A miners’ leader has called for an investigation after miners were left owing hundreds of pounds in unpaid tax.
Alan Cummings, chairman of Durham Miners’ Association, said he had received more than a dozen calls in two days from worried ex-miners who had received PAYE calculations stating they owed between £300 and £900.
The problem appeared to affect former miners who were in receipt of contribution-based employment support allowance and were also receiving a mineworkers’ pension.
Mr Cummings said in previous years tax was taken from the employment support allowance through the PAYE system without problems.
However, he believed there had been an error which meant the system had not taken tax from ex-miners for the 2013/14 tax year.
“For some reason something has gone badly wrong and the tax hasn’t been taken off,” he said.
“We now have people who have received tax demands for several hundred pounds and they want to know why the system has failed.”
He added: “This has caused a lock of shock and concern among people who aren’t on much money.”
Mr Cummings said he was talking to HMRC to find out why the problem had occurred.
The former miner has contacted Easington MP Grahame Morris asking him for help.
“This is affecting people who are often on particularly low incomes and maybe aren’t in the best of health – it beggars belief that this has occurred,” Mr Cummings added.
HMRC stressed that it sent out tax calculations rather than tax demands.
Any money owed could be paid interest free from April 2015 until March 2016, using the PAYE system in 12 chunks.
If people needed further time to pay, it could be done over two or three years.
A HMRC spokesman added: “We are unable to comment on individual taxpayers. Anyone who receives a calculation which they believe is incorrect should contact us and we will do all we can to help.”
Source – Durham Times, 16 Oct 2014