An Extra Statutory Concession’ (ESC) A19 covers the situation where HMRC delays in using information and this results in an underpayment of income tax by an individual.

If HMRC should have already collected the tax due because the information had already been provided to it but it failed or delayed to use this information, then it may agree not to collect due.

The circumstances are that HMRC should have used the information provided within 12 months after the end of the tax year in which it is received.

What counts as information?

The list below shows information that HMRC would normally use to adjust a tax code:

  • details of a change in income
  • a new job or additional job
  • a taxable benefit provided by your employer, for example a company car
  • start receiving a work or private pension
  • receipt of state retirement, disability or widow’s pension

This list is not exhaustive: each case will be treated on its own set of circumstances.

Time limits

The time limit which applies for ESC A19 is where HMRC has failed to use information received, within 12 months after the end of the tax year in which it is received.

For example: on 1 August 2014 HMRC received information about commencement of a new pension in tax year 2014/2015. This means that HMRC should have either issued a tax code or sent a tax calculation for the above receipt of information before 5 April 2016, which is 12 months after the last day of the tax year 2014/2015.

For over-repayments, ESC A19 can apply where HMRC request repayment of over paid tax more than 12 months after the end of the tax year in which the repayment was made.

If no information has been received then ESC A19 cannot be considered.

Exceptional Circumstances

In exceptional circumstances, arrears notified less than 12 months after the end of the relevant tax year may be considered where both of the following apply:

  • HMRC failed to make proper use of more than one piece of information received about a source of income
  • HMRC allowed tax arrears to build up over two whole tax years in succession – so at least two tax year underpayments are due

Reasonable belief that your tax affairs were in order

HMRC will consider the facts and circumstances of any claim that this concession should apply and decide whether it was reasonable for you to believe (prior to receiving the Tax Calculation) that your tax affairs were in order.

Making a claim

If you think this concession applies to you, then you need to write to the address on your Tax Calculation indicating that you are making a claim under ‘ESC A19’. You will need to provide the following information:

  • what tax year and underpayment the claim relates to
  • what information HMRC failed to make proper and timely use of and any supporting information
  • what date this information was provided
  • reason(s) why you thought your tax affairs were in order prior to receiving the Tax Calculation

HMRC will consider your claim but may need to verify details with you before giving you their decision.

Please note that there is no legal right of appeal but you can ask for another officer to review the decision made.

If you still believe that you should not have to pay the tax after a second review decision has been provided, please read ‘How to Complain to HMRC’ to decide if your case has not been dealt with properly.