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HMRC issue causes Student Loans queries

August 30, 2013


Student Loan repayments have become the latest problem to hit RTI. HMRC admitted yesterday that a “known issue” with RTI had caused a number of employments to be incorrectly designated as ‘ceased’ in their systems, which in turn led to the Student Loans Company contacting those borrowers who were affected in order to query their employment status.  This was caused by HMRC’s systems automatically sending the Student Loans Company incorrect information that the borrowers affected by the HMRC systems problem had left their employment.

Although the problem now affecting borrowers from the Student Loans Company has not been reported before, the problem does appear to be related to the issue of duplicate employments being created by HMRC systems following employer RTI reporting submissions. If the new issue does relate to the duplicate employments errors, it would explain how HMRC have themselves referred to the problem as a “known issue”.

The update from HMRC did not give any information on the nature of the issue, but it said that those borrowers who had received letters from the SLC querying their employment status should respond directly to the SLC, informing them they have not changed employer or terminated their current employment.

The issue, HMRC’s update said, only affected a ‘very small number of borrowers’ employments.’ Previously, when HMRC has referred to ‘very small numbers’ being affected by RTI issues this has been questioned by independent commentators who have expressed their view that larger numbers are affected than HMRC is willing to concede.

HMRC stated that they are in the process of correcting the errors on their own systems.  However, the update says they have encountered ‘an issue getting this corrected information on to the student loans system’ which they are ‘taking active steps to rectify’.  HMRC has asked employers to instruct employees to liaise directly with the Student Loans Company if they suspect that the issue has affected any of their employees.

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