Inland Revenue sends IT consultant £90m tax bill

According to a revealing report in yesterday's Sunday Times, Inland Revenue staff have been sending out tax demands which they know to be wrong, and which are costing taxpayers a small fortune in the process. This information is believed to have come from internal leaks, which hitherto have been shrouded in a culture of secrecy and risks of disciplinary action for 'speaking out'.

An Inland Revenue spokesman told the Sunday Times that of the 9 million tax forms submitted under the self assessment scheme, only 400,000 were checked for accuracy. Interestingly, one of the key reasons quoted for this discrepancy has been due to 'unreliable computer systems that break down at key times'. These systems have been implemented by EDS as part of a £2.4 BILLION 10 year contract deal.

The highlight of the article relates to an IT consultant, Patrick Larven, who declared annual income of £28,000 last year. He received a tax bill for £320,000. Following an Inland Revenue admission that this demand was inaccurate, Mr. Larven was subsequently posted a new demand for £90 million, which could be paid in two installments of £45m!

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