Employers advised to check HMRC Penalty Notices

Employers who have received penalty letters from HM Revenue and Customs should check to see whether they have been targeted by mistake, a tax expert warned this week.

Owen Kyffin, a director at Whitley Stimpson, the leading accountants in Banbury said: “It has been brought to our attention that HMRC have sent out penalty letters by mistake to employers who had filed their returns for 2013 to 2014.

“According to reliable reports HMRC have admitted that ten per cent of the 12,500 penalty letters were sent out by mistake and experts have blamed the situation on a change in software which may have had the effect of duplicating accounts. This in turn has had the effect of some companies being asked for double the amount of tax.”

HMRC have apologised and said that they will have completed the upgrade of their systems by the end of August.

But Owen warned: “Even if HMRC put this right in the near future there is still the possibility of duplicated records and some employers may have considerable difficulty reconciling what they think they owe HMRC with what the revenue office says is due.

“Some of the terminology in the reporting procedures has also changed, which does not help. We recommend employers to carry out an independent check if they are in doubt over their tax liabilities.”

Whitley Stimpson is a leading adviser on tax matters for businesses and Owen Kyffin can be contacted by telephoning 01295 270200 or by email at owenk@whitleystimpson.co.uk