Welsh tax office bitten by millennium bug in forms fiasco

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ACCOUNTANCY AGE EXCLUSIVE: Welsh tax office bitten by millennium bug in forms fiasco

A Welsh tax office has been bitten by the millennium bug, issuing thousands of tax returns mistakenly dated 1900, Accountancy Age has learned. By Gavin Hinks[18 Jan 2000]

Up to 4,000 returns were sent out across the country after a printing contractor to the Revenue incorrectly stated the issue date as the turn of the last century. One accountant who received a wrongly dated return said: 'The computer-generated notice date has been given as January 4, 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 responded quickly calling the problem a 'software glitch' on the part of the contractor. It immediately ordered all misdated forms to be reissued with the correct date. A spokesman was also keen to point out there would be no implications for the self-assessment deadline of January 31. Tax payers will have three months from the date of issue of the second letter in which to complete their forms. Despite the date debacle the Revenue insisted everything was running smoothly towards the deadline. More than nine million tax returns have been sent out with 90% expected to meet the closing date. As of Monday the Revenue had received just over six million completed 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,' he said.

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-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), January 19, 2000

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