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Where Taxpayers and Advisers Meet

An unpleasant situation I'm in.......

Delancourt86
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:11 pm

An unpleasant situation I'm in.......

Postby Delancourt86 » Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:37 pm

Hi guys, I'm in a situation where I have found out that current employer has been withholding my tax and national insurance from HMRC. They have no record of my employment with his company for the last 5 years since I joined.

A bit of background. I found this out a year ago, and myself and my father held a meeting with him in his office to confront him. He didn't try to deny it, came clean and admitted he had been acting wrongly and advised that he would set things right. I know he has done this to at least one other employer, its a small company with only 5 of us in total including the boss. The other two are long term employees, having been with him for about 15 years or a little more. I'm not sure if he has done the same with them.

However, time marched on. Three months no progress despite me and my colleague each badgering him for progress on what he was doing. Three months became six, then nine. I made the decision to send a letter to HMRC detailing my situation in November 2019, I also sent them my payslips. They sent a letter back several weeks after thanking me for contact and confirming to me that they have no record of my employment with him, and that they need the companies tax reference number before anything could be taken further. I contacted my boss and requested the tax reference number, he ran around the question and basically ignored it. Then started to ignore me. I phoned HMRC for an update and tried to explain the situation saying he wouldn't give me the number. I used the reference numbers HMRC had given me on the letter they had sent back to allow whoever I spoke to to find the case easier. It was not a pleasant experience, nobody seemed to know what do and in-fact nobody even seemed remotely interested in trying to help. They didn't even want to talk about it, passing me through five different people before I finally got someone who started to help, then he stopped himself and backtracked as if he had said too much and finally told me "If you suspect your employer is committing a crime with this, you need to report him for fraud." That was it.

So, I went to HMRC's website and submitted a Fraud Report in January. I gave them all the information I have on what is going on, provided the company details, director details, how long the business has been trading as I know it, how long I think the fraud has been going on for. I even ticked the little box saying I would happily stand in a court in front of a judge and repeat everything I knew. (I think this is a way of them sifting a genuine fraud report from a trouble maker) but anyway. I got an automated email saying they had received my report and would investigate but that they would not be able to respond to any personal queries for updates, owing to the strict confidentiality requirements HMRC must adhere to. We are now going into May, and I have heard nothing from them. And that's sadly, another year and some £10,000 more missing from my contributions. Given everything going on with the Coronavirus just now, its nigh on impossible to get another job so me and my other colleague are having to eat the problem for now, just grateful to be getting paid.

Can I compel HMRC in any way to update me on the status of their investigation, that is if they have even started one. This is the thing, I don't know.

As a final note: I did even more digging into my boss's background. He's had 14 companies over the last 25 years or so, seemingly with no financial filings/accounts for any of them as I can see. They have all been shut down before filing dates fall due. A few have even had their financial years extended, before then being shut down without anything being filed. My gut is telling me he's been doing this a lot longer than a few years, and if he has, the two other long term employees could be in an even worse situation than me and my younger colleague.

What a mess! Sorry for the massive post guys, I just need an arrow to point me in the direction of if I can do anything. I know a new job is in order, but that's not an option for now what with the virus going around, so I'm bunkered down peering out the slat :lol:

jerome.lane
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:41 am
Location: Sandhurst, Berkshire
Contact:

Re: An unpleasant situation I'm in.......

Postby jerome.lane » Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:15 pm

HMRC will not be able to update you on progress with any case against your employer due to data protection. An investigation should result in PAYE demands to your employer and, by the sounds of it, a full enquiry for suspected fraud. If you do not have all the payslips/P60's for your period of employment, there is a risk that HMRC will approach you for the tax and NIC due. Under the circumstances, I think this is unlikely unless you have absolutely no evidence and HMRC consider you to be party to the loss to the revenue. The biggest problem for you as I see it (current coronavirus issues and any furlough pay entitlement aside) is the 5 year hole in your NIC record which could affect your state pension and other benefit entitlement. You, and anyone reading this post, should always create a digital tax account (https://www.gov.uk/personal-tax-account) so that they can reconcile their tax and NIC paid, identify any issues and monitor their state benefit entitlements.
Jerome Lane
Tax Adviser
Telephone: 07943 005902

wamstax
Posts: 1896
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:39 pm
Location: Operate Nationally but based in Aberdeen
Contact:

Re: An unpleasant situation I'm in.......

Postby wamstax » Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:08 pm

If you have your payslips and forms P60 you should ask HMRC to create an employment record with them in relation to your current employment. I would also provide HMRC with copies of your P60's as evidence of the tax deducted. You could also request that they issue a code number notice showing your current tax code that the employer should be operating and that they have pursued and and can confirm that your tax position is fully up to date and in order. This should cause them to update you as appropriate. You could also send copies of your P60's to HMRC and say that you would wish your NIC account updated for the National Insurance Contributions that your employer deducted from your wages.
regards and hope this helps
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Operates Nationally with competitive costs
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