Political Promise

HMRC, tax doesn’t have to be taxing but sometimes it is

In David Brownsey-Joyce on September 14, 2010 at 7:23 am

David Brownsey-Joyce received a dreaded letter from HMRC, and shares his experiences.

I spent the week waiting for a letter from HMRC, wondering whether I would get good news, bad news, or no news at all.

Since the news broke that just under six million people have been paying the wrong amount of tax for the last two years, I’ve been waiting for a letter to turn up, expecting the worst, whilst hoping for the best as the first 45,000 letters were sent out, with the rest to follow by Christmas.

I feel like someone who may have won the premium bonds as I wait for a letter to say I have overpaid taxes for the past two years and are owed around £420, all I need now is a knock on the door and I’ll feel like I’ve actually won something.

There are over four million people who can expect to win out of HMRC’s coding error, I hope they all feel like I do waiting for that loving price to drop through the mailbox; their share of £1.8 billion overpaid to HMRC.

At the same time I’m worried as I wait, knowing that I could receive a letter from HMRC for a demand of £1,428, all I need is a knock on the door and I’ll feel like the bailiffs have turned up.

There are nearly one and a half million people who can expect to lose out of HMRC’s coding error, I hope they aren’t as stressed about their finances as I am, as they dread the bill through the mailbox; their share of £2 billion underpaid to HMRC.

It’s a strange thing to worry about as unless I am really unlucky I wouldn’t need to settle the amount straight away, HMRC do not request payments in one amount unless it is over £2,000; which seems unlikely as really I don’t earn enough to have not noticed that not coming off my pay slip at the end of the month.

Instead I can look forward to a new tax code being issued and additional tax being taken off my pay each month to compensate for the additional amount owed to HMRC. Whilst if I’m owed money for overpaying, fingers crossed, then I will receive a nice juicy cheque, which will promptly go on something frivolous doing my own part to boast the economy.

£1.8 billion being paid out straight away and £2 billion being paid in over time, it seems to me to make no sense as once the mechanics are put in place to recover the larger amount the amount going in and going out will roughly be the same.

The Coalition Government are blaming the previous Labour administration for the mess but what are they doing about it? They are talking about companies paying money to HMRC and then HMRC paying individual employees directly, deducting the tax, and signalling the death of the payslip. It seems to me that this would create another layer of administration in a system that still has 18 million open cases related to wrong tax codes prior to 2008.

This error is going to effect working people across the UK, in both the private and public sector. At a time of economic austerity and everyone having to tighten their belt all of a sudden some people are going to have more and some are going to have less, but then again what else is new.

The wait goes on.

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