Do HMRC Hijack our Holidays?
When I was being investigated by HMRC, scary letters would often arrive on a Saturday morning and before major holidays. This meant that I couldn’t get professional advice for at least 24 hours. The really nasty letter came just before Christmas 2007.
Back in September 2007 I was told that the figure HMRC was considering was going to be £2,500. A month later that figure had gone up to £4,800 with the investigating officer saying, “I appreciate that [this] is going to be higher than the figure you would like me to be proposing…. I have to start at the figure I consider due.”
I told HMRC that I was going to appeal against this figure – boy they didn’t like that – on 20 December 2007 I got a 30 page letter to re-evaluating the entire case. The new total (without penalties) was £6,664 – almost triple the original figure! With interest an penalties HMRC’s new bottom line figure they were demanding was, £12,000.
As you can imagine the Christmas of 2007 was extremely stressful, I read and re-read the letter, I couldn’t think of anything else, I couldn’t sleep, it was like the stress was burning me up. While my children were opening their presents on Christmas Day this worrying voice was chattering in my head like a radio in the background. “£12k £12k £12k £12k £12k £12k £12k £12k.” My wife said she was sick of me talking about it.
When I’ve had feedback from people in the same position, they’ve immediately said how demands would often arrive on a Saturday morning and before big holidays. I’ve started to wonder if it’s a deliberate tactic to send distressing mail just before a holiday.
Your feedback below if HMRC are making you sweat this holiday!