The taxman has expressed concern over how much incorrect payroll paperwork he receives, after more than 800 returns in fiscal year 2009/10 claimed to employ Mr or Ms 'Unknown'.
Errors in the details of employees’ tax and national insurance contributions, sent by employers each year to HM Revenue & Customs as part of their PAYE submission, can cause problems for staff who can end up having the wrong amount of tax deducted from their pay, the government agency attested. Jim Harra, HMRC’s director of customer operations, said: "Most employers get their PAYE returns right. 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." As well as 824 employees with the surname 'Unknown', employer returns also revealed a number of other howlers, including:
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', nine 'Workers' and six 'Students'
507 people named 'AN Other'
40 people were apparently 200 years old or more after incorrect dates of birth were submitted.