Don’t be a Dummy on tax returns

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LOCAL employers are being urged to get their PAYE paperwork in order, after more than 500 returns incorrectly claimed to employ “AN Other” last year.

Every year, employers send PAYE data to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), which gives details of employees’ tax and national insurance contributions. But it is not always accurate.

This can cause problems for the employee, for example, incorrect amounts being deducted from their pay. It can also use up valuable employer and HMRC time and money putting the error right.

As well as 507 AN Others, employer returns for 2009/10 revealed the following incorrect information:

n 128 staff entered as Mr, Ms or Mrs Dummy;

n 572 people whose surnames only included the letter X, ranging from Mr X to Mrs XXXXXX;

n 75 staff with the surname Casual, 11 Cleaners, nine Workers and six Students;

n 824 employees with the surname “Unknown” and 40 were apparently 200 years old or more after incorrect dates of birth were submitted.

Jim Harra, HMRC’s director of customer operations, said: “Most employers in the North West get their PAYE returns right. The few who don’t can cause problems for their employees, for example, incorrect deductions of tax. Around 80 per cent of errors in employee data are due to an incorrect name, date of birth or national insurance number.”