HMRC has removed its online pensions relief calculator after it gave savers incorrect information and potentially cost them tax relief.

The issue relates to a web page which allows users to check their annual pension savings allowance. The error was spotted by tax experts at Royal London. HMRC admitted in writing to the mistakes, and finally removed the page in question.

“This time round, we identified the problem, we contacted them and they apologised – but they left it up,” explained Steve Webb, Royal London’s head of policy and the ex-minister of state for pensions.

When Royal London raised the issue with HMRC on 16 April, the tax authority said it was “aware that since 6 April 2018 the Annual Allowance calculator is showing less annual allowance than is due for the year 2017/18 onwards”, and it would fix the issue as soon as possible.

“When we went to the media, that’s when they finally took it down,” said Webb. “That’s unacceptable. People can use the site and act upon it. They could look at the number and make an important financial decision.”

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