Posted by Tax Innovations on 29 Nov 2011

HMRC SA252 Letters Update

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have recently issued an update on the issue of “SA252 letters.”

They have advised that they will be sending letters to basic and higher rate taxpayers in one bulk run and that all letters will be dated 19th November 2011, although they may not be received until “some weeks later!”

The SA252 letters were originally sent out to those who don’t submit a Self Assessment tax return but are liable to Income Tax at the higher rate. However, from 2012, HMRC intends to send the letters to those who may pay the basic rate of tax but apparently have complex tax  affairs.

This letter requires the taxpayer to contact HMRC if they feel they are paying too much tax or not enough tax overall.

Historically speaking, it could be argued that small income tax liabilities may not always have been collected by HMRC owing to the perceived lack of cost effectiveness in doing so but these measures appear to be a step toward addressing this concern.

The HMRC release regarding the letters is a formal explanation of when they will be sent and that they can only be sent directly to the taxpayer and not to agents. However, it does mention that they will be requesting taxpayers to consult with their tax adviser, should they have one.

Contact Tax Innovations about the SA252 letters

Given the nature of the SA252 letters we of course strongly echo this and advise anyone affected to contact us on 01962 856 990 for an initial consultation.

The HMRC SA252 Update Letter to Agents in Full

“We let you know in July about our plans to issue a redesigned SA 252 later this year. We originally planned to send the letter to Higher Rate taxpayers who were not in SA and, from next year, to also send the letter to Basic Rate customers with more complex tax affairs.

Following IT changes we have, however, decided to send the SA 252 this year to Higher Rate taxpayers and also Basic Rate taxpayers with more complex affairs (for example people who have paid tax at Higher Rate in the past or who are in receipt of new sources of income). We wanted you to be aware of this to enable you to deal with questions you may receive from your clients. We expect the letters to be sent out from late November. We’d also like to mention that, because this will be a bulk processing issue for us, all letters will be dated 19th November although it’s possible they won’t be received until some weeks later. There is nothing unusual about this. We post bulk output letters in stages to help our contact centres to manage any additional customer demand that the letters might provoke.

As we have explained before we’re unable to send copies of the letter to agents but it does include a request that customers show the letter to their tax adviser if they have one.”