Self Assessment errors

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Some taxpayers using an online payment service were charged more than once for their tax bill last week due to a systems failure at HMRC, reports Chartered Accountants Northampton Harris & Co

Up to a thousand customers using the BillPay service, which is managed by Santander Corporate Banking, had their tax bill debited more than once from their bank accounts. This service is available to UK card holders paying their self assessment tax online.

Insurance broker Colin Jones told the Daily Telegraph that nearly £20,000 had been taken from his account after his tax bill was charged twice. After ‘numerous’ calls to the tax office he was told that HMRC was aware of the problem but that there were no updates available on when he would get the overpayment back.

A spokesman for HMRC said: ‘At the end of January, Santander experienced technical problems with their BillPay system resulting in some people making more than one payment. We have already started repaying overpaid tax to those affected and we expect to have this work completed by tomorrow. Santander will cover any bank charges incurred by HMRC customers as a consequence of this incident.’

A Santander spokesman said: ‘We are liaising with HMRC on this matter. If there was an issue relating to payments made through BillPay on 31 January, we will ensure that any refunds due will be reimbursed, along with any associated costs.’

HMRC received more than 280,000 self-assessment tax payments on 31 January, with payments that day totalling more than £2.3bn.

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