What if I've underpaid my tax?
If you have underpaid, don't panic. The Inland Revenue won't
expect you to pay the money back in one go. It's important
to realise that what you are receiving will be an informal
calculation only (known as a P800) and is not actually a tax
If you don't understand the calculations, you should challenge
HMRC to produce a detailed explanation as to how they reached
their figures. In the majority of cases, HMRC will simply
alter your tax code and you will pay more tax each month from
April 2011 onwards.
Most people will pay the money back over the course of 12
months. HMRC has announced that it will not be pursuing claims
of less than £300 - this applies to approximately 40% of underpayments.
What if I can't afford to repay the tax?
If paying the money back that quickly is going to cause you
problems, then HMRC has agreed that payments can be spread
over 3 years. If this applies to you, contact your local tax
office and request this. However, if a tax debt is legally
due, then you must repay it.
What if I've overpaid?
You need to be just as vigilant, if you've paid too much
tax. Check the details with just as much scrutiny as if you'd
been told you'd underpaid, because if HMRC discover there's
been a further error, you could still be liable to repay the
rebate. Once notification has been sent through, a cheque
should arrive within 7-10 days.
Will HMRC send me an email about my tax payment?
No. HMRC will only contact you by letter. If you receive
any email claiming to be from HMRC telling you to submit your
claim online, this is a phishing
scam and should be deleted immediately. More
information about scams
What if I don't agree with the letter? What if I want
Officials have indicated that there is a procedure called
statutory concession A19' (the exact text relating to
this is on pages 25-26 of the document.). This procedure means
that HMRC will consider writing off the demands if you can
prove you provided all the correct information to calculate
your tax correctly and they failed to use it within 12 months.
However, you're by no means certain to escape repayment.
According to HMRC, 'In fairness to all taxpayers, this is
not a blanket exemption and very much depends on the specific
circumstances of each case.'
Useful website - HM
Revenue & Customs HM Revenue & Customs help ensure that
the money is available to fund the UK's public services. They
also provide targeted financial support to families and individuals.
Visit their 'Contact us' section to enquire about taxable
income. 'Your rights to money benefits'. This book pulls together
all the information on the benefits you may be entitled to
Useful publications: Download the Age UK Tax Guide, which
contains information and advice about all forms of tax: Tax
Guide (PDF 2MB)
0800 169 6565 (AGE UK HELPLINE)