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HMRC reports on review of disputed PAYE charges

On Friday 22 August HMRC started to send letters to employers who are disputing a PAYE charge.

HMRC has been undertaking a review to identify the root causes thoroughly and improve their systems wherever possible.

This review has shown that, while there are a number of different reasons for disputed charges, the main cause is duplicate employments.

The creation of duplicate employments is not a new issue. However, filing PAYE information in real time means that there is an increased chance of an error occurring which can then create a duplicate record.

To help prevent this HMRC has:

  • Improved their guidance, especially Information you must get right when running your payroll
  • Improved their IT to prevent the most frequent errors from generating a duplicate employment on their systems
  • Put in place processes to correct as soon as possible for those that do get through

In the letter HMRC apologises for the length of time it is taking it to resolve queries and explains that there are many reasons why a change may not reconcile, and identifying the reasons in each particular case can be time consuming.

 A copy of the letter employers who are currently disputing PAYE charges can expect to receive can be downloaded here.

Advice to employers on reconciling PAYE charges

If employers can’t immediately reconcile what they think they owe HMRC with what HMRC says is due, they should work through our Reconciling PAYE charges helpsheet.

This sets out the steps employers can take to eliminate some of the most common errors and resolve the issue without having to contact HMRC. The helpsheet also explains what they should do if, after all the checks, they still can’t reconcile the charge.


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