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wanted to pick your brains guys .... a friend has received a letter from HMRC informing her she had underpaid tax 20 years ago and they want a payment of £x to recoup this (not sure on figures but doubt it is a big amount).  She has always been PAYE, although has changed jobs but seriously, 20 years ago is a bit too long is it not?


I thought there was a cut off point they could try and reclaim?  Any words of wisdom for a short but to the point letter to tell them to go swing to help her?


Ta :)

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It's 6 years, but the crafty bit (it may of changed) is that can be from the last error. So error in 2007, would mean they could jump back another 6 years.

There is proven argument that if she was PAYE then the fault lays with both the HMRC and the employer rather than the individual. The employer reports, the HMRC should check that against the employee return and anomalies get picked up, it shouldn't take 20 years.

The only instance I could think of would be benefits such as driving a BMW and declaring a mini or nothing. Without knowing more information it's a very unclear statement of non facts.

If they have gone back that far, your friend has upset someone either by doing something outrageous or (likely) continuing to ignore demands / failure to give any response to letters.

Edited by Calm Chris
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The Statute of Limitations is indeed 6 years, but is NOT enforceable for unpaid Tax (and NI), nor interest charged on the unpaid principal.


The HMRC have no time limit to start proceedings on these.


It is also the employees responsibility to ensure PAYE / Tax coding is correct, not the employer (as they go bust).


HMRC will get their 40 pieces of silver....tell your friend to tread carefully and be polite and there could be a settlement figure agreed, possibly with no interest. 

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Funny that, I was about to say that I think you'll find HMRC can do just about what they like.  I was going to put the F word in there too.  It merits it.


MrsMe had an ex-employee whining about the fact they were being chased for company car tax from 3-4 years ago.  Basically, the tax code hadn't been updated and it was an error.


Did the employee point out that their income remained the same despite moving up to a significantly higher value and higher tax band car?  Of course not.


Then they came back whining and shouting about how it was the company fault (and that they should pay the tax!).


I decided I would help things when the individual got very mouthy on the phone to MrsMe and she came home a little upset about it (and that isn't MrsMe normally).


So I rang HMRC and told them a few other things about the ex-employees part-time work that I knew they did.  Never heard back from the ex-employee. 

Edited by NewNiceMrMe
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right, I've only just been sent over the documents:


Letter 1 was sent to her address in Scotland ... she rang and queried what /when it was from and letter 2 dated 1994!!!   Had been set to her parents house, she'd moved out by the time she started working so said she has no knowledge of letter 2.  Even more frustrating the figure has also changed ..... personally for the sake of the small amount I'd just pay and think "oh Feck Orf" but I guess out of principle should she query further?





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