Revenue reaches out to pensioners

Published on 21 July 2004

It is not every day that LITRG offers a big “very well done” to the Revenue. But for their initiative in helping to track down low-income pensioners who have overpaid tax it is nothing less than they deserve.

Earlier this year the Revenue started to use their database of bank and building society interest and match it against their database of pensioners. If no pensioner records were held, the likelihood was that such pensioners were overpaying tax. So instead of sitting on the money and thinking it would make a useful contribution to the Exchequer, the Revenue have set about repaying it.

Pensioners who get a letter from the Revenue indicating that they may have overpaid tax and offering them help to reclaim it, should welcome their approach.

The problem, which the Revenue are trying to correct, arises because banks (and building societies) often do not make it crystal clear to low- income pensioners that they are taking off 20% in tax from the interest that is credited to their accounts. Also banks do not promote prominently the procedures for stopping tax being deducted (see the results of our research earlier this year in our news archive).

Nevertheless we are where we are, and it makes a nice change for the pensioner to able to open a letter from the Revenue with a smile. That smile will be bigger still, if a repayment for 6 years follows.

(21-07-2004)

Contact Name: John Andrews (Tel: 0844 579 6700, Fax: 0844 579 6701)