Complete nightmare? Woman who got £775,000 from HMRC by mistake feels troubled

WION Web Team
London Published: Dec 05, 2021, 05:54 PM(IST)

Woman, who got £775,000 in bank account due to HMRC’s mistake, feels troubled (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

In what can be termed an unwelcome surprise, a woman is suffering due to callous attitude of UK Government's Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) department. In August 2020, the bank account of the woman was mistakenly credited with £774,839.39 through Bacs payment transfer from HMRC. The experience was “amazing, incredible, bizarre” but it quickly became “a nightmare,” said the woman

In what can be termed an unwelcome surprise, a woman is suffering due to callous attitude of UK Government's Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) department.   

In August 2020, the bank account of the woman, who is a self-employed mother of a five-year-old, was mistakenly credited with £774,839.39 through Bacs payment transfer from HMRC.    

The experience was “amazing, incredible, bizarre” but it quickly became “a nightmare,” said the woman.   

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For over a year, she was waiting for the department to realise their mistake and take the money back but to no benefit.   

Keeping her conscience clear, the woman has been making efforts to return the money. She not just tried to contact HMRC but also connected with the Guardian.   

The real issue now is that as the year was tough due to coronavirus induced pause in work, she has spent £20,000 and has no way to return the complete money immediately.   

After the Guardian told HMRC, it probed and found that a staff member made the mistake while trying to pay a £23.39 parcel customs duty rebate to woman.   

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According to the Section 24A of the Theft Act 1968, it is an offence to knowingly keep a wrongful credit. The recipient, who dishonestly fails to “take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances to secure that the credit is cancelled”.   

In her case, an HMRC spokesperson has told the woman that the organisation “genuinely wants to be supportive”.   

“We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to the individual. We are working to recover the payment that was made. For the amount that the individual spent, we will work with them to come to a payment arrangement that takes into account their financial circumstances,” he said.   

(With inputs from agencies) 

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