Question: I have just received a letter from Her Majesty Revenue & Customs advising that I may have under paid some tax. What should I do?
Alan Curry, director of tax, ASM Horwath replies:
HMRC errors in the calculation of PAYE will affect millions of taxpayers.
Even if you are advised of a refund you should have the calculation checked. There is no guarantee that HMRC will have got it right second time around.
If the letter advises of an underpayment, this is not a demand. Do not make a payment until you agree the sum and how payment is to be made.
Even if the calculation is correct you should question whether or not you are personally liable to pay the tax. If HMRC had all the information necessary to calculate the tax correctly but failed to do so, an agent may dispute the extra tax charges and ask for the underpaid tax to be “written off”.
Fraudsters will try to take advantage of the situation, so do not respond to emails purporting to be from HMRC that suggest you are due a refund and request your bank details.
If you do receive a letter from HMRC you should contact a tax adviser to ascertain the correct tax position. They will also advise you on how best to manage bill.