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bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 4783
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Hello. I have just left my old company and it turns out they

Customer Question

Hello. I have just left my old company and it turns out they had me on the wrong tax code. I have subsequently received a bill for £13k from the tax man. Would I be able to get my company to pay this? When I called them to query it they were saying I was absolutely on the correct tax code. However they have changed their stance to say the tax code was incorrect however it was not their fault but the fault of the HMRC. They use whatever code they are told to. I don't understand how this happened because my salary did not change in the period I am discussing.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 4 years ago.
Hello, I'm Keith and happy to help you with your question.

As you may know HMRC issue and reissue tax codes throughout the year as circumstances change. However, it is not unknown for the tax payer to receive his notification and the employer receive none and vice versa. It is, however, your responsibility to check that the code number on your pay slip corresponds with the HMRC advice. If it differed you should have queried the position. If the employer has not been told they may operate the code from the employee's notification from HMRC, but on a month 1 basis only.

It seems pretty clear in this case that the employer never received the notification and operated whatever earlier code they were given. I regret to have to tell you that the ball is in your court as you should have noticed the discrepancy and acted as I suggested in the paragraph above. It is not the employer's duty to question any tax code issued, even if it appears wrong on the face of it, although there is nothing wrong in drawing the employee's attention to possible mistakes. Unless you can positively prove that the employer deliberately operated an unapproved code any attempt to get them to shoulder responsibility is doomed to failure. I have to tell you that the sum owing to HMRC, assuming their computation correct, not always the case, is a valid debt that they are perfectly at liberty to pursue.

I am sorry to have to impart such gloomy news.