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
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:
- your employer
- the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
You cannot normally cancel tax owed via self assessment, unless there are exceptional circumstances, for example where HMRC:
- told you about two or more years of PAYE tax owed
- failed to act on information you have given them more than once
How to make a claim
Call or write to HMRC (external link) 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 (external link) 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.