HC Deb 13 June 1988 vol 135 cc44-5W
Mr. Gordon Brown

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many more tax forms have been sent to pensioners in this financial year than last;

(2) if he plans to apologise to pensioners wrongly sent income tax forms;

(3) what is his estimate of the cost of sending 1 million tax forms.

Mr. Norman Lamont

[holding answer 7 June 1988]I regret that due to a computer programming fault tax returns were issued to some pensioners who would not normally have been called upon to make a return. The Inland Revenue has taken steps to ensure that this will not recur.

No separate figures are kept of returns issued to pensioners, but the Inland Revenue estimates that the number of returns issued to them in April 1988 is approximately 500,000 higher than last year.

The estimated cost of sending 1 million tax returns is £137,250. This includes the cost of the returns, notes, envelopes and postage. The cost of issuing the 500,000 returns to pensioners is therefore £68,625.