Belfast Telegraph

Taxpayers still failing to check tax codes

By Clare Weir

Less than half of Northern Ireland's working adults have checked their tax codes following a much-publicised error in the system last year.

Around 47% say they have not cross-checked their details with HM Revenue -amp; Customs(HMRC) despite the recent issues with coding which revealed that thousands were paying too much or too little tax.

A survey commissioned by The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) also found that over two out of three adults in Northern Ireland are unsure of the impact of indirect taxes, such as Vat and rates, on their wage packet, with only 30% of respondents aware that an additional 22% of the average salary is spent on other taxes after income tax has been deducted.

The nationwide poll, conducted by YouGov, also revealed widespread confusion about how much income tax employees should be paying.

Some 92% of Northern Ireland respondents were unable to correctly identify what income tax levels were paid on all three salaries of £20,000, £50,000 and £200,000.

In 2010, HMRC identified as many as six million errors with the tax code system, resulting in tax rebates and underpaid tax bills for millions of taxpayers.

While thousands of people were sent the wrong tax codes following the introduction of a new computer system at HMRC, many of the errors dated back to the 2007/08 tax year.

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