§ Mr. Higgins
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Inland Revenue adopts a consistent policy regarding the code number applied immediately after a person is widowed; and what policies are adopted.
§ Mr. Robert Sheldon:
When a woman is widowed her tax office reviews her PAYE code to take account of her changed circumstances and in particular any national insurance widow's allowance or widow's pension she is receiving. Inevitably there is often some delay before the tax office learns of the husband's death and, having made the appropriate inquiries, before it gets the necessary information about' widow's allowances, etc., from the widow. An underpayment of tax may, therefore, build up before the widow's allowance, etc., can be taken into account in the widow's code, and since it is normal Inland Revenue practice to operate reduced codes on a non-cumulative basis the underpayment cannot be recovered in the same tax year. Instead it is usually recovered over the following year by an adjustment in the code for that year.