UK: Inland Revenue screws up on Y2K, taxpayers hurt : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

23/01/2000 4:51pm by Mike Magee

Inland Revenue screws up on Y2K, taxpayers hurt

A Welsh branch of the UK's income tax assessment and collection agency has screwed up by sending thousands of tax demands to individuals dated January 1900.

Accountant trade title Accountancy Age reported the cock up at the end of last week, and said over 4,000 tax returns bearing the date 4 January 1900 were sent out to would-be taxpayers.

Inland Revenue sent out the false notices from its Wrexham regional office, just a week before UK tax punters are due to get a #100 fine if they don't get their returns back on time.

The Accy Age news story does not take into account thousands of self-assessment notices sent out, in duplicate, triplicate or even quintuplicate to punters across the nation.

While the UK government will not say exactly which computer systems are used to calculate and send out notices, we understand that many tax records are now held out of the country, in the USA. Those changes happened in the dog days of the Tory Party.

And just to show that sometimes these problems affect even innocent hacks like ourselves, one Register staffer received a form from Inland Revenue telling him that he had until the end of this month to pay what was due.

The direct debit form at the bottom showed that absolutely nothing was due. Penalties for people who have waited 100 years to file their tax returns are likely to be swingeing.

For the last week and a half, Inland Revenue has run a series of adverts on British TV warning UK tax payers that they will have to stump up #100 in fines if they don't stump up what they're due to pay. .

Link to Story:

-- Carl Jenkins (, January 24, 2000


Agh! Carl, I didn't mean to step on your toes by posting the same article. Will ask Sysops to delete mine and I'll start drinking more coffee.

-- Lee Maloney (, January 26, 2000.

(Re-posted) Same story, different version:


Welsh tax office bitten by millennium bug in forms fiasco. A Welsh tax office has been bitten by the millennium bug, issuing thousands of tax returns mistakenly dated 1900, Accountancy Age has learned. By Gavin Hinks[18 Jan 2000]

Up to 4,000 returns were sent out across the country after a printing contractor to the Revenue incorrectly stated the issue date as the turn of the last century.

One accountant who received a wrongly dated return said: 'The computer-generated notice date has been given as January 4, 1900 - two years before my grandmother was born.'

He joked: 'I'm arranging a loan to cover the interest penalties.' It is understood the Wrexham regional office experienced particular difficulties and was described by one source as in 'chaos'.

The Revenue responded quickly calling the problem a 'software glitch' on the part of the contractor. It immediately ordered all misdated forms to be reissued with the correct date.

A spokesman was also keen to point out there would be no implications for the self-assessment deadline of January 31. Tax payers will have three months from the date of issue of the second letter in which to complete their forms.

Despite the date debacle the Revenue insisted everything was running smoothly towards the deadline. More than nine million tax returns have been sent out with 90% expected to meet the closing date. As of Monday the Revenue had received just over six million completed forms.

A spokesman said: 'There are no hiccups.'

Francesca Lagerberg of the English ICA's Tax Faculty agreed. 'There's no one major issue, just a lot of niggling little problems,' he said.

http://www.accounta News

-- Lee Maloney (, January 26, 2000.

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