Has there been a deliberate change of policy at HMRC? Half a billion pounds has been refunded to taxpayers over the last 3 years due to emergency tax charges on pension withdrawals and stamp duty surcharges (Sam Meadows, Telegraph, January 2018).
Steve Webb, a former pensions minister asserts that this change in policy by HMRC is now putting the onus on taxpayers to be aware of their eligibility for a refund and contact HMRC themselves.
Nimesh Shah, an accountant with Blick Rothenburg, says that there is a definite trend in favour of taxes that are levied in advance of the relevent liability rather than the more traditional method of "pay as you earn".
HMRC however, denies this and contends that most revenue brought in by taxation is paid in the more traditional method.
A 3 percentage point stamp duty surcharge was introduced on additional property purchases in April 2016.
The intention of this measure was to make buy-to-let properties less attractive as an investment, however, it also penalised people who were moving house. This is due to the fact that in some instances a purchase is made before the original home is sold.
The tax charge arising from this type of transaction has resulted in refunds of £231 million being repaid to taxpayers (Sam Meadows, Telegraph, January 2018).
The danger with this type of arrangement for taxpayers is that some of those who are eligible for a refund may not be aware of this.
Another major component of this new approach by HMRC is due to the new pension freedoms rules.
At the moment, any withdrawal from a pension is assumed to be a monthly payment, resulting in many pension holders being overtaxed. The holder then needs to apply for a refund from HMRC.
If you fall in to one of the categories above, ensure that you claim any refunds you are due.
Westminster Wealth Management is able to assist in putting your personal finances in order, ensuring that your money goes towards building wealth for the future. Contact us today.
Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations which is subject to change.
HMRC now 'taxes first and asks questions later' forcing taxpayers to apply for refunds