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Is this normal for HMRC?

Two contrasting statements

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For those of you who deal with tax, is this common?

I received an online statement from HMRC for my self assessment on 11 June saying that I owed £x which was all perfectly correct. Today I get in the post, a statement saying I am owed a refund as I have not earned anything in the year apart from one small piece of income which had tax deducted. My initial reaction was that they somehow had set up two accounts for me but, no, my online account shows both a refund due as I earned less than my personal allowance and my SA showing that I owe £x (which also includes the income that's generating the refund).

Not really a question I suppose but it seems bizarre and I can look forward to some time on hold tomorrow I suspect.

Is this what you have to deal with all the time?

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By Paul Crowley
16th Jun 2020 20:32

First statement for payment on account 31 July? If so based on 2019 tax return assuming same tax due for ye 2020 as was for ye 2019. Then you submitted your tax return to ye 2020?

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By gillybean04
16th Jun 2020 20:47

Is one called a SA302 and the other a P800? Have you ever previously ceased your self assessment? If yes, did you then re-register when you became required to submit one again?

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By SteveRA
16th Jun 2020 20:52

Is the correspondence showing a refund a form P800? This happens fairly often and is simply evidence of HMRC’s left hand not knowing what their right hand is doing. And yes, we do have to put up with it regularly and sort it out for them. Sometimes they issue the ‘refund’ to the taxpayer (client) and we have to explain that it must be returned. All non chargeable work of course!

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By paulwakefield1
16th Jun 2020 22:37

In order:

The SA statement is correct and reflects my 19/20 SAR. Standard stuff and the same as every year.

Yes , the refund notification is a P800. Haven't had one of those before. Apparently my total income was less than 4 figures last year. Could be an interesting challenge explaining how I manage to live!

Never been off self-assessment since it was first introduced.

Agreed - left hand and right hand appear to be severely dislocated!

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Replying to paulwakefield1:
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By Paul Crowley
17th Jun 2020 00:24

Always useful to say exactly what the "statememts" are

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By paulwakefield1
17th Jun 2020 07:28

Hmmm - this thread seems to be going a bit off track. It was merely meant as a bit of a rant and some light relief.

Not quite sure what questions I didn't answer but hey, as you say, it's my thread. Nor was I looking for technical advice - I'm quite capable of sorting it out so I didn't give chapter and verse on the statements.

I was just amused/shocked that I could have two such diametrically opposed statements on my account at the same time - one correct, one so hopelessly wrong it is in the realms of fantasy.

Good for a laugh and also sympathy for tax practitioners and a curiosity as to how often you had to deal with this. It was not intended to go any deeper than that.

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By paulwakefield1
17th Jun 2020 08:16

And a happy update. From dialling to putting the phone down, 6 minutes and a very cheery conversation with HMRC. My faith is restored.

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By Matrix
17th Jun 2020 08:32

Did they say why the P800 was issued and what they could do to prevent it happening again?

The issue being that apparently agents no longer get copies of P800s so wouldn’t know about them.

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Replying to Matrix:
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By paulwakefield1
17th Jun 2020 09:00

He did say he would mark my record to stop it happening again but did not go into detail and I did not ask I'm afraid. He was midly surprised that this had cropped up since I have not been in the PAYE system for over 30 years.

Edit: He did not say precisely why it happened. It was clearly triggered by the return from the income source. But how that then fired up a PAYE matter is a mystery. The income was unusual and a one off and I wonder if it was something to do with the way the submitted report from the income provider was structured or had flags set.

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Replying to paulwakefield1:
By Paul D Utherone
17th Jun 2020 08:36

Nice when that happens.

I have seen a similar situation on clients before with the P800 being HMRC's disjointed systems carrying out reconciliation of a PAYE source in isolation...ironic when they profess to have such advanced systems

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