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looking for bit of advice

Practical Issues
steelman99
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looking for bit of advice

#442204

Postby steelman99 » September 14th, 2021, 2:58 pm

Hi

Have just recived a letter from HMRC telling me that Ive underpaid my tax in 2020/21 by £60 due to the amount of interest I was paid been greater than what was originaly estimated

They say interest earned was £1300 , I can only get interest in that tax year to add upto 881.56.

Phoned the tax office and said I didnt agree with the calculations, and asked if they could send me their figures , so I can see where the interest has come from . they say they cant give that info out

Ive closed a few savings accounts in that tax year , as as most of them were online accounts , all the info seems to disapear once you close the account, Its quite possible Ive forgot about an acount as it is someone else has made a mistake

is there somewhere I can get HMRC to disclose what info they have? would they do so if I disputed the figure officialy or is there a better way to sort this ?

its more the principal than the ammount , as If HMRC have the figures ,shouldnt they send me what theyve been told on request ?

genou
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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442208

Postby genou » September 14th, 2021, 3:06 pm

steelman99 wrote:Hi

Have just recived a letter from HMRC telling me that Ive underpaid my tax in 2020/21 by £60 due to the amount of interest I was paid been greater than what was originaly estimated

They say interest earned was £1300 , I can only get interest in that tax year to add upto 881.56.

Phoned the tax office and said I didnt agree with the calculations, and asked if they could send me their figures , so I can see where the interest has come from . they say they cant give that info out

Ive closed a few savings accounts in that tax year , as as most of them were online accounts , all the info seems to disapear once you close the account, Its quite possible Ive forgot about an acount as it is someone else has made a mistake

is there somewhere I can get HMRC to disclose what info they have? would they do so if I disputed the figure officialy or is there a better way to sort this ?

its more the principal than the ammount , as If HMRC have the figures ,shouldnt they send me what theyve been told on request ?


HMRC are taking the opportunity to go fishing. They reckon you've missed an account, maybe there are more. If they tell you what they know you have missed, that means letting you off the hook if there were more that they don't know about.

Presumably any balances on the closed accounts went somewhere - with luck an account that you do have info for, and can look through to see if you can identify whether you can work out what they are after.

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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442211

Postby pje16 » September 14th, 2021, 3:10 pm

You used to be abe to logon to HMRC and see the make up of any interest
I have logged on to my account and you can't see it anymore
When did that change?
I would have thought they want to tax you they ought to tell how it is made up !

genou
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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442218

Postby genou » September 14th, 2021, 3:31 pm

pje16 wrote:You used to be abe to logon to HMRC and see the make up of any interest
I have logged on to my account and you can't see it anymore
When did that change?

I don't remember that, other than being able to look at the random numbers that go into producing a PAYE code.
pje16 wrote:I would have thought they want to tax you they ought to tell how it is made up !


They will tell before you have to pay. But in the current situation, they are going through the incorrect return playbook. The only way I know to get them to tell you immediately is to flat out deny any error in your return. Which is likely a direct route to penalties if there is an error.

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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442220

Postby Lootman » September 14th, 2021, 3:38 pm

genou wrote:
pje16 wrote:I would have thought they want to tax you they ought to tell how it is made up !

They will tell before you have to pay. But in the current situation, they are going through the incorrect return playbook. The only way I know to get them to tell you immediately is to flat out deny any error in your return. Which is likely a direct route to penalties if there is an error.

Then maybe it is a matter of how you phrase it. Rather than "flat out deny it" you could say something like:

"I have reviewed my records again and I still see only £881.56 in interest, and not £1,300. I can find no corresponding records to account for the extra £420.64 that you cited. Please can you show me how that number was arrived at so I can determine what kind of error was made?".

That rather neatly suggests that an error was made without saying whose error it was!

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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442232

Postby mc2fool » September 14th, 2021, 4:25 pm

steelman99 wrote:Ive closed a few savings accounts in that tax year , as as most of them were online accounts , all the info seems to disapear once you close the account

Some do some don't. If you haven't already, it's worth logging into the banks/building socs you've used and checking if there is a "Closed Accounts" section.

In any case, on closing an a/c, and once a year anyway, the bank/society should send you a statement of interest. Most of mine send it to me snail mail, even the online only ones, but if not it's often available under the "Documents" (or similar) section of your online a/c. Failing that you can always ask them.

With HMRC you could try a subject access request. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmrc-subject-access-request

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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442236

Postby richlist » September 14th, 2021, 4:38 pm

You should keep detailed records....a list of savings accounts you have + ones that you open within a tax year and fill in the interest payments against each account. With numerous accounts it's virtually the only way to fill in the appropriate boxes on your self assessment tax return. When HMRC query your tax return just send them your completed spreadsheet and wait for them to tell you it answers all of their questions.

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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442246

Postby JohnB » September 14th, 2021, 5:26 pm

Title too vague

genou
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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442312

Postby genou » September 14th, 2021, 8:39 pm

Lootman wrote:
genou wrote:
pje16 wrote:I would have thought they want to tax you they ought to tell how it is made up !

They will tell before you have to pay. But in the current situation, they are going through the incorrect return playbook. The only way I know to get them to tell you immediately is to flat out deny any error in your return. Which is likely a direct route to penalties if there is an error.

Then maybe it is a matter of how you phrase it. Rather than "flat out deny it" you could say something like:

"I have reviewed my records again and I still see only £881.56 in interest, and not £1,300. I can find no corresponding records to account for the extra £420.64 that you cited. Please can you show me how that number was arrived at so I can determine what kind of error was made?".

That rather neatly suggests that an error was made without saying whose error it was!


It might work. HMRC are not robots. The next issue ( whose error was it ) is that the OP is ( as are we all ) obliged to keep adequate records for tax purposes. "How many accounts did I have?" is not a good look in that context.

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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442315

Postby Lootman » September 14th, 2021, 8:43 pm

genou wrote:
Lootman wrote:
genou wrote:They will tell before you have to pay. But in the current situation, they are going through the incorrect return playbook. The only way I know to get them to tell you immediately is to flat out deny any error in your return. Which is likely a direct route to penalties if there is an error.

Then maybe it is a matter of how you phrase it. Rather than "flat out deny it" you could say something like:

"I have reviewed my records again and I still see only £881.56 in interest, and not £1,300. I can find no corresponding records to account for the extra £420.64 that you cited. Please can you show me how that number was arrived at so I can determine what kind of error was made?".

That rather neatly suggests that an error was made without saying whose error it was!

It might work. HMRC are not robots. The next issue ( whose error was it ) is that the OP is ( as are we all ) obliged to keep adequate records for tax purposes. "How many accounts did I have?" is not a good look in that context.

Agreed, but "How many accounts did I have?" is not the question. Rather "Which undeclared account are you claiming that I have" is the question, and it is a reasonable one.

If you are going to accuse me of something then I am entitled to know what that thing is. To avoid the "fishing expedition" that you alluded to earlier. Otherwise we are in a Kafka novel.

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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442321

Postby Alaric » September 14th, 2021, 9:00 pm

Lootman wrote: Rather "Which undeclared account are you claiming that I have" is the question, and it is a reasonable one.


Another question is how much information is disclosed when opening an account. HMRC would likely need an exact match of the Tax Reference Code (UTR) or the NI Number from the savings account to be totally certain. In their absence they are probably trying to match on name or address. They could have got it wrong and are assuming an account is yours which it isn't.

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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442324

Postby Lootman » September 14th, 2021, 9:06 pm

Alaric wrote:
Lootman wrote: Rather "Which undeclared account are you claiming that I have" is the question, and it is a reasonable one.

Another question is how much information is disclosed when opening an account. HMRC would likely need an exact match of the Tax Reference Code (UTR) or the NI Number from the savings account to be totally certain. In their absence they are probably trying to match on name or address. They could have got it wrong and are assuming an account is yours which it isn't.

I would have thought that the opening of an account, if that is notified to HMRC, is far less reliable an indicator than the annual consolidated tax certificate which records the actual interest paid, which is surely the only thing that HMRC cares about.

There is a gotcha here in the sense that, from what I have experienced, those certificates only go out if the interest paid is above a certain level. Should we assume that HMRC is notified of that interest even if it is inadequate to furnish a certificate? Not sure but at least it seems like a reasonable cause for not disclosing it.

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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442329

Postby genou » September 14th, 2021, 9:25 pm

Lootman wrote:Agreed, but "How many accounts did I have?" is not the question. Rather "Which undeclared account are you claiming that I have" is the question, and it is a reasonable one.


We are a mile off topic here. From HMRC's perspective the question is "how many undeclared accounts do you have" . Lester Piggott went to jail for tax avoidance. The proximate cause of that sentence was not that he had accounts he did not disclose in his initial tax return. He fessed up to having such accounts, and signed a settlement on the basis that he had told HMRC all there was to know. Then he wrote a cheque to pay the tax and penalties. Problem was that the settlement cheque was drawn on an account that was not in his "full disclosure". HMRC are not trusting souls.

To the OP - I repeat, dig through where the proceeds of the closed accounts would have gone and see what you can find. If you genuinely can't find anything, say that to HMRC. In all probability you will get a telling off and asked to pay additional tax. But who knows, some bank may have taken your details in vain.

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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442331

Postby Lootman » September 14th, 2021, 9:31 pm

genou wrote:
Lootman wrote:Agreed, but "How many accounts did I have?" is not the question. Rather "Which undeclared account are you claiming that I have" is the question, and it is a reasonable one.

We are a mile off topic here. From HMRC's perspective the question is "how many undeclared accounts do you have" .

Disagree, it is totally on topic. If HMRC, or any other government department, accuses you of something then you are entitled to know what you are being accused of. In this case they are claiming undeclared interest. If you disagree with that claim, as the OP clearly does, then it is entirely reasonable to ask them for the basis of their claim.

You seem to be operating from the presumption that HMRC is omniscient but the reality is far from that. They screw up all the time, as all vast bureaucracies do. The OP is entitled to demand the basis of the allegation.

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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442335

Postby genou » September 14th, 2021, 9:39 pm

Lootman wrote:
You seem to be operating from the presumption that HMRC is omniscient but the reality is far from that. They screw up all the time, as all vast bureaucracies do. The OP is entitled to demand the basis of the allegation.


I'm operating from the perspective that HMRC have a playbook for "incorrect returns" , and there is nothing that allows the OP to demand anything at all from them short of a tribunal hearing.. Welcome to the UK tax system.

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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442337

Postby Lootman » September 14th, 2021, 9:43 pm

genou wrote:
Lootman wrote:You seem to be operating from the presumption that HMRC is omniscient but the reality is far from that. They screw up all the time, as all vast bureaucracies do. The OP is entitled to demand the basis of the allegation.

I'm operating from the perspective that HMRC have a playbook for "incorrect returns" , and there is nothing that allows the OP to demand anything at all from them short of a tribunal hearing.. Welcome to the UK tax system.

I do not blame HMRC for playing such dirty tricks games. But it is our job to coach Lemons on how to fight back, and not to merely and meekly give in like you suggest.

I stand by my earlier advice to respond that the OP's records do not support the HMRC allegation, and invite them to make their case, if they have one.

Moderator Message:
Questioning of another poster's motives removed. Clariman

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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442341

Postby genou » September 14th, 2021, 9:59 pm

Lootman wrote:[
And I am clueless as to why you take HMRC's side.
Moderator Message:
Edited by Clariman


That's where we differ. HMRC, in my direct experience, did not have a side. And I see no evidence that things have changed.

Modern version:

HMRC’s aim is for everyone to pay the tax that is legally due, no matter who they are. Our role is to help people to pay the right tax through education and well-designed systems, and to step in when tax is at risk of not being paid. *

which is more or less what I was taught when I trained, and qualified, as what was then HM Inspector of Taxes in the 1980s. I left HMIT in 88, but clearly the force remains strong in me.

* https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... ax-is-paid

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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442343

Postby Lootman » September 14th, 2021, 10:06 pm

genou wrote:
Lootman wrote:I am clueless as to why you take HMRC's side
Moderator Message:
Edited by Clariman
.

which is more or less what I was taught when I trained, and qualified, as what was then HM Inspector of Taxes in the 1980s. I left HMIT in 88, but clearly the force remains strong in me.


Do not get me wrong. I think it is useful to have input from someone who used to work there, albeit decades ago. My own accountant is former HMRC and they sometimes know the best way of defending yourself against it. What baffles me is that you advise that people capitulate to HMRC. My former HMRC accountant advises the exact opposite. Not least because HMRC loves to feast on the easy targets.

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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442351

Postby genou » September 14th, 2021, 10:28 pm

Lootman wrote:What baffles me is that you advise that people capitulate to HMRC


Example please.

Lootman wrote: Not least because HMRC loves to feast on the easy targets.


I find that offensive. I worked with many people who I am sure would find it offensive. Maybe times have changed out of all my recognition, but that was not my experience internally of HMIT, nor when I moved into commercial tax advisory and worked from outside. From my limited continuing contact through ex-colleagues, it is not how HMRC works. The objective is that you pay the correct tax. Which, of course, may be more than you would like.

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Re: looking for bit of advice

#442449

Postby Clariman » September 15th, 2021, 12:14 pm

Moderator Message:
Please refrain from ad-hominem attacks and questioning of people's motives. Stick to the facts and argue the points, not the motives of the person making them. Thanks. Clariman


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