HMRC staff claim computer system generates incorrect tax bills


IT troubles in Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) department could lead to millions paying more tax than they owe, according to reports.

Anonymous members of staff have spoken to the BBC claiming the new system in place to consolidate a number of older ones could not be trusted to create the correct tax codes and, in some cases, doubled the tax being charged.

One employee said: "When it first started, we were all getting terribly frustrated with the new system, and we didn't know if it was us or it that was the problem. But as it's gone on and on it's evident it's the system."

The older members of society seemed to be at the most risk with pensioners maybe being charged for a full year's working tax rather than part of one and over 75 married couples entitled to marriage allowance having it cut.

However, a spokesperson from the HMRC strongly denied the allegations.

He claimed that it was purely a problem stemming from last year's convergence of seven or eight separate systems into one and as a result some people had two employee records open instead of just their current employment.

"This isn't an IT glitch [and] there is no problem with our IT system," he told IT PRO. "This could be [jobs] from a good few years back."

He added: "It is up to those who receive letters where something looks awry to contact us and we will check if anything is wrong."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.