01 February 2010

In response to the recent issue on incorrect coding notices, David Ellis, who co-chairs the Employment Consultation Forum with Karen Thomson of the IPP, has provided the following statement on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs.
“I thought it might be helpful to let you have a note following the number of conversations we have had over the past few days about the issue of coding notices.
“Although the vast majority of coding notices are correct, the transition to NPS has brought to light discrepancies in our existing records and this is resulting in a significant number of incorrect notices being issued.
“There will be cases when some people receive an incorrect coding notice or more than one coding notice for the same employment because of these discrepancies. In addition, the system uses employee payroll numbers as part of the validation routine alongside National Insurance Number, date of birth and gender automatic validation.
“We have been liaising with you for IPP and other stakeholders during this period, investigating examples where provided so that we can better understand the circumstances in which some incorrect codes are generated.
“Your support here and that of your members has been hugely helpful in informing our impact analysis. This is the first year for the new system and as with any new system, teething problems can be expected. We are not complacent and indeed, we listen carefully to the concerns that employers and employees have in respect of incorrect coding notices. The issues surrounding coding notices are being treated with the highest priority.
“We are asking anyone who is concerned that their code may be wrong to check it using the guidance included with the code and on our website, If they cannot resolve the matter there, they are asked to call HMRC to make sure the right tax code is applied in time for the start of the new tax year on 6 April 2010. We would urge employers to ask their employees to go to our website in the first instance and then contact us should they still believe their coding notice is incorrect. We appreciate that our telephone lines are extremely busy at this time and are maximising our customer contact service.
“We will issue a further communication and provide information on the resolutions as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we are grateful to our customers for alerting us to these issues, and wish to reassure them, you and your members of HMRC’s commitment and determination to resolve the errors.
“Your support, and that of your members, is both very helpful and highly valued. We will keep in touch.”