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Tax Expert Welcomes HMRC Reports

Work To Update PAYE Systems Continues


A top tax expert has welcomed reports that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) may consider writing off around £1.5 billion of unpaid tax.

The BBC has reported that insiders at HMRC believe that a number of cases highlighted in a recent investigation into underpayments or overpayments are unlikely to be pursued as they are over two years old.

Carol Wells, a senior tax adviser at Irwin Mitchell, said the recent work carried out by HMRC to tackle discrepancies was all designed to bring its PAYE systems up-to-date as soon as possible.

She explained: “There is a huge backlog of cases where end of year PAYE reconciliations have not been done on time and the recent media furore about the collection of relatively old underpayments may well have forced HMRC to rethink the tolerances they already have about the level of underpayment they collect. 

“Hopefully they are taking a commercial view on how much it will cost the department to collect the underpayments and if it will cost more to collect than it will raise it is clearly more cost effective to write off the debt. 

“We shouldn’t overlook that in some cases this review will result in taxpayers receiving significant repayments which will hopefully be a nice surprise for some in times of financial strain.”