HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have published a draft Statutory Instrument which proposes a highly controversial change to the 2003 PAYE Regulations: the ability for HMRC to change a PAYE tax code by stealth. It is not clear from any documentation why it needs to make this change.

  • According to the draft SI HMRC wants to change regulation 19(3) so that it does not need to notify an employee at the same time as it issues an employer with a revised PAYE coding notice, but may wait up to 30 days.
  • The problem for any employee who is affected by a change of PAYE coding in this way is that they may note a change in their paypacket but have no information as to why.
  • The employer is not given a breakdown of what the changes are and so the employee is left in the dark until HMRC send them details, up to a month later.

HMRC have requested that any comments on the draft legislation are provided by email to PAYE Policy by 3 August 2014.

Your comment is needed

A draft template for comment is included below, please email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dear Sir

With reference to proposed amendments to PAYE regulation 19 (see

I wish to strongly object to the proposed amendment to 19(3) of the 2003 Regulations which proposes that when HMRC makes an amendment to an employee’s tax code, notice of the amended code must be given to the employee no later than 30 days after the date on which notice of the amended code was issued to the employer.

I feel that no change is needed to the current wording which states that HMRC “must give notice of the amended code to the employee by the date on which the notice…is issued to the employer”.

I cannot see any reason why employees should be kept in the dark about changes to their PAYE coding nor why HMRC should feel that it can change any employee’s coding notice apparently by stealth.

Yours faithfully

[name & details]