Y2K Bug – Tax office chaos after millennium bug bites.

A Welsh tax office has been bitten by the millennium bug, issuing thousands of tax returns mistakenly dated 1900, Accountancy Age has learned. Up to 4,000 returns were sent out this month after a printing contractor to the Revenue incorrectly stated the issue date as being the turn of the last century. One accountant who received a return said: ‘The computer-generated notice date has been given as 4 January 1900 – two years before my grandmother was born.’ He joked: ‘I’m arranging a loan to cover the interest penalties.’ It is understood the Wrexham regional office experienced particular difficulties and was described by one source as ‘in chaos’. The Revenue called the problem a ‘software glitch’ by the contractor. It ordered all misdated forms to be reissued with the correct date immediately. A spokesman said there would be no implications for the self-assessment deadline of 31 January. Taxpayers will have three months from the date of issue of the second letter in which to complete their forms. Despite the debacle the Revenue insisted everything was running smoothly. More than nine million returns have been sent out with 90% expected to meet the closing date. As of Monday the Revenue had received six million forms. A spokesman said: ‘There are no hiccups.’ Francesca Lagerberg of the English ICA’s Tax Faculty agreed. ‘There’s no one major issue, just a lot of niggling little problems,’ she said.

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