Inland Revenue denies loss of tax records

A denial has been issued by the Inland Revenue following reports that it has lost millions of tax records.

The Revenue said it has lost nothing and that it has what it describes as ‘open records’ on only a number of taxpayers which resulted from being supplied with incomplete information.

Press reports claimed that around five million records for 1998 to 1999 had been lost due to information not being transferred properly from the Revenue’s National Insurance Recording (NIR) system, run by Andersen Consulting, to COP, the PAYE computer.

Speculation has mounted that millions of taxpayers would get a tax holiday.

The NIR system cost Andersen £100m to develop, and a further £20m has been spent on it since being installed, but the firm has received only £19m in fees to date. The latest reports will come as a further embarrassment to the company.

The Revenue said this morning that the ‘open records’ problem was an annual event. A spokesman said: “This is not because the Inland Revenue or its computer systems have lost any information or [that] there is any problem with the systems. [It is] because complete information has not been received from [an] employer, or someone who was an employee in an earlier tax year has moved into self employment.”

First published on Accountancy Age

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