Hats Off To The Tax Office

Posted on October 27, 2010

I have had a right laugh with the tax office in the last year, they just can’t seem to get anything right. The thing about them is that they have obviously had a lot of training because whenever I talk to them they are exceptionally polite and really seem to be trying to help. The problem is they have several departments that don’t communicate with each other, and they don’t really know what they are doing either, which, lets face it, should be a minimum requirement for working in the Tax Office. The irony is that in a time when we are supposed to be making savings where we can, the tax office are wasting god knows how much money with their polite ineptitude.

A full year ago I filled out my tax return complete with my new address on the form and on a Post It note for future correspondence. I filled out my form correctly, but rather brainlessly I forgot to sign it. Consequently the tax office sent it back to be signed………………..to my old address! The people who lived in my old property sent it to my solicitor who sold my house, and seeing there was no opportunity to fleece me for more cash, they sat on it for two months before sending it on.

This was all carrying on unbeknown to me, and my blissful ignorance was only disturbed when I received a fine for £100 for not filing my return. A couple of days later I received the tax form from my solicitor which, hands up, was unsigned. I rang the tax office and apologised for my error but explained that I had in fact given them my new address (twice) and that my solicitors were useless at everything except extortion, and had probably sat on the letter hoping I might need them to defend me when the tax office take me to court. Not to worry they said, they fully understood the situation, and that I should just stick the form in the post, and they would cancel the fine. How decent of them, I thought.

Three weeks later I received a letter from the tax office saying that unfortunately they had mislaid my tax return and that they were trying to identify where it had got to. I rang and asked them to try lost property, which they didn’t think was funny, but I enjoyed it all the same. A week later, I presume as some sort of revenge, they sent me a letter saying that I still hadn’t paid my £100 fine and I was liable for interest. I rang them again and they apologised, and it was actually an automated system that sent the letter from another department, but they promised I would not have to pay the fine as it had been cancelled.

I collected another three notifications of a £100 fine not paid in the following months before recently receiving this years Tax Return to complete with believe it or not, my old address still at the top of the page, but the correct one on the envelope. Staggering stuff. I sent it back (signed) with a letter pleading with them to get my address correct, and remarkably I received a letter last week saying I was due a refund of £1207.00. Today I rang them to organise this bit of fortune, and it was all going swimmingly until the following conversation took place.

T.O: “Okay sir we will send 1107.00 direct to your account within a week”
ME: “Oh, it says on the statement £1207.00 why is it different?”
T.O: “That’s a fine you haven’t paid for a late return last year sir”
T.O: Hello……hello…..HELLO?
ME: ” Yes sorry about that, but I don’t owe you £100 it was cancelled.
T.O: “Oh yes so I see, that comes from another department, I will contact them and get them to reimburse that and they can send you the full amount of £1207.
ME: “No, I’ll tell you what, you send me the £1107.00 as you said, then send them an email telling them they now owe me £100.00 and that they still have sent me back the lost return from a year ago. I can fill out another one if they want to accept they may never find it.”

What happens next I just don’t know, the £1107.00 will be handy if I ever receive it, but what about my 2008-2009? return. So, if you want an example of Government waste, there it is, the very place that is meant to be cleaning up the tax system can’t even get a bloke off the street’s tax return right, so how they are going to catch all those ripping off the system is any ones guess.
I am assuming I haven’t heard the end of this cock up yet!

1 Reply to "Hats Off To The Tax Office"

  • Trevor
    October 29, 2010 (3:09 am)

    The tax office wrote to me to say my tax return was "outstanding".

    I thought it was really nice of them especially as I couldn't remember sending it back to them.

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