HMRC rejects “dysfunctional” slur from MPs after PAYE blunders

HMRC’s top brass have been grilled by Treasury committee MPs in the wake of
the PAYE blunder which affected six million taxpayers.

HMRC chief executive Dame Lesley Strathie, permanent secretary Dave Hartnett
and personal tax chief Bernadette Kennedy faced tough questions from the
Treasury committee.

MPs were concerned that in the wake of the problems, 2000 job cuts were in
the pipeline for HMRC staff handling PAYE processing.

Dame Lesley rejected accusations that HMRC was “dysfunctional”, vowing the
department would be able to cope in the future as job cuts continue and the
government clamps down on spending.

After the PAYE coding errors, the taxman is to waive bills of £300 or less.

The concession will mean 900,000 taxpayers will be spared paying any money
back, at a cost of £160m to the Exchequer.

However the taxman is still looking to collect £2bn after the PAYE errors
which saw 6 million people pay the wrong amount of tax.

At the Treasury meeting, HMRC also confirmed that those who need extra time
to pay back-tax of more than £2,000 will not be charged interest.

Strathie added that taxpayers in financial hardship may be able to stagger
repayments over a two to three-year period.

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