Tony Tax. Tax Consultant replied 4 years ago.
The tax office is only looking to recover any tax unpaid for 2008/09 and 2009/10. There are several million taxpayers in a similar situation to you unfortunately. The underpayments have arisen as many taxpayers were given two lots of the personal allowance, one against their wages and another against a second job or a pension. If the tax office isn't advised when such an event occurs the likely outcome is an underpayment of tax.
The underpayments have come to light because, at long last, the Revenue have a computer system which marries up earnings and pension information for an individual taxpayer from several different computer systems. What needs to be done in each case is to find out who is responsible, the taxpayer, the tax office or a third party such as an employer or a pension payer.
Ultimately, the law states that you as the taxpayer are responsible for ensuring that your tax affairs are in order and the tax office have to accept that it was reasonable for you to believe that they were in order for you to
be absolved of any responsibility.
The first thing you need to do is to satisfy yourself that the tax office calculations of the underpayments are correct. If they are, you should write to the tax office and ask them to review your case and ask for an explanation as to why you are underpaid and to write off the tax owing under Extra Statutory Concession A19 which they should do if they did not use information supplied to them that should have enabled them to get your taxes correct within the time limit set out in ESC A19.
If the tax office maintain they weren't responsible for the underpayments after reviewing your case, you should ask for a second review by another tax officer. After that, if you need to, you can make a complaint to The Adjudicator's Office and then to The Parliamentary Ombudsman.
If you do have to pay the tax you can negotiate with the tax office to pay it over a period of time. You should read the notes here which are directly related to your situation.
Let me know if you have any queries.