HMRC: Still hopeless
They have privately admitted that, even after sending out millions of notices for overpaid and underpaid income tax last year, the whole thing still doesn't add up, so they're doing what they do best and sending out a load of letters again.
They probably say: 'Can you work this out for us? We're at a loss here.'
Fact is, the tax office is now having to recalculate everything all over again and has stopped any further repayments until they sort this mess out. Assuming of course, that they manage to get to the bottom of their ineptitude.
You may recall that, last summer, they confessed that they had collected the wrong amount of tax from 5.5 million people, even though they introduced a "real time information" programme which is supposed to get rid of errors. Those affected by the cock-up were sent letters and, on average, issued a £300 refund.
Sadly for the HMRC, a leaked email showed that they're still messing everything up with staff advised to tell those querying their tax bills "not to repay any underpayment". Those who have already got a cheque have been told not to cash them. Obviously, if you have one, you should absolutely try and cash it. This isn't your error.
The email said: “We are urgently investigating these cases and will look to resolve the matter in the next six to eight weeks. We currently do not know the scale of the issue but some large employers are involved, so several thousand of employees may be affected.”
The thing is, this error could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds and one mole in the ministry said: "HMRC refuses to admit the system doesn't work, and it’s scandalous that there is no politician holding them to account as the whole programme of welfare reform could be put at risk because of this."
Slow hand clap for all concerned.