beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

Reconcile individual: HMRC delay: ESC A19: what years?

Main time limit

ESC A19 may be considered for any tax year apart from the current year (CY). It may apply to the year before (CY-1), but only in exceptional circumstances and where arrears of tax have built up over two whole tax years in succession, for example, over the course of CY-1 and CY-2.

The main time limit ordinarily prevents consideration of arrears arising in CY-1. However, there is potential for the concession to apply to CY-1 under the exceptional circumstances limb, if both of its criteria are met.

Exceptional circumstances

If HMRC fails to make proper use of the facts given about the same source of income

  • On more than one occasion


  • As a result, tax arrears are notified which have built over two or more whole tax years 


  • The latest of those years is CY-1, for example, tax notified less than 12 months after the end of the last tax year

then as long as the reasonable belief test is satisfied then the tax for CY-1 and CY-2 may also be given up.

See PAYE95070 regarding repeated failures and PAYE95075 for examples of exceptional circumstances cases.