Can you rely on an extra statutory concession to not pay your PAYE demand?

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There’s lots of comment this morning that those about to receive demands for back tax because of PAYE processing errors can claim relief because of official error under an extra statutory concession.

See this from the Guardian for explanation. It’s good and has the links to model letters of complaint.

But — a word of warning. I doubt it will work. You have to have provided the information for this to apply in my opinion — and people don’t advise HMRC themselves of changing jobs or of benefits — employers do.

So I think that these errors will, unless the person submitted a tax return, be outside the extra statutory concession.

But this may not be the end of this. This issue is going to move into politics now. It may be expedient for the government to write these debts off or phase them over five years (my preferred route) rather than chase them all. But if it does then it has, as I’ve just suggested, got to reform the management and culture of HMRC at the same time — which means kicking out its private sector culture, spending more, putting quality at the top of the agenda and engaging more people to deliver the service people demand.

It could not possibly write off the dent without doing the reform as well. That would be throwing good money after bad, as the saying goes.

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