Written on: 24/01/2006 by AWG (48 reviews written)
You can keep an eye on your payments.
Online payment system went badly wrong for us.
We are self employed people. In January 2006 we decided to once again log on to our accounts at www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk and pay our individual partnership tax accounts.
All seemed to go well. We used Debit cards and received receipts from the Inland Revenue, which we duly printed and saved.
Four days later we came to pay a supplier for a small item by telephone. Our Debit cards were constantly being rejected, even though we had hundreds of pounds in a Lloyds TSB account that only cash was paid into. So there was no question of funds awaiting cheques to be cleared. A call to Lloyds TSB revealed that items had been double 'earmarked' for collection out of the account. None of the items were regular monthly outgoings. In actual fact both our tax bills had been double earmarked totalling thousands of pounds. The bank account was frozen. Fortunately Lloyds TSB remove 'earmarks' that have not been collected within 3 working days. The Inland Revenue online payment system had only taken what was due - but had 'earmarked' double the amount, which totalled over seven thousand pounds!
Now just imagine if we'd gone into Tesco's or Sainsburys. There we would have been at the checkout with a trolley full of goods and a queue of people behind us watching our cards being rejected (even though we always have adequate funds). Thankfully this scenario did not happen.
There was no 'double clicking' when we paid our bills online, - we know how to use the internet.
We can only seriously advise readers NOT to use this method of payment, and not to risk being subjected to what we went through by using a convenient method of payment to the Inland Revenue. Take a cheque or cash to your bank, or pay by post.
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