Revenue to give back £300m overpaid tax

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The Independent Online

The Inland Revenue, usually second only to traffic wardens in the public's affections, issued a surprise initiative yesterday to give back £300m of overpaid tax .

The Inland Revenue, usually second only to traffic wardens in the public's affections, issued a surprise initiative yesterday to give back £300m of overpaid tax .

The Revenue, accustomed to issuing threats of fines for late tax payments, took the opportunity to celebrate yesterday's good news and employed the comedian Roy Hudd to lead a circus of stilt-walkers and jugglers.

Paymaster General, Dawn Primarolo, refrained from dressing up but, nevertheless, got into the spirit of events. She said: "Although we collect tax we want to collect the right tax. We hope this campaign will attract the attention of those who have overpaid."

Launching Taxback Week she said: "This is a major customer service initiative by the Inland Revenue. It will help to make sure that people do not pay more tax than they need to.

Groups likely to find themselves in line for a payout are those on low incomes such as pensioners and students. Many do not qualify to pay tax but have had it deducted automatically by their bank or building society from savings accounts.

The Revenue said about 4 million people fall into this category. They will be able to claim back tax for the last six years, providing they can produce bank statements that detail tax payments and will receive interest on the total sum.

The Revenue has mounted a country-wide campaign to make people aware that they may qualify for a rebate, with officers visiting old people's homes and community centres.

To lodge a claim for tax already paid on savings contact the Revenue on its Taxback helpline: 0845 077 6543.

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