The Mail is venting is spleen against HMRC over the claims being sent out by HMRC for tax underpayments (estimated to affect 1.4 million people).
Whilst it is perfectly correct that HMRC reclaims underpaid tax, the issue that wrankles with the Mail is HMRC's response to appeals sent in by many on the basis of the A19 tax concession (which allows claims for underpaid tax to be abandoned under certain circumstances).
HMRC are sending out standardised computer generated rejections of appeals from one centre, stating simply that the appeal does not fall within the A19 concession.
This is a similar approach taken by banks and other financial institutions when rejecting people's claims for excess overdraft charges, mis-sold endowments etc; one that is designed to stone wall claims.
HMRC have belatedly realised that, whilst this approach may be OK for tax professionals (who can fight their corner), doing this to a large number of people who normally do not interact on a daily basis with HMRC (but who make excellent copy - eg widowed pensioners - for tabloids) is very unwise. As such the content and format of the letters is now being reviewed, and a more "personalised" rejection will be sent in the future.
Whatever the format of the rejection, the taxpayer can still appeal and if rejected again can go to the Adjudicator's Office.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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