The following numbers of letters were sent to people to advise them that they had a gap in their national insurance contributions record:
(a) 3.7 million letters were issued in 2004 for the 2002-03 tax year,
(b) 3.2 million letters were issued in 2005 for the 2003-04 tax year
(c) 4.7 million letters were issued in 2006 for the 2004-05 tax year.
It is not possible to provide the information on the following as it is not held:
how many letters were incorrectly sent,
how many payments and what total amount of money HMRC has received from people who had received such notices,
how many people were notified the letters were incorrect,
how many refunds made.
The reasons for the delay in processing 2004-05 Employers’ Annual Returns are well documented and I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 29 January 2007, Official Report, column 346W. There has been no repeat of the processing delays experienced for 2005-06 tax year.