Feeds

Rev slammed for PAYE failure

Software problems, dirty data and overpaid senior staff

The Power of One Infographic

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs failed in its duty to provide a proper computer system to work out how much Pay As You Earn taxpayers should be paying.

In reality HMRC was unable to process PAYE in anything like real time and has now run out of time to collect tax owed from before April 2007.

The Public Accounts Committee said HMRC had failed to deliver an acceptable level of service. It knew in late 2009 that as many as seven million people had either overpaid or underpaid their tax bills – but did nothing about it until September 2010.

In January 2010 it began issuing 25 million tax codes for 2010-2011 without finding out why "the number of coding notices was massively in excess of its forecast".

The committee of MPs said the Rev had failed to understand the impact of dirty data. The PAC said it wanted to see evidence by the end of 2011 that this systemic failure had been rectified.

The MPs also said the Revenue should properly account for the cost of its failure.

MPs also questioned why HMRC re-employed its acting chief information officer Deepak Singh on a three-month contract on the equivalent of £600,000 a year. The committee noted: "This was after he had been unsuccessful in the competition for the permanent post." Singh was paid £150,000 to stay on for three months and he also received £19,200 in "outplacement services" to help him get another job.

MPs suggested the Revenue make more of an effort to replace senior staff, especially when their leaving dates are known well in advance.

No one knows how much tax has been lost as a result of the problems – estimates suggest £1.4bn had been underpaid and £3.0bn had been overpaid and will need to be refunded.

About 15 million people were given wrong tax claims even though implementation of the system was delayed twice.

There's more on HMRC's PAYE failure here. ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet
Swedish court refuses to withdraw arrest warrant
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.