HM Revenue and Customs – UK

Following entry is a record in the “Catalogue of Catastrophe” – a list of failed and troubled projects from around the world.

HM Revenue and Customs – UK
Date :
Jul 2008 Cost :up to $5,600M USD

Synopsis :
Errors in the software and the processes used for handling data result in over payment of billions of dollars worth of tax credits for parents with children in the United Kingdom. On discovering the errors, government efforts to reclaim the money result in hardship for many of Britain’s poorest families. Many forced into debt to try to repay over payments and government forced to concede as much as £2.8bn as unrecoverable.

Contributing factors as reported in the press :
Programming / calculation errors embedded in the software, duplicate data that could not be erased, navigation between pages resulted in lost data and hence incorrect data in the system.

Reference links :

  1. Software glitches at heart of £2.8bn tax credit fiasco
  2. Tax credits time bomb threatens to explode