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Extraordinary items – Hector’s computer skills make for quite a taxing read.

It’s always a dangerous game when journalists start criticising the so-called typographical mistakes made by others, but we can’t let the Inland Revenue off the hook so easily.

Last year, Hector’s people issued a brief Tax Bulletin, all about the PAYE anti-avoidance provisions of the new Finance Act. But a page of amendments dispatched shortly after lists no fewer than 24 errors in the 12-page document.

Some, admittedly, are minor. Dates, however, are important in the tax world – just try filling in your self-assessment form on 1 February. Yet the errors include quite a few cases of “xx August” to be replaced with “31 July”, or “20 October” in place of “27 October”. The Revenue blamed “a computer error” (aka, human error with a computer) as a result of which the final version of the document was not saved before being sent to the printers. The good ol’ Revenue reprinted the whole thing.

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