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PAYE underpayments for Christmas: help for you

Published on 22 December 2010

Received a P800 tax calculation? Having a battle with HMRC? Want to know what to do next? The Christmas holidays may be the time you can get to grips with it. Since September, we have provided a variety of advice guides which should provide you with all the help you need.

1. A guide to automatic reconciliations – what to do if you get a tax calculation (P800)

This was our initial guide to the P800. Following our comments HMRC improved the format of their supporting guidance. We then expanded our own advice in our ‘round two’ article (see below), but you still might find the following sections particularly helpful:

  • a step-by-step guide to what to do if your calculation shows you have underpaid tax, including checking your calculation (section 4 – pages 2, 3 and 4)
  • what to do if your calculation shows you have overpaid tax (section 9 – page 6)
  • sample letters to HMRC: 
    • correcting the calculations or claiming extra allowances or reliefs (pages 12 to 13)
    • requesting an explanation of the calculation (page 13)
    • complaining about their handling of your tax affairs (pages 13 to 14)

For sample letters asking HMRC to consider Extra-statutory Concession A19 (‘ESC A19’) and employer or pension payer errors, move on to 2 below.

2. PAYE tax calculations – round two

This article expands on the above initial guidance, reiterating what to do on first receiving P800s, then offering further explanations and assistance, including:


  • challenging calculations which might be ‘out of time’ (dating before 6 April 2006);
  • further guidance on:
    • Extra-statutory Concession A19

      The downloadable PDF guide contains a sample letter asking HMRC to consider applying the concession in your case (pages 7 to 8)
    • Employer or pension payer error

      The downloadable PDF guide contains a sample letter asking HMRC to consider both employer and pension payer issues and ESC A19 – useful if you are not sure what has gone wrong (pages 6 to 7)
    • Misleading HMRC information and complaints

      The downloadable PDF guide includes a sample letter asking HMRC to send you a copy of your tax records, referring to your rights under data protection law (pages 2 to 3)
    • Paying up

      This outlines how will understand HMRC will collect underpaid tax and in particular warns of problems for those on means-tested benefits, again including a downloadable PDF guide.

3. PAYE tax calculations – pensioner problems

This article, compiled with the assistance of TaxHelp for Older People, highlighted some oddities we have seen in pensioner cases. Reading it might help you to recognise whether you are in a similar situation and pick out where your calculation might also be incorrect or capable of being challenged. 

4. HMRC refuses to write off tax – what next?

In response to enquiries we have received, this article aims to explain what you should do next if you have already challenged your P800 and have received a response you are not satisfied with.

5. Still to come… the payment demands

Where your P800 shows tax underpaid, the next stage of the process will be collection of that tax. We will be posting further guidance in the New Year, including what to do if:

  • you are still disputing the tax;
  • HMRC have agreed not to collect the tax, but it still shows up in your PAYE Coding Notice for 2011/12;
  • HMRC contact you to agree a payment arrangement for tax which cannot be collected through PAYE.

Make sure you check back here in January for the latest. For a reminder, register for news updates.


Contact: Kelly Sizer (please use form at http://www.litrg.org.uk/ContactUs)

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