You can ask HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to cancel your tax arrears if you think they’ve made a mistake because they failed to act on information they had.
You can do this by asking for an ‘extra-statutory concession’ (‘ESC A19’) if you owe:
- Income Tax, eg because you were on the wrong tax code
- Capital Gains Tax
- Class 4 National Insurance contributions
You can make a request if all of the following apply:
- HMRC haven’t used tax information provided to them, eg about a change of income or job
- HMRC told you about the arrears more than 12 months after the end of the tax year in which they received your information
- you have a reasonable belief that your tax affairs are up to date
Tax information could come from:
- your employer
- the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
You can’t normally cancel tax owed via Self Assessment, unless there are exceptional circumstances, eg where HMRC:
- told you about 2 or more years of PAYE tax owed
- failed to act on information you’ve given them more than once
How to make a claim
You should call HMRC before you pay any of the tax arrears.
If you make a payment before making a request under ESC A19, HMRC may still refund the tax.
Call or write to HMRC to make a claim under ESC A19.
You must tell HMRC:
- the tax year and underpayment in dispute
- what information was provided and when
- why you thought your tax was up to date
You may be able to delay paying a penalty until your appeal has been settled.
If you disagree with HMRC’s decision
You can ask for the decision to be reviewed if you don’t agree with the outcome.