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Paye

Volume 75: debated on Tuesday 12 March 1985

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will identify the period of time during which Inland Revenue staff should undertake and complete annual assessing reviews of pay-as-you-earn taxpayers; and if he will estimate the proportion of pay-as-you-earn taxpayers to whom a repayment of tax is found to be due in the course of such work.

Inland Revenue staff begin an annual assessing review of pay-as-you-earn taxpayers as soon after 5 April as information regarding pay and tax becomes available from employers. The aim is to complete the review as soon as practicable and the bulk of the work is usually completed over the following few months. No records are maintained of repayments of tax arising specifically out of the review, but based on the latest available figures it is estimated that the proportion of pay-as-you-earn taxpayers to whom a repayment of tax is found to be due would not exceed one in twenty.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether Inland Revenue instructions provide for the records of all pay-as-you-earn taxpayers to be reviewed annually for assessment or non-assessment; and what categories of pay-as-you-earn taxpayers are excluded from this process.

Inland Revenue instructions provide for the records of all pay-as-you-earn taxpayers who were in employment at 5 April or in receipt of unemployment benefit or occupational pension at that date to be reviewed annually for assessment or non-assessment.Taxpayers who ceased employment during the tax year without subsequently receiving either unemployment benefit or an occupational pension are normally excluded from this review: separate in-year procedures exist for the handling of final cessations of employment.

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the number of pay-as-you-earn taxpayers for whom the last tax year will not have been assessed or otherwise cleared by Inland Revenue staff by 5 April; and if he will list, by Inland Revenue region, the number of pay-as-you-earn taxpayers not so assessed or cleared after 12 months in each of the last three years.

The Inland Revenue estimates that the number of pay-as-you-earn cases* which will not have been assessed or otherwise cleared for the year ended 5 April 1984 by 12 April 1985—when national figures are next collated—will be approximately 2·9 million (10 per cent. of the total).The following table shows the comparative figures, by Inland Revenue region, for the three previous years:

Uncleared Cases at April
000's
Region198419831982
East London424252
North London545558
South London656884
West London737699
Eastern Counties250206236
Greater Manchester156195241
North148134170
North West141136170
South East313276281
South West108106134
South Yorkshire230218244
West Midlands265171198
Wales8193152
Scotland142190260
Northern Ireland475260
TOTALS2,1152,0182,439
PERCENTAGE(7·4)(7·3)(9·0)

* "Cases" represent employment etc. sources within PAYE and taxpayers with multiple sources will be counted more than once. The total given is for 1984–85.