If HMRC Did Not Act on Information Given

You can ask HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to cancel tax you owe (‘arrears’) if you think they have made a mistake because they did not act on information they had. 
 
You can do this by asking for an ‘extra-statutory concession’ (‘ESC A19’) if you owe: 
  • Income Tax, for example because you were on the wrong tax code 
  • Capital Gains Tax 
  • Class 4 National Insurance contributions 

Eligibility 

You can ask for an ESC A19 if all of the following apply: 
  • HMRC have not used tax information provided to them, for example about a change of income or job 
  • HMRC told you about the tax you owe 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 
The tax information could have come from: 
  • you 
  • your employer 
  • the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) 

Self Assessment 

You cannot normally cancel tax owed via Self Assessment, unless there are exceptional circumstances, for example 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 

Call or write to HMRC to make a claim. 
 
You should do this before you pay any of the tax you owe. But if you have already made a payment, HMRC may be able to refund it. 
 
You must tell HMRC: 
  • which arrears you are disputing, including the tax year 
  • the information HMRC should have acted on and when it was provided 
  • 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 do not agree with the outcome.