Pensions  

HMRC late in paying bonus to Lisa clients

HMRC late in paying bonus to Lisa clients

HM Revenue & Customs has suffered a systems glitch that led to Lifetime Isa clients across all providers not having their bonus paid on time this month.

In a letter sent out to its 70,000 Lifetime Isa clients on Wednesday (March 4) Hargreaves Lansdown said HMRC was experiencing a "technical error", which meant the revenue had not been able to send the money yet.

It is understood the issue affected every provider of the Lifetime Isa product. 

According to the letter, Hargreaves was "working with HMRC" to resolve the issue and get the bonus paid to clients "as soon as possible" and by yesterday afternoon (March 5) Hargreaves reported the issue had been resolved and payments would be made in due course.

Danny Cox, spokesman for Hargreaves Lansdown, acknowledged that payments were "slightly delayed from HMRC" but said: "These have now been received and are on client accounts. We will write again to let clients know."

It is understood HMRC had identified an issue with a small number of claims, which prevented bonus payments being processed as usual.

As soon as the revenue became aware of the issue, it was investigated and HMRC quickly implemented a fix to allow the payments to be made.

It is understood all Lisa managers will receive any outstanding payments in the coming days.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “We are aware of a technical issue, which has delayed the payment of Lifetime Isa bonuses. The issue has now been fixed and outstanding claims for bonus payments are being processed. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

ne Hargreaves user, who wished to be anonymous, commented: "It's good that the issue has been resolved but it doesn't fill you with confidence about HMRC.

"Every month I check how the Lisa is performing and what the bonus is likely to be. The bonus is the reason I put aside £4,000 of my Isa allowance each year into a Lisa, which I am using to save to bolster my pension income. 

"If HMRC can't sort its own systems out, how are we expected to trust the government on its promises relating to these savings plans?"

Under the Lisa rules, the government will pay a 25 per cent bonus each tax year, which can be up to a maximum of £1,000 if the individual saver puts in £4,000 a year.

simoney.kyriakou@ft.com