The warning has come from London-based chartered accountants Blick Rothenberg which has received a raft of complaints from clients that their notice of coding has changed on the spurious grounds that they have not filed returns – not due for another six weeks.
Although the final deadline for the submission of self-assessment returns does not fall until 31 January 2000, the firm has reported that several of its clients have had their codes changed.
The Revenue is instructing employers immediately to collect tax from employees under the PAYE scheme.
‘This is outrageous. People are going to have extra tax deducted from their pay when it shouldn’t be – just before Christmas when all of us need that little bit extra,’ said senior tax partner Martin Donn.
One client has received notice of a coding change which says it is being made ‘in the absence of your tax return’. Another says, ‘your record indicates that your 1999 self-assessment return remains outstanding. Your current tax code has therefore been amended’.
Donn explained not everyone will realise what will happen because of these coding notices. People may just take the change for granted but should query it immediately.
The situation has arisen because of the system by which employers are required to report to the Revenue by July of each year on expenses and benefits paid to employees.
Inland Revenue to review self-assessment enquiry procedures