HMRC implored to update “19th century organisation”


The UK Treasury will tell HMRC to make changes to their tax systems, as reports come in of even more errors.

Along with this week’s news of people paying wrong amounts of tax, an internal review of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has amazingly discovered that one in five of all tax records could be filled with errors. With 45 million records in total that means up to nine million people could have mistakes in their records.

The internal review was actually sparked by the PAYE blunder, following the emergence of the mistake HMRC demanded that all tax files were checked and thus came the revelation that nine million records could be “potentially at risk of error.”

As a result the new computer system, which cost £400 million, has come under fire. Michael Fallon, of the Treasury Select Committee, said: “We’re going to have to find out why the computer system didn’t work as it should, why it cost so much money and why they didn’t design it in a way that is up to date with the way Britain works. The whole thing needs changing.”

The original PAYE system was created in 1944, and its detractors feel that a strong updating is in order: “HMRC is a 19th century organisation in a 21st century environment. It has not kept up with the times,” said Ian Liddell-Grainger, head of the Treasury group. He added: “The PAYE system needs to be fundamentally reformed. The current systems are not robust enough to do the jobs they are supposed to do.”