The U.K. Tax Software Update That Was All Kids’ Stuff

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Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the British equivalent of the IRS, regularly sends out updated software to small businesses. But, according to The Register, some people who received the February CD of updates, which should have included form generators and tax calculators, got a surprise.

Instead, they found themselves opening a CD containing a total of 16 children’s stories, all being told in German. It was, of course, an error.

HMRC said that of the 1.5 million CDs sent out, the stories were only on a “few hundred,” and said the fault lay with the contractor responsible for producing the CDs. A spokeswoman said:

"Although the buck stops with us at HMRC, it is something we contract out because it is cheaper to produce [the CDs] in a commercial environment."

The company that made the CDs, Software Logistics Ltd., admitted the problem.

We aware of the situation. It’s a very rare occurrence," said managing director Barry Hurley.

"It’s of course regrettable and we are working with HMRC to ensure replacements are sent out as soon as possible."

HMRC has apologized to those who received the stories and promised replacement CDs.