back to article HMRC warned on wrong tax codes

The Inland Revenue should be doing more to warn people about wrong tax codes - with 25m being sent out this year there are bound to be more errors than usual. The Chartered Institute of Taxation is calling for a big advertising campaign to warn people to check new codes and put more resources into dealing with queries from the …

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Pirate

Happened to me

Are they sure it's a mistake?

GB@Gov.Uk needs to balance the books and what's better than issuing wrong tax codes to make people pay more?

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But shurely

They wouldn’t do that, would they? Is it the same in the UK as it here, you have to pay interest if you owe the revenue money, but they don’t have to pay you interest if the revenue owe you money.

Won’t somebody please think of all those poor civil servants racked with guilt and the stress it will cause them because the revenue has taken taxpayers money they shouldn’t have. The civil servants involved should immediately take some extra leave to help them get over the trauma that this will cause them.

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Bloody computers

So how do I find out what my tax code actually is?

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Anonymous Coward

tax code

"The computers" will send you a letter with it on (I've had mine already, I think I might check it now) or you can ask your employer (if you have one) or ring your friendly local tax office - search for it.

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Re Bloody computers

It should be on every payslip you receive, and certainly on the P60 your employer gives you annually sometime after 5th April.

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Anonymous Coward

OK, I have the letter

So how do I check it is correct? The code is new...but no one has yet stated on how to work out what it should be.

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Flame

Read the letter

Your coding notice will tell you how it was calculated - that's what the notes are. If you don't understand it or it looks wrong you phone the number on the letter - it will only take you an hour or so to get through to someone, but they probably won't understand your problem any way. It's a great system.

My code was wrong - they set it at about 1700 - i.e. £17K tax free this year. That means I would have underpaid about £5K of tax, wrong to the tune of £500 or so a month. If I missed that, I would simply be handed a tax bill to pay in January 2012 of £5K. When I phoned HMRC (and waited an hour to get through) they couldn't understand how the mistake had been made as my tax return (electronically filed) was clear and simple.

The only answer is that you need to learn how to work out your own tax code and assume that HMRC will probably get it wrong - until they realise that you owe them loadsamoney.

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Stop

Don't punch a wasps nest

Since I'm well into the 40% tax bracket and get away with not filing tax returns (their decision) I don't think I'll disturb the sleeping beast right now if that's alright.

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FAIL

40% on JSA

I'm on JSA, and have been for over a year, and I got a notification that my tax code for 2010-2011 was D0 and thus all my JSA would be taxed at 40%

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FAIL

D0 Coding

My wife also received a D0 coding notice as she was "receiving redundancy payments" according to HMRC. She isn't she works for me on customer's sites.

A D0 would mean all her income is to be taxed at 40% which is a bit much as she doesn't make enough to fall into the 40% bracket.

Looks like HMRC have screwed the data load / transformation when they moved to their new system.

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FAIL

me too

My wife has two jobs, and got a tax coding for her unemployment payments. She has not claimed unemployment for about 7 years. She tried ringing up and got a recorded message telling her to ring back next month

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FAIL

Mine was wrong

They told me that I was going to earn over £112950, so wouldn't be getting any personal allowance!

Bloke on the phone was very good about it though.

Mines the one with the undeclared income in the pocket ....

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FAIL

I'll say it's wrong

As I'm sure you pointed out to the HMRC idiot.

Everyone but everyone gets a personal allowance irrespective of what they earn.

My wife has an EPOA over her mothers finances. I help her with the tax. I had to phone the HMRC and tell the eeejut on the other end his own departments rules. The HMRC is not as good as they used to be and ALL of their mistakes are in their favour- oddly enough.

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IT Angle

what has this post got to do with IT?

other than a crap database

meanwhile on another non-IT related note (I believe this is called side-jacking?)

where are all the Meeja analysis on the 70 year official burial of the facts related to the death of former scientist Dr. David Kelly?, ooops that's also not very IT related!

wikileaks here we come! (finally an IT angle)

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Happy

People filing away coding notices

This is me exactly, three years ago I moved from a field based job with a car to a desk job and dutifully told our HR department I had given my car back. I then "assumed" they communicated back to HMRC so I never have bothered reading my coding notice.

Long story short, the wife opened this years coding notice and exclaimed "Why are you still paying tax on a company car you havent had for 3 years?

At least my filing paid off, dug out the coding notices for the past 3 years, sure enough there was the car. I then spoke to a nice lady at HMRC (Yes, I did get her full name) and she has rectified it for me (allegedly) so I should get a nice little windfall soon :-)

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Badgers

Computer says no

"The mistake is also being blamed on new Revenue computers."

How long are these computers going to be allowed to send out whatever tax code they like? It's bloody ridiculous.

There should be some kind of system that makes the computers follow rules and procedures of some kind.

Letting them do whatever they want is just foolish, it's a wonder any tax codes get sent out at all!

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Exactly

I Mean, the masses understand "computer error", it is difficult for them to grasp that the "computer" isn't a sentient being looking at your individual case and then deciding what tax code ou should have.

No such thing as a computer error, barring physical breakdown every computation resulting in an incorrect result is th fault of the human programmer isn't it?

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Close, but no banana

Yes, it's unlikely to be the computer at fault (although not completely impossible), it's just as likely to be either the data entered into the system or the specification given to the programmer.

Almost certainly one or more of the moist robots, though.

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WTF?

WTF

"mistake is also being blamed on new Revenue computers."

Rather than on Revenue computers keyboard interface unit.

Just enter any old shite for this taxpayer; it doesn’t affect any civil servant if one of the taxpayers that that fund their un-sackable pensioned position pays too much tax, I mean it not like civil servants are going to be censured in any way for fucking up.

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FAIL

Yeah, they screwed mine up

Apparently I have a shitload of savings I don't know about, and get some mythic healthcare from somewhere, and have had my code adjusted accordingly. Load of bollocks.

Luckily HMRC seem to know the system is a bag of shit, and updated everything pretty fast.

They even have an automated message now on the phone system saying "if we fucked up your tax code, call us in May! We're really busy!"

Guess what, HMRC: You're not the only ones. The difference is that if I fucked up as badly, and as regularly, as you morons I'd no longer have a job.

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FAIL

FSCK - shiteload of savings? Deja Vu time.

You too. They reckoned I had (based on current interest rates) about three quarters of a million stashed away. Wish I did. I phoned them and as it was my cash I hung on waiting for the 25 minutes before they stopped playing infomercials and rubbish clasical musak at me.

Bloke called Dominic fixed it in a jiffy. Really nice bloke but I was still steamed.

New code two days later looks OK.

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Excuses

“Most people on PAYE are used to assuming that what the taxman sends them is correct. Many file away coding notices without even bothering to check them".

Well stupid me for expecting other people have done their fucking jobs properly.

I'm not too impressed with this new stance the government is taking on everything:

"Yes, WE know we're shit, YOU know we're shit. So why bother?"

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Boffin

Enquiry

Well I just spoke to my company's tax department and they said that it's not necessarily a mistake (except it is) just that they use last year's information to calculate the new code e.g. taxable benefits you may have not have had in previous years are not included in this year's code, or indeed taxable benefits that may no longer apply. I am told that after P60's are calculated and submitted sometime like June there is usually a code change to take account of any/the differences that are then refunded/paid as necessary.

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FAIL

Ravenwiz -that all sounds terribly reasonable...

except that in my case I have NEVER EVER had three quarters of a million pounds in savings. And let's be honest unless I happen to win the lottery I never ever will. My wife spends it almost as fast as I earn it.

Last year they thought I had £60K in savings. I rapidly told them that I did not and gave them the correct figure. So it's NOT last years information, it's an intentional stealth tax grab.

Government spokesperson is an anagram of lying cheating bar steward.....or should be.

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Hang on a minute, ...

Didn't they test this change before it was made live? If they did, why did it go wrong

Didn't they train the folks to enter data correctly? If not, WHY!

Is the failure rate within the specified limits - it certainly doesn't appear to be within acceptable limits!?

As with any change, didn't they anticipate there might be problems and plan for enhanced support? (or are we talking 'Monday mornings' here)

Sorry, I've just made a change to the way I charge customers. I wont check it thoroughly, I'll rely on them to tell me if I'm overcharging them. Ooops were have all my customers gone...

This doesn't happen with HMRC and rarely with Utilities were there is low capacity for customers to change so it is not unreasonable for customers to expect a higher standard of V&V and associated planning and project management. Or am I being unreasonable here?

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Her we go again

Goverment and comuters = disaster. Who cares why!

I for one am off to tpuc.org to get a copy of the Affidavit's to send to the Queen then I can tell HMRC no contract and return the tax for to sender.

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FAIL

Wrong merge

I've had 3 in a week - one D0 and 2 more that were right. Probably not a 'wrong database' but a 'merge' (PAYE plus NI) which didn't spot duplicates in some kinds of records. So the duplicate looked like a 'second job', which gets no allowances and pays at marginal rate.

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Pointless

My wife got one of these yesterday. Apparently she owes £0.34 from a previous year (I kid you not) so they're reducing her tax free amount by £1 this year.

I particularly liked the bit at the end of Note 2 which says "£1.00 at 20% is £0.34".

That scared me a little.

I'm glad they're not wasting our money or anything...

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FAIL

Mine was wrong too....

According to HRMC, I had two jobs (they counted the same one twice) and so I owed them over £10k additional tax per year...

Well done guys. The only saving grace was that I was able to get through to someone intelligent over the phone who sorted the mess out quickly and easily.

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Big Brother

And who's to blame?

Brilliant! Another wad of cash paid over to Capgemini/Accenture for the delivery of another pile of.....I'd love to see their test results!

But hey, did you know that what goes into the machine is probably a direct download from the employer. Supposidly one chap had a a huge pile of paper delivered - because his employer used the same National Insurance number for loads of employees!

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what happened to me

I recieved an updated code.... D00 with a little comment saying that all of my income would be taxed at 40% from April. Rang them up to check what was wrong and they said that they though I had two jobs and this was my second one and therefore I would have no allowances on it. Got it change and the comments back from the call centre op was that this had been happenning alot.......... so check it out!

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FAIL

Classic PEBKAC error

Aren't they all? A colleague's SO has received coding notices for a previous job, ignoring the one he's in at the moment. Apparently he's already been on the phone to them several times.

Apparently lots of people are similarly affected - there was a story on The Today Programme yesterday about it.

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