Paying too much tax? Yes, you probably are

16 August 2010

Moira Stewart telling you you're screwed, yesterday

Ah, HMRC. If we were to offer a prize for a more original explanation what the abbreviation might stand for, there'd be no shortage of entries. Tax is, in a word, taxing, and paying it always makes you want to cry all the moisture out your head.

And so to a seemingly annual tale - around 15 million people may have paid too much tax, because HMRC are still incapable of issuing the correct tax codes to poor bastards like me and you.

How much tax have we incorrectly paid? It's reported £238m has been collected in error over the past tax year – an increase of £96 million on the previous year. Gah. The massive increase is because of a new computer system introduced last year, that will one day achieve sentience and likely kill us all.

According to the Telegraph, "examples of the Revenue's errors include people having their personal tax allowances removed, being placed on higher tax codes or even having a '1' inserted in front of their salary, erroneously inflating their taxable income by £100,000." A spokesman for HMRC said:

"Our contact centres are able to quickly correct inaccuracies, when contacted by the taxpayer, in part because the new system has for the first time created a single taxpayer record which the contact centre operator can access and amend."

You'll notice the key phrase there - "when contacted by the taxpayer". In other words, HMRC aren't going to coming knocking on your door if they've got it wrong, especially as they still have a backlog of millions of cases from previous years to assess.

TOPICS:   Tax

6 comments

  • Morocco
    A more original explanation for the abbreviation? How about Horrible Monstrous Robbing Cunts?
  • Ed
    A friend is trying to claim about a grand in overpaid tax from last year. HMRC are demanding a P60U, which is impossible to provide since she was employed in April, so has a P60. Fucking morons can't even understand their own system.
  • The B.
    Hmmm, let's look at the tax banding shall we? Over the last 30 years each tax band has increased nowhere near inflationary levels, if it did we'd all be paying a hell of a lot less tax but then that would be a fair and just taxation system wouldn't it?
  • Roy
    Par for the course for HMRC, which is an abbreviation for HoMeRiC – incompetence on an epic scale. Do I win the prize - that you're not offering ;-) More HMRC cockups and examples of what HMRC is short for here: http://pagewithaview.co.uk/2010/05/27/hmrc-hopeless-mailers-of-really-confidential-data/
  • Ten B.
    [...] Paying too much tax? Yes, you probably are [...]
  • Tanya J.
    They managed to change my employer a few months ago, with the first I heard of it being the coding notice I received. The person on the other end was very close to not believing me, until I assured her that I hadn't changed employer for the past 8 years, and that they hadn't merged with the company in question, who made greeting cards or something. I work for a well-known news agency. Even when she admitted the mistake, I had to call back in a few weeks, because, basically, they'd had a major database fuck-up. Reassuring, no?

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