Christmas can be an expensive time of year. Recent research from the savings account provider ING Direct found that, in 2009, the average Brit ended up £380 in debt covering the cost of the Yuletide season. The average person spent £490 over the Christmas holidays and it took them, on average, two months to pay off the debt.
For millions of people awaiting tax refunds after the well publicised HM Revenue and Customers tax blunders (announced earlier in 2010) these rebates cannot come fast enough. However, a leading website has found that hundreds of thousands of taxpayers could miss out on this vital money – a particular blow at a time of year when the cash could come in very useful.
Thousands of taxpayers could miss out on tax refunds
The Daily Mirror has reported that, following the discovery of errors in the amount of tax paid by millions of Brits, HM Revenue & Customs is sending 5.7 million letters to employees who have paid the wrong amount of tax in the previous two financial years.
However, there is a risk that these tax refunds could never get to their recipients if taxpayers have moved home in the last couple of years. That’s the conclusion drawn by leading website Moneysavingexpert.com and reported in the newspaper.
The Daily Mirror reports that: “Some 4.3 million [people] being contacted are due refunds, which could be hundreds of pounds. Meanwhile 1.4 million [people] owe tax and will have to return an average of £1,400 each.”
However, the news source also reported that six out of ten people who have moved house have not told HMRC, mistakenly assuming that their employers inform the taxman.
Scale of tax blunder is ‘monumental’
Martin Lewis from Moneysavingexpert.com said: “The sheer scale of the tax code blunder is monumental. More than five million errors have already been found, with millions more suspected.”
If you have moved house in the last two years it is quite possible that HMRC will not be aware that you have relocated. Your employer does not automatically tell your Tax Office, so it is important that you notify them of any change of address. You can find details on the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk.
If you are one of the 4.3 million people who are owed money by HMRC, it could come in extremely useful over the holiday season. So, make sure your Tax Office knows exactly what your current address is.