E and Tax-Hell stand up to the HMRC bullies

 In Fan Mail, HMRC Investigation

Here’s a and epistolary showing how one reader stood up to HMRC and won – well done E.

Hi there, just found your site. Great stuff.

My nightmare started in January 2012. I had filled in my tax return and phone and was told to wait for a written demand. None arrived until March, for the wrong amount. I phoned up, managed to get through, agreed the correct amount and paid the next day.

A few months later there was a demand for a fine, because I hadn’t paid until March. I wrote back saying I had not received a demand until March. That letter was lost, and there was a whole sequence of letters basically me writing to them and not getting a reply, and letters from them that weren’t replies to anything I had written.

About 80 pages of correspondence so far, including from CEO Lin Homer, my MP, who is a Secretary of State. I pointed out to them today that this was all an incredible waste of time considering the actual amount (£600), and they agreed, but said there was ‘a process’ to go through.

Hi E. This is so typical about how HMRC operates without proper accountability.

If we include the hourly cost of a Secretary of State and of their CEO, plus a few other senior people at HMRC, the cost of this must already be in the thousands. It’s mad. I had another call with them today. They said I could not have an independent review because I had declined one.  I said that I had declined to challenge them on the principle of charging interest on money owed, because I accept that principle. What I was objecting to is charging interest on money that was never owed in the first place. They had real difficulty getting their heads around that one, but eventually said that if I emailed them they would accept my request for a review. I said this was Kafkaesque http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kafka, but the guy hadn’t heard of Kafka. (Czech novelist who was a lawyer employed by the Czech Civil Service, and who wrote nightmarish stories about ordinary people getting trapped in bureaucratic processes).

Hi E Do read the post here. http://www.tax-hell.co.uk/i-said-this-was-kafkaesque-but-the-guy-hadnt-heard-of-kafka/ Let me know what happens with HMRC, I say just stick with it. You might want to try threatening them with a Tribunal. You don’t have to wait until the case closes to go to the tribunal – despite what HMRC will say. See here: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/agents/compliance/appeals.htm


 Lovely!! I will go for the tribunal straight away – thanks for the tip. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/agents/compliance/appeals.htm E


I won my appeal!

I threatened them with Freedom of Information act. They replied that they were exempt, because it was a question about an “individual account” i.e. my own, which is also Kafkaesque, but it forced the point home.

They conceded they had never sent any demands, and so could not in all fairness penalise me for a late payment on something not demanded. Got a full, slightly grudging apology too. Keep up the good work, and stuff them. E

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