What should I do if I think my P800 is wrong?
Occasionally, you might find yourself with a P800 that looks wrong. The first thing to do is go through it carefully to track down the problem. Check the details against your P60, P45 and/or P11D forms. Look closely at the figures to make sure HMRC hasn't used any estimates in the calculations. If you still think it looks wrong, get on the phone to HMRC as soon as possible or talk to a tax expert.
If HMRC doesn’t have all the information it needs to work out the tax you owe, it sometimes uses estimated figures. You’ll need some documents to double-check their homework, like:
- Your P60s and P45s for the years in question.
- Any P11D forms you have showing the benefits and expenses you’ve received.
- Statements from your bank or building society to check the interest you’ve had.
If you’re getting any taxable state benefits, you’ll also want to compare HMRC’s figures with your own records. There’s a chance that some of those types of income will be lumped together as a single, combined total. If the number doesn’t look right, you should be able to get a full breakdown from HMRC or by checking your Personal Tax Account.
When you’ve arranged to pay through the PAYE system for any otherwise untaxed income you’ve got (like rent, for instance, if you’re letting out property), you might find HMRC has used estimated figures to calculate your tax. This can mean your PAYE tax code changes, and might not change back when you stop getting that income. Check the numbers HMRC has been working from, and kick up a fuss if they’re wrong.
At the same time, it’s worth putting some thought into anything HMRC might have missed. The taxman can only work with the information he has after all, and might not be up to date on things like:
- Any Gift Aid donations you might have made.
- Any contributions you’ve put into your pension.
- Your taxable state benefits and savings income.
- Any deductions or employment expenses you’re allowed to claim for, such as business use of your own vehicle.
While you’re at it, check that you’re getting the proper benefit of things like the Marriage Allowance or Blind Person’s Allowance, if you and/or your spouse qualify for them. Equally, though, you have to keep in mind any allowances HMRC has included in their calculation that you might not qualify for any more. Again, some of these might have led to a change in your tax code at some point, so check everything’s been recorded correctly.
One more tricky little wrinkle that might seem to mess up your P800 calculation is if you’re paid weekly. Basically, the way the calendar shakes out, some years might see you being paid 53 times instead of 52. Depending on your employer, that extra week’s pay might still factor your standard Personal Allowance into it, meaning you get a week’s tax relief that you technically didn’t qualify for over the year. Check your P60 to see if there’s a “week 53 indicator” listed.