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Extra-statutory Concession (A19)

Volume 547: debated on Tuesday 3 July 2012

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs is today publishing a consultation document on extra-statutory concession (ESC) A19.

The document sets out HMRC proposals to introduce changes to ESC A19 over the course of the next year and seeks the views of taxpayers to inform any future changes.

ESC A19 allows HMRC, under certain prescribed circumstances, to forgo the collection of tax arrears where they arose because of HMRC’s failure to act on information provided by the individual, their employer or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Following discussions with taxpayer representative bodies over the last year, it is clear that more can be done to make ESC A19 easier for customers and their representatives to understand and to ensure that the concession remains fit for purpose following the introduction of the national insurance and PAYE Service (NPS). In response to those discussions, HMRC has proposed a revised version of ESC A19 and would now like to seek wider public opinion on this revised version to help test its thinking in this area.

In particular the consultation seeks to:

improve the clarity of ESC A19 so that it is more user-friendly and easily understood by taxpayers;

help HMRC bring greater objectivity to ESC A19; and

help HMRC align ESC A19 with the HMRC charter and ensure that it continues to be available in appropriate cases.

The consultation document is available on the HMRC website at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/consultations/index.htm.