The FT reports that Smith & Williamson have warned that pensioners are more likely to over-pay tax on their income than other taxpayers, as a result of incorrect PAYE codes.
The coding problems arise as a result of the fact that some pensioners have complex (by HMRC standards) financial affairs that don't neatly fit into "boxes", eg pensions from a number of different sources together with savings/dividend income.
Add in the fact that personal allowances vary according to age, and you have a recipe for disaster.
The Office of Tax Simplification has said it recognises the difficulties, and is considering how the tax matters of pensioners can be improved.
However, in the meantime, pensioners (as should all taxpayers) check their tax calculations and (where necessary) use the services of organisations such as Citizens Advice Bureau and TOP (TaxHelp for Older People).
The days when a taxpayer's affairs were looked after in a local tax office by a named Tax Officer, who would give individual attention, have long gone and will never return.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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