Feeds

Failed tax system still causing grief

More help needed for vulnerable

New hybrid storage solutions

The Public Accounts Committee has found the government's tax system overpaid tax credits by £7.3bn in the first four years of the scheme and is still clocking up £1bn a year in overpayments.

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs is trying to recover some £4.3bn of that from some of the most vulnerable families in the country. Delays in moving over to its new National Insurance Recording System mean that the backlog of 16m cases which need clerical checking is likely to increase.

Edward Leigh, chairman of the PAC, said: "HMRC should be more sensitive in how it deals with the recovery of overpayments. The Department is only now starting to introduce measures to support claimants, including helping them navigate the complex tax credit procedures."

The existing PAYE system was designed in the 1980s on the assumption that most people would continue to work for one employer. The new system is based on individuals rather than employers.

The tax credit system was designed for some overpayment to occur because it uses provisional data to make the payments at the beginning of the year. A final assessment at year end is based on actual circumstances. But the scale of these over-payments concerned the committee.

It leaves the poorest families in the country having to pay, on average, £770 a year back to the Revenue. The problems caused have left thousands of families in fear of having to pay back credits they have received.

Changes made in 2005 have helped the Revenue reduce overpayments from £1.9bn a year to £1bn.

Fraud and error are also an issue - HMRC lost between £1.31bn and £1.54bn in 2006 to 2007.

The system was provided by EDS between 1994 and 2004 when HMRC sacked them and gave the work to CapGemini. Both sides blamed the other for the failure of the project.

The full report is available as from here (pdf). ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Net neutrality protestors slam the brakes on their OWN websites
Sites link up to protest slow lanes by bogging down pages
Italy's High Court orders HP to refund punter for putting Windows on PC
Top beaks slam bundled OS as 'commercial policy of forced distribution'
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Uber alles-holes, claims lawsuit: Taxi biz sued by blind passengers
Sueball claims blind passengers ditched, guide dogs abused
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.