‘Hundreds of thousands’ hit by second HMRC blunder

“HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS” of workers are facing uncertainty after a leaked HMRC e-mail showed that their final bills last year may have been miscalculated.

The private exchange shows that those who underpaid or overpaid income tax last year may still have paid the wrong amount, the Telegraph reports.

Most have already been sent new demands or refunds, but will now have their liabilities recalculated once more.

HMRC has ceased sending repayments until the problems are resolved.

In June, HMRC admitted it had collected the wrong amount of tax from more than five million people in the 12 months to April 2014.

Since then, the taxman has sent those affected notification letters explaining how it would claw back or issue refunds for on average £300.

In an email leaked to the Telegraph, a select group of senior HMRC staff and accountants were told “thousands” of mistakes were made.

The recipients were advised to tell taxpayers who questioned their bills “not to repay any underpayment” of tax.

It added anyone who has received a cheque should not cash them, and anyone who has already done so my see them clawed back.

The introduction of real-time PAYE (RTI) reporting – which sees employers report the amounts of money paid to staff on a weekly or monthly basis, rather than annual – was supposed to eliminate errors.

HMRC estimates that fewer than 100,000 people would be affected by the new mistakes, but admitted it did not know the extent of the problem.

The email, which was sent to senior HMRC staff and accountants, said: “We are urgently investigating these cases and will look to resolve the matter in the next six to eight weeks.

“We currently do not know the scale of the issue but some large employers are involved, so several thousands of employees may be affected.”

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