Christmas may come early for some 3.5 million people, who have overpaid their tax in 2012/13 and are now owed refunds by HMRC averaging between £350 and £500.
However, another 2 million people will not be so happy; as they owe HMRC between £400 and £500, because of tax underpayments.
Thus we find ourselves in "year end reconciliation" season again, as HMRC balances its books (so to speak). The reconciliation process returns without fail each year with the depressing inevitability of an unloved season. The reconciliation process is expected to last until October.
The Guardian reports that HMRC has said it is sympathetic to cases of genuine hardship, and those who cannot afford to pay should get in touch. These people may be able to pay what they owe over two or three years.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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