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28th January 2021


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UK taxman urges employers to ditch 'A N Other'

UK Employers are being urged to get their PAYE paperwork in order, after more than 500 returns incorrectly claimed to employ 'A N Other' in 2009/10.

Every year, employers send PAYE data to HM Revenue & Customs, which gives details of employees' tax and national insurance contributions. However, it is not always accurate. This can cause problems for the employee, for example, incorrect amounts being deducted from their pay. It can also use up valuable employer and HMRC time and money putting the error right.

As well as 507 A N Others, employer returns for 2009/10 revealed the following incorrect information:

* 128 staff entered as Mr, Ms or Mrs 'Dummy'
* 572 people whose surnames only included the letter X, ranging from Mr X to Mrs XXXXXX
* 75 staff with the surname 'Casual', 11 'Cleaners', 9 'Workers' and 6 'Students'
* 824 employees with the surname 'Unknown' and
* 40 people were apparently 200 years old or more after incorrect dates of birth were submitted.

"Most employers get their PAYE returns right," says Jim Harra, HMRC's Director of Customer Operations.

"The few who don't can cause problems for their employees, for example, incorrect deductions of tax. Around 80% of errors in employee data are due to an incorrect name, date of birth or national insurance number - straightforward information that can be collected and checked quite easily.

"So, whether you are employing 'Mr or Mrs J Smith' - or even 'Mr or Mrs A N Other', please use the full and official name on your PAYE paperwork. First names are very important, especially for common surnames.

"We really want employers to check that they are sending us the right details for all their employees, to make life easier for them, HMRC and their employees."

For more information on getting your employer data right, visit :


21st October 2011

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