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HMRC tax collection errors soar by 148 per cent

HM Revenue & Customs collected £238m too much tax from taxpayers as a result of PAYE errors in the 2009-10 tax year alone, up from £96m the previous year, a freedom of information request has revealed.

This represents a rise of 148 per cent. UHY Hacker Young, which instituted the FoI request, says that the increase in errors is due to glitches in a new HMRC system designed to make PAYE processing faster and more accurate, as well as a fall in the accuracy of manual processing by HMRC staff as they get used to new processes.

Rob Durrant-Walker of UHY Hacker Young said: "Although HMRC's new system should lead to more accurate codes in future, these figures are quite shocking. For the amount of tax collected in error through PAYE to jump 148 per cent is unacceptable."

An HMRC spokesman said: "Over and underpayments have long been a feature of the PAYE system. But our contact centres are able to correct inaccuracies, in part because of the new system."