Many tax payers using HMRC’s online self-assessment filing facility may have fallen victim to a computer glitch. The system had an option available for taxpayers that allowed them to choose to pay their taxes by way of a special PAYE tax code.
It is thought that hundreds of people decided to select this option. The problem for HMRC seems to be that this option was supposed to only be available until the end of December 2008. Unfortunately, HMRC can’t seem to figure out how to make the option unavailable so anyone that visits the site will see it as a valid option to choose.
Because the option appears to be valid, people may select the tax payment option without ever knowing that there is a problem. No taxes would be removed through PAYE and a person could be liable for interest on the amount of taxes that were due.
HMRC has said that anyone that ends up in this type of situation will not be penalized for their mistake. According to HMRC “If customers use this option believing that having their underpayment coded out is still a valid option, we will show any underpayment in their PAYE tax code if they contact us and ask us to do so.”
It was also noted by HMRC that they will be contacting people who selected this option in early February. Many people have already contacted HMRC in regard to the issue and have had the problem taken care of.