Owe the HMRC a bag of loot? They could be writing it off

23 September 2010


It's good news, but it's also bad news. Sort of. The good news is that HM Revenue and Customs are likely to write off £1.5 billion of unpaid tax that is owed by taxpayers who have underpaid in the past, according to the BBC. The bad news is that that's another billion and a half quid lost due to incompetence that the Government doesn't have to spend. But mainly it's good news. We think.

This backlog of 7.5 million cases of tax underpayment (and overpayment) dates back to 2007-8 - but that's on top of the recent news that 1.4 million people have underpaid in the past two years and have since received revised bills.

The reason the HMRC are unlikely to bother chasing taxpayers for the older debts are because they're not part of the HMRC's new database, meaning they'd have to be processed manually, and they'd be open to legal challenges. In short, it'd cost so much to try and claw the moeny back, that it's less of a pain in the arse to write it off.

It's not all good news for those who think it's great news, though - any cases of underpayment that have a whiff of fraud about them will still be chased down like the dogs they are. The better news is that in the case of overpayments, the HMRC will still be looking to repay taxpayers. Hurrah.




  • Grammar P.
    "...Claw the moeny back..." Seriously, does anybody proof-read articles before they are published??!?
  • Jim
    Not good news for me. I overpaid tax and it's taking ages to get back, plus as you mentioned, it now means the government have lost £1.5bn - something they could really do with right now!
  • Yue
    Questions that pop into my head. Which tax bracket are most of these cases in? Who is responsible for this and what actions have been taken against their inept attempt at working? I'm guessing this will really benefit the tory supporters and wouldn't be surprised if they had known of the situation and used that knowledge to abuse the system while waiting to see if the conservatives got in for them to just throw the debts away. It's a lot of money, they really should get it back. It stands to reason it will eventually come out of the pockets of the folk who pay the right amount each year.
  • The B.

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