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Where Taxpayers and Advisers Meet

Billing the Inland Revenue

Joined:Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:50 pm

Postby m_k2007 » Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:47 am

I submitted a clients' SA tax return to the Revnue in time for the Jan 31st deadline and they lost this return. A further copy was sent on their request and this has been lost also. A 3rd copy was sent, via Royal Mail Recorded Delivery and this has also "gone astray". We have proof that the tax return has been signed for at the Revenue office and they have asked us for a 4th copy to be sent in.

Can we tell the Revenue we would "bill" them for the 4th copy? I have heard of this practice in the past but the issue of proving the Revenue have lost the item whilst in their possession is almost impossible. Until now.

Help anyone? Legistlation?

Thanks in advance

Joined:Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:49 pm

Postby phorosdoug » Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:58 am

Is there something in the taxpayers' charter covering this?

You are entitled to expect the Inland Revenue to be fair

- By settling your tax affairs impartially
- By expecting you to pay only what is due under the law
- By treating everyone with equal fairness

To help you

- To get your tax affairs right
- To understand your rights and obligations
- By providing clear leaflets and forms
- By giving you information and assistance at our enquiry offices
- By being courteous at all times

To provide an efficient service

- By settling your tax affairs promptly and accurately
- By keeping your private affairs strictly confidential
- By using the information you give us only as allowed by the law
- By keeping to a minimum your costs of complying with the law
- By keeping our costs down

To be accountable for what we do

- By setting standards for ourselves and publishing how well we live up to them

If you are not satisfied

- We will tell you exactly how to complain
- You can ask for your tax affairs to be looked at again
- You can appeal to an independent tribunal
- Your MP can refer your complaint to the Ombudsman

In return, we need you

- To be honest
- To give us accurate information
- To pay your tax on time

Joined:Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:47 pm

Postby cta » Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:04 am

Your client may be able to present your bill for the additional work involved to HMRC and ask them to pay. I have been successful with this in the past. It may depend on what evidence you have kept.

If you are not filing "online" I would recommend you read the guidance at:- ... idence.htm

I would also recommend that you look into online filing. You get a note back mostly within seconds to say the return has been submitted. Refunds are also much quicker which is particularly helpful if you are taking fees from refunds !

Joined:Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:21 pm

Postby Sherlock » Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:00 am

You can bill them for copies 2,3 and 4. The HMRC Redress Handbook on the Internet is helpful in this respect.

What you need to do is to bill your client for the work, and then, after payment, send a receipted account to HMRC. I doubt if you will encounter any resistance to refund of your fee. If you do, the Area Manager of HMRC or ultimately the Adjudicator will quickly sort the situation out.
Joined:Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:13 pm

Postby » Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:00 am

I thought the taxpayers' charter died many moons ago.

tax me less!
Joined:Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:29 pm

Postby tax me less! » Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:50 pm

All the clients I have ever had in this situation have been uninterested because they have been worried about the potential for their own case being scrutinised in greater and more specialised depth. Consequently I have never yet had a client interested in chasing HMRC over small beer.

Joined:Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:36 pm

Postby Daniya » Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:40 am

I disagree with your remark "tax me less", if the accountant has prepared the accounts accordingly in the proper manner and brought all points to the taxpayer, then no matter how much the scrutinity occurs, I/Revenue will have to justify their decision, thats why we have courts, etc..
small beer or no small beer the revenue has be negligent, therefore it need to be brought to someone attention.
I admit you have to help & guide your client to the best possible way to save tax, but I strongly disagree with accountants who just want client's money without guiding them in the right direction. At the end its the taxpayer who is responsible but the integrity & the professionalism of the accountant is at stake as well.

Joined:Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:47 pm

Postby cta » Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:52 am

The level of extra work needs to be considered in the context of that clients affairs.

The work involved in a very simple tax return for say a retired individual with a couple of pensions and a bit of bank interest could be doubled as a result of having to resubmit the returns 3 times, and they will be keen to be compensated for IR errors.

On the other hand, having to send in 3 duplicates for a much larger involved client will add a much smaller proprtion to the costs and the client will be less concerned with the extra costs.

Every case should be considered on its own merits so you can't adopt the same approach to every case where HMRC make a mistake. Aside from the point about the fear of closer scrutiny of the clients affairs, the adviser also risks his good standing with HMRC to consider.
Joined:Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:13 pm

Postby » Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:31 am

Why not fax (or e-mail) it to them?

Joined:Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:47 pm

Postby cta » Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:46 am

.... and get the person you have spoken to at HMRC to stand next to the fax machine !

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