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back to article HMRC mails wrong private info to 50,000 taxpayers

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs apologised today for sending out private information to 50,000 tax credit recipients. One taxpayer who contacted The Register said: "We received our tax credit notice with our National Insurance details but on the back were two strangers' work, childcare and pay details." He then received a …

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FAIL

Apologies

If Paul Gerrard wishes to apologise, it is quite simple. Just say "I apologise" and mean it!

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untitled

"An initial analysis shows that ID theft could not result from this printing error."

Of course, this analysis was done by the same person who analysed the printing requirements...

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FAIL

Wrongly formatted!?!?!?!?!

A spokeswoman for HMRC said: "HMRC takes data security extremely seriously. Unfortunately an error has occurred in one of the tax credits print runs causing some customer information to be wrongly formatted".

They sent out the wrong information to 50,000 people and they call it a formatting error, well it's one hell of a formatting error.

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Boffin

Having worked for a mailing house

I can assure you that this sort of balls-up is all too common. Think two-part enclosure with part one for person A and part 2 for person B going into the same envelope.

You would hope, of course, that there was some sort of quality-checking for this sort of stuff that would pick out such problems, such as printing a sample enclosure every X items and opening it to make sure it is correct. Looks like their sample ration was 1 in 50000, which doesn't seem great, but hardly unexpected, knowing how mailing houses like to cut corners.

It is also worth noting that UP TO 50000 are affected. The real number is most likely in the hundreds.

I wonder who does (did?) their printing for them...

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FAIL

Who did it

Some offshore company, who is registered in the British Virgin Islands and pays no tax.

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ref mailing houses..

When the SCR (Summary Care Record) letters were being sent out in Cambridgeshire, some people received their own and other peoples in the same envelope, some received just their own and some received just someone else's.

I heard that when this was investigated, there were two stages where human intervention was required - and these were the points at which the errors occurred.

If the mailings are for promoting the latest frr offer, accuracy is not very important: the SCR and tax credits are much more important (although it is probable some effort will be made to chase up on the tax credit errors once known): what about mailings involving credit card accounts?

Do they use the same mailing houses?

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Given the short amount of time

This blunder can still probably be credited to the policies/people employed by the past government...

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Coffee/keyboard

Genius

"HMRC takes data security extremely seriously."

Funniest gag I have seen all day!

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Happy

Re: Genius.

It's a good thing they take it seriously.

That'd be nowhere near as funny if it weren't delivered deadpan.......

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Of course you do!

"HMRC takes data security extremely seriously..."

No, somehow I don't think you do. However there is no one person I can certainly no longer take seriously!

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The letter, signed by Paul Gerrard

well that'll teach Him, I must do better signed 50000 times

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Grenade

Don't you mean...

Different government, same incompetent civil servant feckwitts?

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FAIL

They told me I was dead!

They sent a letter to my mother a few months ago telling her I'd died... shame, they still seemed to take my tax... I asked if I could keep it as I was now dead, but they didn't seem too keen...

My friend just got a coding notice for someone he's never worked for too!

Fools!

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The original justification for ID cards

BS then. BS now.

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CD's

Did any of those CD's turn up..?

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Anonymous Coward

No

No. But given the level of internal scrutiny that followed that loss, anyone who found them would be stupid to say so. Besides the disks were sent to the NAO *who were going through an office move at the time.* Odds on they got lost between the front door and the recipient's desk.

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FAIL

CD'a

Those aren't the CD's you're looking for.....

wave of hand....

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Flame

There's only one appropriate word for this mob...

... and it rhymes with bankers....

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FAIL

It's douchbag, you silly tart

You can rest assured though, that it warn't his data gone awry.

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FAIL

Crucial point

IANL but " best endeavours" means they will give this issue of data secuirty top priority, even if doing so impacts the service offered... much better than "reasonable endeavours".

Let's see if they keep to their commitment. Oh wait, another failure already...

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fire them

Until someone senior in HMRCC is fired for these errors they will keep on making mistakes, irrespective of whatever government is in power.

The government changes, but unfortunately, they don't really know what's going on much lower down in the hierarchy, they don't see the lack-of quality control processes.

The elected politicians may be accountable, but none of the civil servants are. Civl servants don't get fired. They don't even get punished. I've worked for them..I know.

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FAIL

Another HMRC problem

Capita Hartshead, handling pension payments for retired civil servants and widows of late civil servants is currently overloaded because it was sent a lot of wrong tax codes by HMRC:

http://csp.capitahartshead.co.uk/pensioners_hmrc.htm

"IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING TAX CODES AND PAYMENT ADVICES

Please note we are receiving an unprecedented volume of telephone calls regarding information contained in April payment advice notes. As a result if this you may find it difficult to get through to us at present.

HMRC has recently introduced the new National Insurance and PAYE Service (NPS) which they are using to issue tax coding notices for the first time.

Unfortunately the transition to the new system has brought to light some discrepancies in their existing records and this is resulting in a number of incorrect Coding Notices being issued."

Yes, on Wednesday you could not get through or register to use its web site.

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