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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: UK Employment Law
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Experience:  solicitor
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Hello, My wife is a high-earner and joined a company in

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My wife is a high-earner and joined a company in 2009 but was made redundant in 2011 (4 years service). When she started, the company failed to use the Tax Code provided on her P45 meaning that she was taxed at Basic Rate and underpaid some £34K in Tax. We are in the process of appealing this with HMRC with a view to a write off due to Employer Error.

However, when she was made redundant, a lot of her redundancy went to an interim payment to keep the HMRC off her back (around £20K). Added to this, she has had telephone calls, postage, specialist accountant fees etc. to fight against the HMRC as well as many sleepness nights and stress - caused by the Employers simple inability to adhere to HMRC procedures and use the Tax Code figures provided on her P45. She has also needed to use Credit Cards as her redundancy money went to the HMRC and has also had Bank Problems with missed payments etc. and the associated charges.

Once she gets her HMRC refund, she would like to sue the former employer to recover these costs and also get compensation for 2 years of sheer hell fighting the HMRC.

Do you think this would be possible and under what type of legal framework could she do this - she is considering the MoneyClaim On-Line path for under £10K which would put it through the "Small Claim" Track.

Thank you for your considered reply.

Sorry to hear about this.

She should first try and settle the matter amicably if at possible with her ex employer, it may well be that there will be no need to go to court.

If amicable negotiations do not work, then she should put down her claim in writing and give the ex employer say 14 days to pay failing which she may take legal proceedings against them.

If they still do not pay, she may then file her claim for money online at

She should itemise her losses so that whatever amount she is claiming is justifiable.

The ex employer had a duty of care to her to use the correct tax code and it seems they were negligent in doing so.

The final decision would obviously lie with the judge if the matter ended up in the courts.

Hope this helps. Please leave feedback

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK - Thanks for that - I can itemise all costs.


What about compensation for 2 years of hell and sleepness nights due to worry ?


How do you itemise this ?



She would need to show that there was negligent infliction of emotional distress on her which could be supported by doctors' letters.

The court may be invited to award damages for the emotional distress as it would be difficult to quantify.

Hope this helps
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