Archive for August 11th, 2011

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Preparing for battle with the State – HMRC (Inland Reveue) Issues

August 11, 2011

No, no dear readers, I am not about to fly back to the UK and join the morons rioting and looting their way through major UK cities.  After almost half a century of no arrests, and no convictions, I am not about to start now.  I don’t even have any points on my driving license.

Today in my weekly Skype to the folks back in Blighty, my father informs me that I have a letter from the Inland Revenue.

Blimey!

After nearly a decade of no contact with the Inland Revenue, what do they want?  I haven’t been in the UK for more than 10 consecutive days since 2005 according to my passport and according to my accountant of the time, I am all paid up and ship-shape with the UK Tax Man.

Apparently not!

It seems that a gentleman from the Stoke-On-Trent Inland Revenue Service has discovered I owe the massive sum of 88 pence from the beginning of the millennium.   Yes, that is a staggering 88p or 88% of one solitary, single £1.

So what is the problem?  Pay the 88p and forget it (despite the price of the stamp posting the cheque being more than the tax arrears).

The problem is, that since they haven’t contacted me (or have just discovered this heinous act of depriving the British public of the 88p I owe to support society) that I have automatically incurred fines for late payment of the said 88 pence.

Those fines are now, including the 88 pence  exceed £737.77 – Yes that is SEVEN HUNDRED AND THIRTY SEVEN POUNDS AND SEVENTY SEVEN PENCE STERLING over a £0.88 debt they have now only just told me about.  What is worse, that 88 pence is due to a miscalculation on the PAYE system in which the Tax Man says what I should pay!

So, having initially calculated my tax payments wrongly to the tune of £0.88 (eighty eight pence) which I would gladly pay now I know, they have slapped on over £700.00 fines due to their inability to tell me about it over the course of all these years (or having just discovered it).

Reasonable?  Fair?  Justified?

Am I in hiding?  No.  Does HM Gov know how to contact me?  Yes they do.  HM Ambassador to Ukraine not only has my email address but also uses it, as does the deputy Head of Mission.  Hampshire Police also have it from the exchanges necessary to create the ACPO documents to prove no criminal history prior to becoming resident in Ukraine.  Hampshire police also have my postal address here as they sent said documents to me by post.

My old employer and accountant have not moved address and all have my email address and address in Ukraine.

Of course my parents have my address here as well and have lived in the same house for over 40 years.

Now to be fair, UK Government structure and its agencies are nowhere near as joined up as the public think it is, so Hampshire Police and UK Embassy Kyiv were probably never even asked about me or their data trawled in an attempt to find me.

However, my last employer and accountant were not asked if they knew how to contact me?  My parents were not asked?

It has taken almost a decade to simply decide to send this tax demand to my parents address over 88 pence (whilst adding on a huge and completely unjustifiable fines?)

I await the scanned documents arriving in my Inbox before battle commences.

Are these people at the Inland Revenue Service are completely mad or simply automatons?  They get it wrong nearly a decade ago over a minuscule sum, contact me via my parents address (which they could have done years ago) and then fine me £737.77 (less 88p debt) for something I only knew existed today? – I don’t think so!

Let’s see how well they stick to the HMRC Charter and the assumptions it holds as the HMRC position.

Once more into the bureaucratic fray, this time with a Blighty government agency.  What they don’t realise is I have been tempered and hardened in the forges of  consistent and pedantic, ruthless and unhelpful Ukrainian bureaucracy for almost a decade.  I am war-forged!

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