There were delays, confusing statements, and poor liaison between Revenue offices over many years. Papers were lost or prematurely destroyed. The Ombudsman questioned whether appeals has been properly determined. They also said that, in view of the Revenue’s poor handling of a number of years, they would review the interest charge to see whether any part of it could. be given up and invited Dr X to make a claim for any costs he has incurred directly as a result of the Revenue’s delays and failures in handling his affairs.

Mr B sought further details and sight of relevant documents before he would begin repaying the overpayment. The Revenue did not supply the information and continued, despite further requests from Mr B, to press him for repayment. An adjustment to the figures and one repayment by Mr B reduced the overpayment to £2,950. Towards the end of 1995 the Revenue lost Mr B’s papers and a few months later action came to a standstill until March 1998 when the Revenue sent Mr B a demand for repayment plus interest.

They later waived the interest charge following an approach from Mr B’s Member of Parliament. The Ombudsman criticised the Revenue for their poor handling of Mr B’s tax affairs for which they apologised. The Inland Revenue (the Revenue) failed to amend a number of taxpayer records to show Mr X, an accountant, as the Conveyancing Melbourne Reviews agent for certain clients. In January 1994 they wrote telling him that the correct refund should have been £964.33.

That initial failure led to his former partner receiving communications intended for him. Later on Mr X also began to receive communications about his former partners clients. With the introduction of self assessment the Revenue carried over faulty records from one computer system to another thus compounding Mr X’s earlier problems. The Revenue erred in refusing to meet a claim from Mr X for redress under their Code of Practice. The Chairman offered his unreserved apologies to Mr X for the problems he had experienced over a long period.