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13th Jan 2012, 17:56

I was away quite a bit last year and so I have only just submitted my online self-assessment tax return for the last tax year to find that I owe the Inland Revenue a large amount.
This is quite strange as my affairs are straightforward and it appears the underpaid tax is as a result of incorrect PAYE/tax code taken direct from source from my HM Forces salary. Has anyone else experienced this-any advice? I know there was a lot in the press last year about incorrect PAYE calculations.
Many thanks.

Courtney Mil

13th Jan 2012, 18:04

I had the same. C*ck up with my RAF pension and my Open University income. They wanted me to pay it in one go. I told them they can have it over many years.


13th Jan 2012, 18:13

You need to speak to the JPAC.


13th Jan 2012, 19:18

I had a similar nasty shock last year which I knew couldn't be right. Quick telephone call and it turned out I had made a major mathematical error in my calculations. 2 weeks later I had a recalculated coding notice, followed by a £ three figure refund.

PM me if you want the telephone number of a helpful HMRC Office in Leeds - the one I use, as a civilian as it is nearest to home. I always found PD4 helpful when I was serving.

Lima Juliet

13th Jan 2012, 19:33

My advice is to double-check. The chimps at HMRC are notoriously shite which is a complete joke considering they have the ability to incorrectly take and ruin lives. Tax should be relatively simple. The first £7475 is Tax free, the next £35k (ie. £42475 total) is taxed at 20% and the rest is at 40% (unless you're CDS!).

Get your total PAYE payable gross salary (less about £30 uniform tax relief per month, up to £243 per month if you get MoD Childcare Vouchers, LOA, Service Charity (Dincome), Service Days Pay Giving and Home to Duty) and pop into the calculator here UK PAYE Income Tax Calculator 2011 salary calculator UK. Updated for 2011 / 2012 tax year. Calculate wages pension national insurance and student loan repayments online. (

I found that I was overpaying PAYE by a massive £400 per month. Three 40 minute phone calls to HMRC later and I'm now paying the right amount of Tax. It seems they don't understand the vagueries of our allowance system - I guess we're too small these days for them to learn about our allowances. I even had to explain my AFPS75 lump sum that was supposed to be Tax free - thankfully, they checked and that is safe!

Spend an evening getting your pay statements out and do the maths; it will most likely pay off. If not try offsetting with the last 5-6 years of motor mileage allowance - about 15p per mile, which if you haven't claimed adds up normally to a lot.

Bonne chance!


P6 Driver

13th Jan 2012, 20:23

Look up "Extra Statutory Concession A19 (ESC A19)" on the HMRC web site. It's to do with incorrect taxing by HMRC when they have been in posession of the relevant information.

Also, it could be worth research on the forums section of the "" web site with regard to ESC A19. I wrote two letters earlier this year in response to an HMRC demand for over £2,500 and it was overturned using this regulation.

Good luck.


13th Jan 2012, 21:26

As my wife is one of those Chimps that don't do sums correctly (a hoot at parties), I can tell you that the majority of calculations have been conducted incorrectly over many years - but the new HMRC computer system, installed two years ago, is now showing up these miscalculations and is correcting them.
Luckily, the system can only go back a couple of years (rather than the revenues preference of 9 years) and those errors found have to be rectified before the true figures can be calculated.

Even for me, this showed that I had a 9K bill last year and only several hundred refund this year. Believe me, my missus went through those bills very keenly, but couldn't fault them.

Pensions and not notifying the revenue of changes are the most likely reasons for bills. (obviously the revenue wont ever say it's their fault - so it must be yours!)

If you don't understand the Statement - there is a number on the top of the accompanying letter that you should call - not some mates "friendly" number. They should only redirect you to the right office.

glad rag

13th Jan 2012, 21:45

As rigga pointed out, the HMRC are actually getting their house into some sort of order.

So glad [really] that I was unemployed for nearly two years and that their **** ups actully cancelled each other out and I had a rebate after 18 months of worry...

ps the ___ is a logical statement BTW :hmm:


13th Jan 2012, 22:16

Motor Mileage Allowance claims:

Govt allowance for Tax Year 10/11 = 40p 11/12 will be 45p.

RAF paid 25p per mile, therefore 40-25= 15p into the following equation.

15(p) x 40% of total 'miles' claimed = refund :)

If you have not kept a diary. Then take MMA allowance from JPA printout and divide by .25 = mileage originally claimed. I now repeat the mileage claimed at the end of the route in the comments box. (Having already included it in a box that subsequently disappears.)

This can be retrospectively claimed for 6 years.

Does not include GYH mileage, although I believe it can if the tour is less than two years and therefore temporary in the eyes of HMRC. Dont hold me to ransom on that though.

glad rag

13th Jan 2012, 22:24

TM, Yes it is shocking how this has been going on for years.


14th Jan 2012, 06:52

I strongly endorse P6 Driver's line on the ESC A19 idea. Last year I got a £6K bill for underpayment in previous years - shock horror - and I am PAYE only.

Basically it says: "You've had the correct info but got it wrong. That's your problem not mine, please write off the debt iaw some regulation."

Result! Bill cancelled - and I too found out about it from Pprune!!


14th Jan 2012, 09:02

Thanks for the replies-all extremely helpful, I am most grateful. The Extra Statutory Concession A19 is interesting. I will look into and the other info is very cool. Thanks-PPRuNe!

P6 Driver

14th Jan 2012, 09:52

Further to the ESC A19 stuff.

Anecdotally, the response sent by HMRC may be a fairly automatic letter stating that you just have to pay. Look into the appeal process and keep writing - don't accept the first response unless you want to. Use the rules and interpret them pedantically.

In composing your letters, keep them calm and factual - no opinions about the state of the tax affairs or the department administering them - straight facts only.

I'm not trying to teach anyone how to suck eggs with this advice, so hopefully it doesn't come over that way. The reason I am saying this is that I work for a government department (not HMRC!!!) and know the way we handle letters like this.

What I mean is illustrated below - this is the (sanitised) letter I first sent to HMRC.

HM Inspector of Taxes
Pay as You Earn and Self Assessment
Ty Glas
CF14 5YA

Tax Reference: XXXX/XXXXXXXX
National Insurance Number: XX XX XX XX X

Reference: P800T dated XX February 2011

Thank you for sending the above document. I telephoned on XX March 2011 to query this request for the payment of £2XXX.XX and spoke to a lady called Jenny at your call centre, who explained why it had been generated, informing me that this was due to my annual Personal Allowance being applied twice (once against my work salary and again from my Armed Forces pension).

In accordance with Section 3 of the P800 Flyer that was also sent to me, I believe the incorrect deductions to be errors made by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), for which I should not be blamed in any way, or have to pay financially for.

My reasoning for this is that each year, I receive a Pension Scheme Newsletter from the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency. I enclose copies of the relevant pages of the 2008 & 2009 Newsletters, highlighting a statement clearly given in both, that;

“Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) tells Xafinity Paymaster

how much tax to take from your pension.”

This very clear statement of fact indicates to me that if the incorrect amount of tax has been deducted, the fault lays with HMRC alone, and appears simply to be an error made by your department. The statement is clear that I personally have no input as to what rate of tax is applied, and my P60 statements do not break down the rate of tax HMRC has chosen to deduct. I have therefore had no reason to doubt that HM Revenue and Customs have been making the correct deductions.

With reference to Section 3 of the P800 Flyer, I believe that HMRC has always had the relevant information regarding my income from my salary and my Armed Forces Pension, and that HMRC have made the error in applying the Personal Allowance twice.

I request that my liability to pay this uncollected tax is waived, and look forward to your reply.

Yours faithfully,


Pontius Navigator

14th Jan 2012, 12:42

Then take MMA allowance from JPA printout and divide by .25 = mileage originally claimed. I now repeat the mileage claimed at the end of the route in the comments box. (Having already included it in a box that subsequently disappears.)

This can be retrospectively claimed for 6 years..

TM, two other wrinkles.

Suppose the JPA authorised journey was 100 miles but you actually did say 110 because you did a detour enroute then you can claim that extra 10 miles at 40p/m.

Suppose you went away on a short course over a weekend. JPAwise you may only have been paid for the one return journey but taxwise you can claim for the weekend return journey as well - again 40p/mile.

If your other hald drove you to the rail station or airport, did you claim the return journey each way, ie 4 trips?

Finally that 6 years also applied (don't know if it still does) to travel claims. The station used to be able to pay up to 3 years late but claims up to 6 years had to go up the line. JPA may allow for late claims too.


14th Jan 2012, 12:53

And don't forget that the HMRC 40p a mile no profit rate went up to 45p last April so the difference is between the RAF/RN/Pongo rate (still 25p?) and 45p.


pma 32dd

14th Jan 2012, 13:18

Same with me. Challenged £3925 under ESC A19. Took 9 months and they admitted their error and wrote it off. Have since challenged local MP for PAYE being not fit for purpose.

PM me for more details if you want help in writing letters


14th Jan 2012, 13:22

Can I add another question to this debate? I've just reclaimed the difference for MMA but got less than I expected. I was told that the tax calculation that HMRC does does not have to take into account the uniform tax relief that we get as that is taken off at source by the MOD. Consequently, the gross pay figure on the P60 is effectively before the uniform tax relief has been added on. Can anyone much cleverer than me explain whether this is right please before I go into bat with HMRC and PSF again?

On a separate note if anyone's interested, I've just had a final answer from HMRC about tax relief on Mess subscriptions. Apparently they're not tax deductible because you do not need to be a member of the mess to allow you to carry out your professional duties. So now I'm wondering whether to have a chat with the Staish and see what he thinks about the statement in QRs or writing a letter to our MP to raise the issue of the discrepancy between QRs and HMRC.


14th Jan 2012, 15:27

On a separate note if anyone's interested, I've just had a final answer from HMRC about tax relief on Mess subscriptions. Apparently they're not tax deductible because you do not need to be a member of the mess to allow you to carry out your professional duties.

Now that has just triggered another separate but related thought. If the criteria for deductions are that they are required as part of your professional duties, does that mean if an individual maintains their own home but is posted to a unit on the other side of the country and thus has to live in during the week, then accommodation charges should be subject to some sort of tax relief?

After all, very few people with their own homes will do the weekly commute out of choice, and to have a long commute at either end of the day on top of long duty hours presents at worst a potential risk from cummulative fatigue during the commute and at best will see a decline in productivity. Therefore, one could argue that living in and thus the associated accommodation charges are a requirement of your professional duties. Just a thought, may be way off and I'm sure there are far more knowledgeable individuals out there that could clear that one up, but for Grade 1 accommodation that could be a couple of grand per year you could claim against if allowed.


14th Jan 2012, 16:02

I didn't even bother to 'phone first - here's my (redacted) letter:

HM Inspector of Taxes
Customer Operations
PAYE and Self-Assessment
Ty Glas
CF14 5YA

Tax Ref: xxx/xxx

NI No: xx xx xx xx x

Dear Sir,

I am in receipt of the P800 tax calculation for the 2008/09 and 2009/10 tax years
. The calculations indicate that I have a further tax liability. As income tax is deducted at source from my income under PAYE and you were in possession of all the relevant facts regarding my income, I had been unaware that my tax affairs were not in order.

I therefore wish to apply under the provisions of Extra Statutory Concession A19 that the underpayment of tax now being demanded should be written off, on the following grounds:

1. Either the demand for further tax was issued more then 12 months from the end of the tax year in which HMRC was provided with the relevant information to calculate my tax position correctly, 

or HMRC have allowed the arrears to build up over more than one tax year, despite all relevant information being provided to you.


2. HMRC have failed more than once to make use of the relevant information provided to you about my income.

I look forward to receiving your confirmation that the further tax liability will be written off accordingly.

Your faithfully

Teetering StJ Head

and it was (slightly) longer ago than I thought. My letter was sent in November 2010.


14th Jan 2012, 18:11

Melchett unfortunately I don't think that will come into that category but there might be others. I was looking at the Mess subscriptions because QRs require us to be Mess members and are therefore a requirement of our employment. Apparently the HMRC tax relief is for membership of professional bodies that are a requirement of our employment, for instance you have to be a member of the British Psychological Society and have liability insurance if you want to be an occupational psychologist. Therefore, you can claim tax relief on the subscriptions for both of these things.


14th Jan 2012, 18:49

The Daily Mail has been running a bit of a campaign on this subject. Their advice, (which I have taken), follows pretty much that mentioned above. Here is a template letter that they have put on their web site.

Letter template: Challenge your tax bill | This is Money (

Hope this helps


14th Jan 2012, 21:45

If I read Abbotyobs's starting post #1 correctly, he is talking about back-tax for 2010-11 arising from an incorrect coding. That would probably rule out the operation of ESC A19, but bits of the following for what it's worth, would seem to apply generally to some of the replies on this thread. Apols. for the long post, but it's not a subject you can easily deal with in three lines.

From my recent personal experience of getting a little old lady's shock £2500 back-tax bill waived for her ** I can recommend googling the five letters - LITRG. This takes you to the non-commercial website of the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group – set up altruistically by the Chartered Institute of Taxation

In brief, they set out the whole back-tax under-deduction story and provide you with the self-service tools for the whole remedy, where it is appropriate. It doesn't matter if you are not actually "Low Income" – in this case deemed to be about < £17k. There is a lot of less helpful stuff and feeble chat-nets on the subject elsewhere on the internet. LITRG is tops for PAYE back-tax bills, especially if you can support your letter with your records.

Whatever else may have occurred, in order for ESC A19 to operate successfully, it helps if you are on PAYE (and you are not submitting, or not being required to submit annual tax returns) and it helps if the back tax is not being claimed off you (for the first time) until more than about 12 months after the end of the tax year involved – and that HMRC have made a mistake, such as having the info and not using it. My understanding is that this situation can arise for anyone who has been told by HMRC that "You do not have to submit an annual tax return – we will take care of it all for you." That can include higher rate tax payers whose tax-affairs are deemed to be "simple." In essence, it was a failed punt by HMRC to save on staff and paperwork. We all fall for it, because the tax rules have been made increasingly complicated over the years with the endless tinkering.

Having said that, you must be prepared to put a lot of patient reading and work into the problem, and one's willingness to do that will depend on the size of the back-tax bill and whether you have kept all your records (min 6years). Particular tax problems have been created for folks who have started receiving their State OAP in the last few years (men 65 – women 60) because this income has to be taxed off-of some other income. Special treatment was ordered by HMG for this element of the historic miscalculations by HMRC, because in many cases HMRC just forgot what they already knew and didn't tax the OAP. Also the "age related personal allowance" virtually demands that qualifying folks within that income band submit annual tax returns, in order to get it and/or avoid tax fraud.

Further points - Take time to compose the letter – Alumni of the Joint Services Service Writing School will know what I mean. Copy it openly to your MP with a brief explanation. Consider mailing special delivery, then you won't be sitting for six weeks wondering if it has arrived. I personally don't believe in telephoning. If you are faced with a tax investigation – unlikely at this level - get yourself a good accountant, and possibly consider "tax investigation insurance" – available in advance only. And don't offer to take Dave Hartnett out to lunch.

Our old mum firmly believed, and used to beat into us regularly that "If it was Authority – it must be right." Nothing personal, but I would never trust my tax calculation to HMRC. Obtain a good commercial personal tax programme – the one I have used for over 20 years, now costs about £30 each year and allows up to six "family" tax returns each year. You can take your time. You don't have to submit a tax return if it's not required, but whether your tax is right or wrong, you cannot be certain either way unless you have calculated it yourself. It is well-nigh impossible these days to calculate it manually.

You can print and send a paper tax return (by October 31st) even if they have told you not to. Its the only reliable way to get your money back. The tax code is only their "best guess" for the "current" tax year. Tax Codes can be changed at any time if your circumstances change or if you become aware of an error. One can only be certain what one's income was, when all the P60s etc. are in. HMRC's annual "reconciliation" provides no certainty, as we have seen in the last two years.

Filing your return on-line from a commercial programme is a doddle and is supposed to be secure – but getting to the position where you can file on-line can take literally months. You have to use the HMRC website to set up or apply for various access codes to be mailed but if you have not already been issued with a UTR – forget it. If they don't want to issue you with a UTR, it seems they will ignore your request - that's a battle to come. Last time I looked, you could not ask for a UTR on-line. They're not all bad though. I found myself having to make an FOI request to HMRC in about 2008. Eventually they came up with the goods – ie my complete tax-records in spades, including for good measure a photocopy of a hand completed RN pay sheet (size about 2ft x 2 ft) for A/S/Lt. LFH at RNAS Culdrose in 1961. Fit for a museum it were.

Many Happy Returns - LFH

PS ** the 3 grand demand was just for two years, but it was over two years late. Also it had been going on for six years (near 7k under-deducted) and it all looked totally under control (even to me) at first glance.


18th Jan 2012, 19:03

Thanks to all.

LJ had an interesting para on page 1.
'Get your total PAYE payable gross salary (less about £30 uniform tax relief per month, up to £243 per month if you get MoD Childcare Vouchers, LOA, Service Charity (Dincome), Service Days Pay Giving and Home to Duty) and pop into the calculator here UK PAYE Income Tax Calculator 2011 salary calculator UK. Updated for 2011 / 2012 tax year. Calculate wages pension national insurance and student loan repayments online.'

I could phone the Inland Revenue but I am trying to keep quiet after owing them a huge underpayment until my tax return goes through but does anyone know where these items go on the tax return and are they still valid? Thanks.

Uniform tax relief? I thought this was taken off our gross salary for PAYE purposes.
Service Charity Dincome?
Service Days Pay Giving?

Thanks again.

Lima Juliet

18th Jan 2012, 22:27


Yes the £30ish should be taken at source but unfortunately some of the donuts at HMRC get it wrong - you should have a gross figure (with everything paid on it) and then a PAYEable figure (less Uniform Allowance, HTD, Dincome, Childcare Vouchers, etc...). You should only pay PAYE on the PAYEable figure. The difference for me last year, as a desert dodger for 2010, was about £4,500 between gross and PAYEable pay - which at 40% is £1,800 or at 20% £900 or somehwere inbetween.

I don't think you can "keep your head down" the Taxman already has the spotlight on you. Some of them might be donuts but they are very helpful if you can see and explain where they have gone wrong.

Best of luck



19th Jan 2012, 08:23

Eventually one gets fed up with being courteous and sticking to unemotional facts. I've still to receive a reply to this one I sent:

I refer to your reference which arrived today.

I would like to thank you for a good laugh prior to Christmas. Having received previous communications from your department telling me that I am not liable to UK tax and, given the address to which you set the notice of underpayment, I assumed the notice to be some sort of joke.

However, in order to allay months and months and possibly years of frustrating communication with you trying to claw back my money because of imposed deductions from my RAF pension I thought that, just this once, I had better treat this seriously and hope that the message gets through to the spotty faced imbecile who generated this notice.

For your information (and please feel free to put this on my record - computer or otherwise), I emigrated to Australia in May 1993 and have lived here permanently ever since. I am an Australian tax payer and, as I am sure you realise, there is a double taxation agreement between the two countries. Since emigration I have not paid UK tax. I am therefore more than surprised that someone in your department thinks that I should now start. Of course, if you wish to tax me as well as the Australian Government then, as a quid pro quo, I would expect my UK State Pension which commences payment in April next year, to be increased in line with that for UK residents.

Please adjust and amend whatever records that you might have to reflect my personal situation forthwith.

Yours faithfully,

Ron Fenest

19th Jan 2012, 11:47

Have to say that PPRune has again been a great help and actually I wish I had read this thread before sending the following letter. My original P800 (received Christmas Eve) was showing an underpayment of over £3000, a quick phone call reduced this to a currently disputed total of £1800.

To be honest I have found the people at HMRC to be very helpful but the problem that the computer is clearly "saying no". My next step will be to use the information gained here to be slightly more direct in my approach.

"Many thanks for the revised P800 dated 5 Jan 2012 which shows a significant reduction in my original underpayment figure. However this is still very confusing to me, I have now requested a number of times that any underpayment amount is explained in detail to me with no real results ether by telephone or in writing.

To explain further the revised P800 dated 5 Jan 12 for the Tax Year 2009-10 clearly shows in the adjustments section a figure of £1434.80, I have no idea what this figure comprises and this is what I need to understand. I have the following questions

1. Where does this figure come from?
2. What recent information have you received to support or identify this figure?
3. If no recent information then how long have you had the information to support this figure?
4. Have you failed to act on information provided to you by me or my employer in the past resulting in this underpayment?

Having been employed since the age of 16 under the PAYE scheme I have always made every effort to pay my Tax and National Insurance correctly, I have only had 2 jobs, this one and 26 years in the armed forces. On leaving the armed forces I made every effort to avoid problems by contacting all the various tax offices and agencies to ensure that correct tax would be paid and I would not be hit with any unforeseen bills in the future.

I truly believe that I have made every reasonable effort to let you guys know exactly what was going on and informed you of every significant change in my circumstances. I also believe that by now it is reasonable for me to assume that my Tax affairs are in order and that my tax code is correct subject to annual review from my P11D.

In addition there is no doubt that this potential extra burden for the Tax Year 2012-13 is going to be a significant problem for me to deal with, in the big scheme of things it may seem like a relatively small amount however I have budgeted on the tax codes that you have provided to me and have commitments accordingly. I appreciate that you can offer different terms for payments but really I do not believe it is fair for you to claim this money after I have made the effort, unlike many others, to give you the information to get it right first time.

I’m sorry but I can’t help feeling that it is the easy targets like me, the people who happily pay tax through PAYE that you go to first instead of going after the people who have made Tax evasion an artform, I’m surrounded by them!"


20th Jan 2012, 13:10

If the criteria for deductions are that they are required as part of your professional duties, does that mean if an individual maintains their own home but is posted to a unit on the other side of the country and thus has to live in during the week, then accommodation charges should be subject to some sort of tax relief?

Melchett unfortunately I don't think that will come into that category but there might be others. I was looking at the Mess subscriptions because QRs require us to be Mess members and are therefore a requirement of our employment.

I have just done a bit of digging, and whilst I'm nowhere close to being a tax idiot let alone a tax expert, my interpretation of the HMRC's Helpsheet 202 Living Accomodation suggests that if you have to live on base i.e. posted away from your permanent home address, the accommodation may well be exempt from tax if it meets the following criteria:

Some living accommodation provided is exempt from tax. The rules for
exemption are that:
• the living accommodation is necessary for the proper performance of the duties of your job, or
• you are in the kind of employment where it is customary for living accommodation to be provided and the living accommodation enables you
to perform your duties better, or
• you face a special threat to your security because of your job, and you live
in the living accommodation as a part of special security arrangements
in force to protect you.

Now to my simple financial mind, these rules seem to cover an awful lot of bases for the military, especially for those of us that have to live on base away from the family home as part of our duties. Indeed, carrying on from these criteria, the leaflet specifically mentions these exemptions potentially being relevant to members of HM Forces. If this is the case, and the accommodation is exempt from tax, does that mean we could put a case forward to claim tax relief on our accommodation charges? No doubt it would be a lot of work to process and find out the various values etc required, but in these straightened times any cash back in your own pockets has to be a good thing.


20th Jan 2012, 16:53

Good News:

Got my tax refund for motor mileage underpayment; and happy! :ok:

Bad News:

Tax code has also gone up in anticipation of a similar claim next year; against 45p per mile HMRC allowance. No knock effects for me next year as my job/situation has not changed, however if it did then I would be in for a similar tax bill at a future date if no or less MMA was claimed.

One to watch out for when assigned.


26th Jan 2012, 18:03


Hi, please can you expand on why you divide the MMA printout by .25. I am keen to claim this one back and just need to ensure clarity before going forth!

Kind regards



26th Jan 2012, 19:03

Because you got paid MMA @<hidden> £0.25 per mile so dividing the amount you were paid by 0.25 will tell you how many miles you claimed for. You need this to work out how much rebate you are entitled to.

nice castle

26th Jan 2012, 19:29

LJ, thanks for the link!

"Get your total PAYE payable gross salary (less about £30 uniform tax relief per month, up to £243 per month if you get MoD Childcare Vouchers, LOA, Service Charity (Dincome), Service Days Pay Giving and Home to Duty) and pop into the calculator here UK PAYE Income Tax Calculator 2011 salary calculator UK. Updated for 2011 / 2012 tax year. Calculate wages pension national insurance and student loan repayments online." (

Do these things go in the 'Other allowances/deductions' box? Childcare vouchers is obvious enough, though! And it says the tax code is optional, so does this get filled in? Did you take the gross income for the year off your P60?

Sorry, to be so thick.:O Answers really appreciated.:ok:

Actually, just re-read your post on pg 1 properly, and will subtract the extras from the gross amount and just use that number.

I looked at my pay statements, and the Gross Pay PTD number, less the childcare etc, came out as the Taxable Pay PTD, which was the figure given on the P60 to use on a tax return. So, it looks like my PAYE has been applied to the correct figure. The tax calculator gave the same tax amount payable as the P60, so that's good.

I will, however, be sorting the HTD tax back now...:ok:

Iwill, however,


26th Jan 2012, 19:56

Minor point, but if you need to ring HMRC, try googling 'no to 0845' as it will give you some local numbers that not only cost nothing to call from most mobiles, but also tend to be answered almost immediately...

Ron Fenest

27th Jan 2012, 17:01

Just an update to my post last week. I got the response today from HMRC stating that my claim for ESC A19 has been unsuccessful.

My main gripe here is that after 7 lengthy phone calls and numerous letters, not one single person at HMRC has been able to tell me exactly why I owe this money, it is from 07-08 and "something to do with your pension". My pension has been taxed at D0 from day 1 so can't be possible.

The trouble I have now is that after appeal, and to quote the taxman "the appeal decision is final and binding" no further correspondence will be entered into. Mr Taxman also let me know that in his entire career he has never seen an initial decision overturned on appeal. So it is likley I will be faced with a bill that nobody needs to bother explaining with no right to discuss it further.

Advice it worth writing to my MP? or anyone else for that matter!


27th Jan 2012, 18:00

Ron, This looks like a typical dodgy response to me. I refer you in general terms to my earlier post # 22. Can I ask if you are/were on PAYE and if you have been able to calculate your own tax figures ? If you have kept all your records/letters/P60s/ Notices of Coding etc for six years back, it should be possible to work out what has gone wrong. Your shown age suggests you might have started your State retirement pension (OAP) about 07-08 – and HMRC were in the middle of their big cock-up period then. Worse than usual, because although knowing about it, in many cases they then forgot to tax it and as a result HM Treasury took the unusual step of issuing an order (beginning of 2011) to HMRC that they were not to recover that element of uncollected tax. That's separate from ESC A19 for the usual stuff. In our case from #22, they couldn't get their sums right, they couldn't explain and they had to be told. They also refused us ESC A19, but had to reverse. It was all done by letter at Tax office level. In a previous case, they invented raw data. Have you paid yet, or have you asked for time ? PM me if you want to discuss this in more detail. LFH

Ron Fenest

27th Jan 2012, 18:24


Many thanks for the response. Actually it is my Military Pension that they seem to be pointing to although it can't add up to the totals they are giving as I corrected it almost immediately . I left the Army in Apr 08 after 26 years so first payment was in May 08 taxed at 20%, I told them straight away and all payments from Apr were taxed at 40% but they also told me that they would sort out the single month underpayment through my new work tax office in Stockport and that it would be collected through my tax code...Job jobbed or so I thought.

My new HR dept is very switched on and I haven't had any problems with tax for the 4 years I have been in this job so the information they are acting on is at least 3 tax years old.

Now every time I call I get a different reason for the underpayment, never a straight answer and even though I have requested a detailed breakdown of the total they have never sent it to me. I'm fighting blind because they ask for evidence and if I can't identify the shortfall from my end, and they won't explain where it came from, I don't know what to provide!

I have kept all my records and even my Father In Law (who is a tax accountant) couldn't work out where the underpayment comes from. I just get a feeling that I'm getting a "computer says no" response and will be landed with this bill and no right of appeal. It's farcical.

Just to add. My average wait time to speak to someone at HMRC is around 25 mins, and on 3 occasions after explaining my problem I have been cut off and had to go through the whole thing again! I have little hair left but this is causing it to fall out.

To be honest I have no problem paying my TAX, I've been on PAYE since the age of 16 and never dodged a penny that I was aware of, but at the very least I want to know where the bill comes from.


27th Jan 2012, 21:44

This thread served as a very useful reminder of the need to make a claim against my motor mileage claims to recover the excess tax. I did this once before - quite a few years back, pre-JPA - and since then forgot all about it.
When I did the paperwork last time, as I said, in pre-JPA era it was all very straightforward. I popped into Handbrake House, spoke to one of the Admin Clerks who put my number into SAMA pulled up all my claims and hit print.

Since then, we have had the introduction of JPA, that all singing all dancing can cope with anything system :\ Having been reminded by this thread, I looked on JPA to try and pull my claims off - well it is an all singing all dancing system so I figured that should be doable. However, it seems the system only keeps your claims for 30 days. I spoke to the Auditors (Army) at my 'Tri Service' unit who basically told me to take a running jump, that it would take too long to sort out and it was my fault as it was my responsibility to print everything off that I ever did on the all singing all dancing can cope with anything system that is JPA. If I hadn't done that, then tough.

I spoke to our very helpful J1 who made a few calls on my behalf to SPVA who gave me a name and number at Innsworth for one of what I assume is a back office specialist support office. They patiently listened to my request to get my travel claim data only to then tell me they only deal with groups and not individuals.

So the issue: JPA can't provide retrospective MMA claims data, my auditor, SPVA and Innsworth won't provide it. Does anybody else have any bright ideas of getting an answer when 'the computer says no'? If they sit me in front of a terminal, I'm happy to print the claims records off myself, but they won't let me do that. If they force me into it, I will tie them up in knots with a FOI request - we were told JPA would solve all our admin issues, but clearly not.


28th Jan 2012, 04:43

You are vulnerable to having all monies reclaimed by MoD Corporate Governance if you have not printed off the top sheet of every claim and kept it. I had never heard of them either until I got audited for the last 2 years claims in one go!!! It is in the small print to 'agree to' when you tick the box that says you understand the MoD terms and conditions. You must print the top (JPA) sheet and keep associated receipts for two years; I started when a mate got the Corporate Governance tap on the shoulder and I myself had the same thing happen 18 months later.

Bad news over, the person to go to is your audit clerk. Being old school, I would advocate the choccie biccies on the counter "Can you do me a big favour" aproach. ....and they can pull up your claims in seconds and press 'print' just as quickly. This is not speculation but fact, and any other response is from an obstructive knobber who requires his horoscope reading behind the bike shed. I have found that some admin staff say 'cant' when they mean 'dont know how as never had to before'. As a last resort, contact your last unit of your own service because any audit clerk (who has your service number) can access the info. What they cannot do is give you the specifics of your claim ie London to wherever was x miles - they can give you Date-JPA No-MMA was x£ which divisable by .25 equals the actual mileage claimed.

If your section employs a computer generated work log, such as JHC 'STARS' then a stars entry of where you were tasked is good enough proof of a journey being required especially if supported by an MT Non-availibility of service transport sheet (which you should also keep for two years).


28th Jan 2012, 09:59

Tiger Mate,

Thanks for the response. I have the total amounts for each claim noted in my diaries so I could look out for it going in to my bank account. Unfortunately, some of those amounts are made up of MMA and susbsitence - and not being able to separate the 2 based on the info I have is the crux of my problem.

In my case, it's not a case of the unit Auditor not knowing how to do it, they have simply said they won't do it because it takes too much time and the HR Section is staffed by a bunch of civvies with attitude (the description of another fantastic CS who works for me rather than my description) who simply refer you back to the Auditor.

With hindsight, yes, I am part of the problem in not printing off my claims, but also for being naive enough to actually believe that JPA would be helpful / useful. In my defence, over the past 5 years, I was mostly a JO bouncing around various parts of the Middle East and there probably aren't many 20-30 something JO operators that are overly bothered by the nuances of admin paperwork as long as the money goes into their account. That's certainly one lesson learned in Melchett HQ.


28th Jan 2012, 11:38

aren't many 20-30 something JO operators that are overly bothered by the nuances of admin paperwork as long as the money goes into their account

That probably applies to about 90%+ of the readers of these pages regardless of age. I too work in a joint environment and have both blue and green within the unit admin office. The bottom line is that a claim that is entered into JPA and not called for immediate audit is not a sardine that has passed through a net into the abyss never to be seen again. Stations, squadrons, sections are responsable for the management of costs; visibly more so then ever before, as accountants search every nook and cranny to find savings. That this case is between you and the tax man is irrelevent, the MMA still came out of someones budget in the first place. If Unit Admin are not providing the info then next stop would be the unit Budget Holder (in my case, the unit 2ic) to get the info on your behalf. For certain; do not give up because you are being disadvantaged because of a jobsworth bluntie who is being obstructive.

If all else fails; contact JPA support direct or put in a data protection request which for service details is free of cost. If every serviceman claimed the tax back for MMA then perhaps the rate given would rise to 45p per mile at source and thus save a lot of admin nausea. (Or perhaps MT would aquire enough vehicles for MMA to become a thing of the past!!) The system is taking advantage of a Servicemans 'Can-do' attitude to completing a given task.


28th Jan 2012, 13:41

Just a quick one on MMA - wasn't it reduced ("due to lower car/ins/fuel costs" :ugh: ) a couple of years ago? So, if going back a long while, you will have to take that into account.

Easy Street

28th Jan 2012, 17:10

After many years of using my own car for duty journeys and claiming the mileage, I gave in a couple of years ago and now only use MT hire cars. The combination of business-use insurance requirement and the pitiful rate just annoys me. I am not prepared to go through the nause of tax accounting to compensate for the poor rate, and the RAF cannot compel me to pay for business-use insurance, so if a hire car is not forthcoming, the journey does not happen. Funnily enough every time MT refuse me a car, and I inform them that I shall not be driving my own instead, they somehow manage to find a hire car they'd forgotten about until that very moment... :ok:

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Спасибо, шеф. Голос шефа из смешливого вдруг стал жестким: - Сьюзан, я звоню потому, что ты нужна мне. Срочно.

Она попыталась собраться с мыслями.