Late last week it emerged via leaked internal emails that HMRC had another computing disaster on it's hands - this time due to 'hundreds of thousands' of incorrect tax demands being sent. The calculations were apparently miscalculated due to reporting errors from the 2013-2014 tax year.
Rather embarrassing for the taxman as a brand new system called RTI was implemented to counter such a problem from occurring. It would essentially take pay updates from employers each pay period, regardless of whether the period is weekly, bi-weekly, monthly etc, rather than the previous manner of updating HMRC only once per year.
The leaked email revealed the errors in the system were sending out demands for underpayment for the previous tax year (2013/2014) and was advising HMRC staff to tell taxpayers not to repay any demand requested.
The taxman responded to the leak by stating the letters sent out were not demands but actually part of the new annual tax statement, which launched October 2014. These statements provide a breakdown of the previous tax years tax paid and where the Government spent the revenue. HMRC added the errors were due to some employers making a final RTI submission for the 2013/2014 tax year and this resulted in incomplete calculations being posted out. Taxpayers identified to have received an incomplete summary should be posted a new one over the coming weeks.
An additional press release was posted a couple of days ago stating a number of incorrect P800 tax calculations and payable orders were sent to taxpayers from September 15th for a period of three weeks.
A P800 tax calculation is a summary sent if HMRC deems the taxpayer has paid too much or little in tax due to a number of scenarios, including pensions and multiple jobs. The P800 may request a repayment of provide a refund.
HMRC confimed via their press release that any taxpayer who feels that their P800 calculation is incorrect should contact HMRC directly for advice before making any payments or depositing any refunds provided.