Told off for believing the tax man!

SOME of the incredible ways in which tax inspectors shrug off their own mistakes have been highlighted by local MP Mike Weir.

He has challenged the Treasury over the way in which HMRC hides behind a Code of Practice to evade responsibility for mistakes they have made.

Speaking in Treasury Questions Mr Weir raised the problem faced by several of his constituents who had repeatedly pointed out to the Revenue that there were mistakes in their tax credit awards but they had failed to fix the problem and then blamed the constituent when a repayment arose.

Mr Weir said that the response from the Minister that: “It is in a better place than it was four or five years ago, but nonetheless, there are still issues” did not adequately address the problem and the distress that was being caused.

He continued: “I have dealt with several cases where constituents have repeatedly told the Revenue that there were mistakes in their tax credit calculations but the Revenue have failed to act on this, or in some cases have compounded the mistake when trying to rectify it. When their errors cause an overpayment they steadfastly refuse to take any responsibility and blame the constituents.

“In one memorable case my constituent was assured by the Revenue that the calculation was correct.

It was not and when I took the matter up with the Revenue they said that although they had told the constituent that it was correct it was not reasonable for her to accept that!

“Is it any wonder that constituents are left deeply frustrated and angry at this attitude. They are trying to ensure that they are receiving the correct payments and do not want to end up facing an overpayment but the Revenue is incapable to dealing with their cases properly and still try and evade any responsibility.

“Ministers need to get a grip of this situation and ensure that HMRC deal with matters promptly and correctly but when they fail to correct errors they must take full responsibility for them.”