17 April 2024

In payroll, one of the worst feelings is discovering an overpayment, something has gone wrong. To prove it can happen to anyone, it has been found that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has overpaid staff to the tune of £12.6 million over the course of a decade.

The Telegraph found that £12.3 million had been reclaimed, leaving a still significant shortfall of £300,000. £1.1 million of which occurred last year and £900,000 of which has been recovered.

The Telegraph state that many of these payments were due to staff who left the organisation. A HMRC spokesperson was contacted, who said:

“With a staff headcount of almost 67,500, we operate at a monthly payroll average accuracy rate of 99.54pc, which exceeds the corporate benchmark of 98pc.

“Our total paybill in the 2022-23 financial year was £2.449bn, which means that 0.05pc was incorrectly paid that year, and we have recovered over 84pc of that.

“Overpayments can occur for various reasons such as delay in reporting someone has left HMRC, breaking a part-year pay averaging contract, late notification of sick leave or a delay in reporting career breaks/maternity leave.

“We have robust processes in place for the recovery of over and underpayments and all staff are provided with guidance on the importance of checking the payment of their salary.”

Do you operate to those tolerances? Or are you able to achieve a higher rate?

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