Problems with VAT being collected by direct debit

I wondered if anyone else has experienced, or their clients have experienced, problems with VAT being collected by direct debit. 

I have 2 cases where the March quarter VAT was done online and a DD set up.  Confirmations of the direct debit being set up were received and printed but both have subsequently had letters saying the VAT is outstanding and when the client has phoned the VAT office they say there is no DD set up.  Both client's have now paid by cheque.

  • Not a DD problem, but I have a client who pays their VAT online, always in plenty of time. However, this time, they received 2 letters and a phone call from HMRC. The letters said that they hadn't paid and were now entering the surcharge period, and the phone call was to say that their cheque had bounced!

    There was no cheque and the online payment had been made 10days prior to the communications from HMRC. Only when my client presented evidence from their bank that the payment had been made did HMRC admit that they had processed the payment incorrectly and it was their mistake.

    OK, everyone makes mistakes, I accept that, but my client was quite intimidated by the letters which were sent (one was a red letter) and the message which was left saying "you must call back by 8pm this evening - it's urgent". 
  • We had a similar problem to the original query. We were told that the direct debit was set up too close to the payment date for the current quarter and so the direct debit couldn't be taken. However future periods should be fine.

    The next quarter did work correctly for the client envolved.

    It would have made more sence if the HMRC web site had pointed out this flaw in the system when changing over to electronic filing and payment.

  • I, too, have had dd's set up, but hMRC has not taken the payment, even though I have confirmation emails with reference numbers. The excuse is that the DD needed some days before it could be effective.
  • Yes, the same problem here, completed the VAT return online in the middle of the month before it was due and also set up the DD just prior to this in plenty of time - DD not taken. It would be handy if they had told us that the DD had to be set up 5 days earlier - I could have done this and then completed the VAT return later in the month!