Birmingham-based chartered accountancy firm JW Hinks is warning people with unpaid national insurance contributions (NICs) that private debt collectors could be used to recover the money they owe HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
People paying tax through Pay As You Earn (PAYE) as an employee, or who receive a taxable, UK-based private pension, may have received a P2 annual coding notice for the 2014-15 tax year, which sets out their tax code for the year so that their employer or pension provider can deduct the correct amount of tax and national insurance.
HMRC says that some people receiving the notice may find that their tax code has changed, because starting from April 2014 HMRC can collect outstanding Class 2 national insurance contributions, paid by people who are self-employed, by adjusting the tax code.
HMRC has already written to those with Class 2 NIC debts to request payment and is warning that those who do not pay in full could find their debt passed on to a private debt collection agency, if it is not collected via their PAYE code.
Claire Richards, payroll manager at the Edgbaston firm, said: “If you have already received a letter informing you of an outstanding NIC debt then, as with any tax matter, it is important to deal with the matter as soon as possible.
“If in doubt, it is always best to seek expert advice at the earliest opportunity – burying your head in the sand will not make the debt go away and could lead to much bigger problems.
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