.
1 - Download from API employment salary = nil, tax = £68.
2 - Download from API salary = nil, class 1 NI on £2,107
3 - One of my own employees who has worked for me for 25 years; HMRC have still not connected their PAYE/NI records to their SA records, so no downloads at all

I wonder whether HMRC will waive all penalties/interest if we submit returns relying on API downloads that are wrong !!

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Replying to Michael B Bennett:
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By rmillaree
27th Jan 2023 09:16

I wonder whether HMRC will waive all penalties/interest if we submit returns relying on API downloads that are wrong !!

I think hmrc could point to your comments on this thread and say you were being negligent as you knew fine well the info is not to be relied up[on as being ful and correct. It is poor form that they dont have suitable caveats that you use an hmrc supplied data at youtr own risk.

I try to make sure whenever i rely on hmrc provided info i email client copy of figures aned ask them to double check they are happy with figures before signing return.

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Replying to rmillaree:
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By johnjenkins
27th Jan 2023 09:19

For quite some time now I have ignored HMRC figures when I know 100% they are wrong. Code numbers are the classic. I honestly don't think in the last 3 years HMRC have ever got one right for my clients.

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By Jabba the Hut
05th Feb 2023 22:55

"HMRC has responded to claims that the authorisation process is heavy-handed by stating that the APIs give access to sensitive income and tax data, which could be used for identity theft, and cited client security and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) obligations."

Fair enough for the first head of tax, but everyone, really, if we are a persons agent we are their agent. The in year CGT returns are just the biggest piece of [***] ever, trying to get 80 year old clients to register online to get a reference is retarded enough, without them then having to log back in and accept my request.
As for using my agent ID to authorise me online, it is slow well hidden I have trouble finding it, and the fact what they see isn't what we see doesn't make it possible to talk them through it.

All this dicking around ends up making things less secure! Do HMRC not realise most clients give the agents their gateway ID then text them the code and let the agent logon to authorise themselves anyway!

The gobshites at HMRC have no clue what goes on in the real world and the chaos their ill thought ideas cause.

And I am still waiting for a response to a letter of complaint from 22/11/22 in respect of having sat through the 2 minute spiel of how they are diverse and will not tolerate abuse was then subjected to the rudest most arrogant HMRC employee I have so far encountered, when I was only trying to tell them they had just been scammed to refund tax in respect of PPI compensation interest by a cowboy claim firm when I had claimed it 3 years ago on the client's tax return, oh the irony., what fantastic due diligence they have with tax payers money!

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