HMRC cancel debts


Around 10,000 people who were handed shock tax bills in the wake of last year’s HMRC tax code fiasco have seen their debts cancelled after successful appeal.

Apparently the A19 extra statutory concession was the key method of having the tax bills cancelled. The concession forces HMRC to write off the bill if the claimant “could reasonably have believed that his or her tax affairs were in order.” The concession also has a 12 month clause, so if the taxpayer was notified of the bill one year after the tax year then this is also a way to avoid the bill.

Accountants across the land encouraged the 1.4 million people who were affected by the error to at least attempt to use A19, and HMRC came under fire for allegedly discouraging its use.

A HMRC spokesman said: “We would never discourage anyone from applying but they should do some work first to see if their case is appropriate for consideration. All our experience indicated that this concession which we developed will apply only in a small number of cases. We have issued well over a million letters asking for underpayments so the percentage of accepted cases should be seen as a proportion of that rather than the percentage who made an application.”