So I got my tax return / self assessment back and nearly had a quiet heart attack. It worked out that I owed £2000 – minus change – for 2 of the last few years.
I ate my lunch in solemn consideration of this fact before ringing them and preparing to say “I don’t have £2000”. I explained I was surprised that I owed so much considering I’m paid through PAYE. And we went through, and then the nice woman on the phone said ‘how much were you paid by such and such’ – and I looked at my P60 and we discovered I’d put my pay for both them *and* the previous hospital in as being my pay for that employment.
So I went from owing £1,100 to overpayment in one easy step (although I need to pop a letter in the post confirming that I am an idiot). But that didn’t explain the other 900. It turns out that I should have been paying my student loan through my pay cheque, and entitled to tax relief on it, for the last 7 years. I’ve not. I’ve been paying it back via direct debit, because that’s what I’d done forever. No one ever said it was wrong, I’d no particular reason to question it.
…apparently it’s wrong. I’m now waiting for a call back as they’re thinking that my apparent underpayment of tax is actually due to this, and I’ve no idea how that gets fixed. I don’t trust the student loans company to do it right, but then this has gone thoroughly wrong so far, and I’ve only followed their instructions.
Lord knows if I’ve paid as much as I should’ve.
Never mind, we’ll find out.