Sorry seems to be the hardest word…

So sang Elton John and so, it seems, Dave Hartnett agreed.  Mr Hartnett is Permanent Secretary for Tax with HM Revenue & Customs and recently said that he “saw no need” to apologise for the six million incorrect PAYE codes that have resulted in millions receiving refunds and millions being told that they owed money (see earlier blog ‘what a debacle’).

That was in the morning, however. By mid-afternoon and (apparently) after a talking to by the Chancellor George Osborne, Mr Hartnett decided that he did understand the upset and distress caused and was “deeply sorry” about the issue.

The latest development concerns those who owe more than £2,000 in tax.  If you owe less than that, HMRC can delay collection by ‘PAYE coding out’ the amount and collecting it over a period of time but those owing £2,000 or more were originally expected to pay straight away or be charged interest.

Now, HMRC have said that they will NOT charge interest if people owing more than £2,000 have difficulty paying and ask for more time.

Remember, though, that these revised notices may still not be correct and if you receive one, you should check carefully to see if the HMRC calculation looks right.  If it does not, it may be worth while seeking advice.

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