Watchdog to pass verdict on deletion of tax records

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee will publish a report this Thursday (8 September) on the results of its investigation into the accidental deletion of taxpayers' records as part of routine database administration.

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee will publish a report this Thursday (8 September) on the results of its investigation into the accidental deletion of taxpayers' records as part of routine database administration.

The investigation came after Computer Weekly last November highlighted a single paragraph deep in a 41-page report by public spending watchdog the National Audit Office on the accounts of the Inland Revenue, now HM Revenue and Customs.

The paragraph said the department became aware in the autumn of 2003 that, "A well established and accepted housekeeping routine on the PAYE computer databases had for a number of years deleted some records before the usual final review to check whether any tax remains overpaid or underpaid for the relevant year."

The deletions highlight flaws in the Revenue's procedures, controls and data security policies which should have prevented core data being removed permanently.

Next week's report will also examine the troubled introduction of tax credits.

Richard Bacon, a member of the Public Accounts Committee, said MPs continue to be inundated with complaints from constituents arising from the troubled introduction of the tax credits system.


 

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