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Tax Tip

More Letters from the Taxman. July 4th 2011

Dave Hartnett CB, Permanent Secretary for Tax, had to apologise for the amount of letters sent out last year: but it isn’t going to stop him doing it again this year.

Up to 4.7 million taxpayers will be sent letters later this year telling them they paid too much, or too little, income tax in 2010-11.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) says the letters will follow its annual reconciliation exercise.

This checks that people have paid the right tax via the PAYE system.

HMRC estimates that between 1.7 and 3.5 million people will be repaid an average of £340 each, while 1.2 million will owe £500-£600 each.

Last September, HMRC was severely criticised when it revealed that 5.7 million people had not paid the correct tax via PAYE for the years 2008-09 and 2009-10.

This led to about 1.4 million people having to pay an extra £1,428 each on average, while about 900,000 taxpayers had their debts of up to £300 written off.

The good news:  4.3 million people received cheques for overpayments.

HMRC claim the errors were discovered by a new comutor system which will campare data about taxpayers' incomes and employment histories which previously had been kept on 12 separate databases.

When will all of this happen?

The reconciliation exercise for 2010-11 will take place in late July, after which the HMRC expects that cheques for people previously overtaxed will be sent out in August and September.

Calculations for those who appear to owe money will be sent in batches after that, with the last going out in December. Taxpayers faced with a bill will have time to challenge the calculations if they think they are wrong.

But if they still have to pay then the money will be taken from their earnings each month via a change to their PAYE tax code for 2012-13.

Up to £3,000 per individual will be collected this time via PAYE, more than the previous limit of £2,000.

If you need any help and advice with your PAYE or general Bookkeeping, or looking to Outsource your Financial Department, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar NOW to discuss how ABDS can help in all your business matters.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:


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