HMRC do themselves no favours
Following submission of a client's P35 for 2011/12, the client received a demand in July for PAYE/NICs underpaid for that year. There was no reconciliation provided with the demand and while I suspected an underpayment the figure I had in mind bore no relationship to HMRC's.
It's difficult to do a reconciliation when HMRC don't provide a statement of amounts received from their side, and they still don't make available online details of client PAYE/NICs payments, nor will they provide this information over the phone or accept phone requests for information of this kind to be posted out. So a written request to Cumbernauld for the information it had to be.
I received a reply (in respect of my Cumbrian client) from HMRC Debt Management Anglia (based in Derbyshire). The reply stated 'we expect your client to keep information about amounts due and payments made as part of your (sic) records. If you think their account is wrong because it doesn't show the right payments made, please write to me at the address above, with the following information so that I can review their records.
HMRC only wanted details of the tax due to be paid for 2011/12 (can't they get this off the P35 already submitted?) and a list of payments made for the year. No mention made of any possibility they might themselves have misaallocated a payment or two. They are God Almighty and don't make mistakes, of course!!
Lastly, the letter observed that my client had an underpayment for the year (a different amount, incidentally, to that demanded in their July letter) and that they may take action to collect the underpayment.
But if they are able to come up with a figure they allege is underpaid they must know how they have calculated it and be able to tell me. Or is this a state secret?
PAYE - Please Acknowledge Your Error
NIC - Not Inclined to Comply
Rant over :-)