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HMRC error double-charges up to 1,000 contractors

As many as 1,000 contract workers could have been billed twice mistakenly due to a computer glitch on the part of Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.

A computer bug in the online BillPay system has been causing many of those using the online facility to pay have discovered multiple debits to their bank accounts, sometimes in the tens of thousands of pound. In fact, one insurance broker lost nearly £20,000 from his bank account and has had a particularly hard time to recover the funds from the taxman.

Colin Jones said in a recent interview that he was left heavily overdrawn from the incident, yet has not been able to have the incident resolved by HMRC to his satisfaction. Mr Jones assumed a phlegmatic philosophy about the entire incident in that he acknowledged the fact that computer glitches can and will happen, but he had to express his frustration with the taxman, as HMRC has yet to provide him with any sort of timeline for when he can expect to be reimbursed – and more importantly, who is going to compensate him for the accrued overdraft interest he is racking up.

The tax authority is indeed hard at work on resolving the problem, according to an HMRC representative, and part and parcel of these resolutions will indeed take the form of both a refund and compensation for any overdraft fees or bank charges. BillPay service provider Santander has made a commitment to cover these fees and charges, it was confirmed.

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