HMRC picks on pensioners


HMRC has been unfairly stinging pensioners with unexpected tax bills, according to the official adjudicator who handles complaints made about the taxman.

According to an annual report published by Judy Clements from the Adjudicator's Office, more and more pensioners are complaining about receiving unfair treatment at the hands of HMRC, and that together the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, she has “serious concerns” over HMRC’s treatment of vulnerable pensioners.

According to the report there have been instances where HMRC have attempted to request repayments, when payments had actually been made a number of years ago, without any legal right to chase up.

The report said: “When I took up office I became aware of the growth in volume of taxation cases and the impact HMRC's decision making was having on some customer groups, particularly pensioners. My initial meetings with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) indicated they too had serious concerns over HMRC's handling of these cases."

Despite HMRC doing all they can to reclaim money and reduce the national deficit, these heavy handed tactics can actually have a negative effect- the report states that HMRC had to pay out more than £100,000 to compensate people who received treatment deemed to be unfair.