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Revenue glitch poses pension threat

Pension schemes could face extra tax bills and personal fines for scheme administrators after a technical glitch at the Revenue meant it failed to migrate crucial data on to its systems.

The Revenue’s first online tax return submission deadline since A-Day passed last week, but some schemes that pre-registered their details online through a service offered by the Revenue to speed up the process have found their data was not moved to the Revenue’s systems.

The first deadline for online submission of the new accounting for tax forms in the simplified tax regime was August 14 and the Revenue will charge interest on any unpaid tax and scheme administrators that miss the deadline face penalties.

Aegon head of pensions development Rachel Vahey warns this could affect IFAs, particularly advisers dealing with small self-administered schemes and executive personal pensions that have agreed to take on the role of scheme practitioner.

The Revenue says firms can appeal against penalties and there is nothing to prevent a scheme filing a return on paper. It says if the payment reference number is not known, payment can still be made if the administrator provides the full name of the scheme.

Vahey says: “The Revenue should waive any penalties that stem from its own failure to migrate information.”

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