One in every 14 APNs issued by HMRC in error, says study

A new study suggests that one in every 14 accelerated payment notices (APNs) issued by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has been in error.

According to HMRC, more than 60,000 APNs have been issued since they were first introduced by the Revenue in 2014. Such notices give taxpayers 90 days to pay a disputed sum – the balance will remain until the taxpayer pays up while the case makes its way through the Courts.

The Revenue claims that it has collected more than £3billion worth of tax since APNs were introduced, but new research suggests that as many as one in 14 of these may have been issued in error.

Furthermore, HMRC claims that less than 5 per cent of APNs have been withdrawn.

The news builds upon previous concerns that APNs cannot be appealed by taxpayers themselves. Effectively, anyone who receives an APN has no choice but to pay up – and hope that they will receive a repayment at a later date once errors have been corrected or a settlement has been reached in Court.

An HMRC spokesperson commented: “We have issued more than 60,000 accelerated payment notices and have collected over £3bn of tax since they were introduced in July 2014.

“Just because a notice has been withdrawn it doesn’t mean there is no tax to pay.

“The underlying tax dispute remains until it is settled or taken to Court”.