Barking up the Wrong Tree

Sep 13, 2013


By Steve Knowles

HMRC are currently in the process of checking employees PAYE.  They compare what should have been deducted with what was actually deducted by the employer.

Strangely enough, if there is an underpayment HMRC are sending out P800 underpayment notifications to employees and asking them to pay the amounts due.

The tax legislation clearly states that an employer must deduct PAYE correctly from its employee’s wages and pay it over to HMRC in a timely manner.  If they make an error by operating an incorrect tax code; using the wrong tax tables; failing to follow the P45/P46 procedure; incorrectly considering an employees tax status; or by paying gross and not operating a tax code the employer should be pursued for the tax.

HMRC are obviously choosing to pursue an easier target, in fact they identified approximately 1.3 million underpayments in 2011/12 alone, and it is easier to chase the employee than their employer. As the majority of employees pay without question, we have to ask; is this not morally wrong?

David Cameron and George Osborne are quick to persecute those who choose to plan their tax affairs so that they pay less tax.

A question to David and George: Is it not morally wrong to charge someone tax when they are not legally due to pay it?

Related articles:

RTI: An Update

Schedule 56: PAYE Late Payment Penalties

HMRC Shut Down Unused PAYE Systems

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