Frustration And Success With HMRC Investigation

 In Success, Success story, Tax Hell, Victory

AD wrote to me earlier this week. Her problem: HMRC was accusing her of being self employed and not submitting tax returns.

AD has never been self employed but no matter what she said HMRC simply didn’t believe her. They sent out bullying letters demanding payment and warning of further penalties if she didn’t comply.

We solved the problem within four days. These emails show how it was done.

Here’s the original email (sent from A to Tax Hell) outlining the problem

Hi there I was wondering if you could help me. I have been receiving letters from HMRC for the last year or so, saying I was self employed and I had not filled a self assessment form in since 2014.

So I was shocked as I have never been self employed.
I have spent many hours of my time on phone searching to find answers of how to close this.

I have used your site and thought I had got to end of it and then that unmistakable brown envelopes start coming through my door.

I’m lost I don’t no what to do any more.

Here’s the reply from me at Tax Hell

Hi A

This sounds like a similar case to this one. Ruth Owen has (unfortunately) moved on from her post as Director General Customer Services.

I’d recommend you take a similar approach with the woman who took over from Ruth, her name is is Angela MacDonald, her details here.

How to email her here.

Now let’s go back to the start. Here’s a chronological list of correspondence that shows the problems, what worked and what didn’t.

Here’s one of the early emails between AD and HMRC

Monday, April 30, 2018 10:28:47 PM

To: Lin.Homer@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk
Subject: Complaints

Hi there I am contacting you as a last resort. I have been receiving letters from HMRC telling me I have to complete self assessment tax forms.

I have been receiving debt letters saying I owe 2600 in unpayed fines for not completing such forms.

Now I have never been self employed so I do not understand why I would ever have to complete  such a form. So I have again spent hours on the phone tonight trying again to fix this problem.

The lady I spoke to was rude had no time to listen to me says I need to fill a self assessment form for the year 2014. I explained I was employed as a restaurant as a chef and was not and may I say again have never been self employed.
She was having none of it said I needed to go on line and register to fill a form at this point I was in tears and the lady put the phone down on me.

Please can you help me fix what is clearly an administrative issue at your end.

Thanks.

Why this didn’t work

Lin Homer WAS chief executive of HM Revenue and Customs – but retired in 2016. Because of this I’m sure that the above email disappeared into a black hole. You can get all the current directors’ names here.

May 2018 From AD to HMRC

Hi I am still waiting to hear wether you have even received my last message.
I have been to citizens advise about this and I will continue to contact you u till I hear back and have been cleared and apologised to for all the stress this has caused in my life.

May 2018 From AD to HMRC

Sent: Wednesday, May 9, 2018 9:18:30 PM
Subject: Fwd: Complaints
Hi
I have forwarder my e mails I have looked all over trying to find some one that can help me please can you contact me back on the matter as detailed below.
Thank you.
AD

May 2018 From HMRC To AD

Thank you for your complaint which we received on 30 April 2018, I am sorry for the long delay in replying. Your complaint has been passed to me to review.

I am sorry to learn about the difficulties you have experienced in your dealings with us. It is clear you have not received the level of service we aim to provide our customers.

To allow me to look at your tax position and correct any mistakes we have made. Would you please provide me with your National Insurance Number and Unique Taxpayer Reference as I do not have any information on your email to allow me to trace your records.

I will then fully review your complaint and advise you of the outcome.

If you have new information that you would like me to consider please provide this as soon as possible. You can complete our online form for an existing complaint at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/complain-to-hm-revenue-and-customs.

We have recently launched personal tax accounts. You can now check and update your details without having to call us or send a letter. You can find more information and access your personal tax account at www.gov.uk/personal-tax-account.

Yours sincerely

Mrs D Williams

Customer Service Adviser

May 2018 From AD to HMRC

Hi my national insurance number is xxxxxxx.

Can you tell me how to find the other bit tax payer reference as I don’t no it of hand. I have just looked on line to fondout that UTR is and like I have tried so hard to get trough to your company I am not and never have been self employed I work for a small retail company in the town I am not self employed and never have been.

AD

September 2018 From AD to HMRC

Sent: Tuesday, September 4, 2018 3:26:26 PM
Subject: Another letter received

Hi I have emailed you before about that and thought it had been resolved.
But yet again I have received another threatening letter from HMRC saying that I am being fined 300 pounds for late penalties for self assessment.
As I have before stated on have never been self employed and have never required to fill such form out and so am increasingly sick if receiving such bullying letters. I have wasted hours of my time trying to sort out your admin issue and would greatly appreciate if you could get this sorted once and for all.
I mean all the tax dodging going on it this county and you choose to send your witch hunt in my direction.
So I pay my taxes trough the company I work for xxxx the xxxx in xxxx.
I have been working hear for three years and before this I worked as a chef for a pub called village inn xxxx.
I have never been self employed.
Thanks
AD

Here’s the original email (again) outlining the problem

Note: this is where you came in

Hi there I was wondering if you could help me.
I have been receiving letters from HMRC for the last year or so, saying I was self employed and I had not filled a self assessment form in since 2014.
So I was shocked as I have never been self employed.
I have spent many hours of my time on phone searching to find answers of how to close this.

I have used your site and thought I had got to end of it and then that unmistakable brown envelopes start coming through my door.

I’m lost I don’t no what to do any more.

Here’s the reply from me at Tax Hell (again)

Hi A

This sounds like a similar case to this one. Ruth Owen has (unfortunately) moved on from her post as Director General Customer Services.

I’d recommend you take a similar approach with the woman who took over from Ruth, her name is is Angela MacDonald, her details here.

How to email her here.

September 2018 From AD To Tax Hell

Hi Nick
Thanks very much for your help I have emailed all of the staff hopefully it will be sorted now.
I ‘ll let you no what I hear back.
Thanks
A

September 2018 From HMRC To AD

From: i-form.mailbox@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

September 26, 2018

Dear Miss A D

Thank you for your complaint which we received on 4 September 2018, I am sorry for the delay in replying.

Your complaint has been passed to me to review as you have now supplied the information I needed to access your records in reply to my email dated 22 May 2018.

I am sorry your income tax affairs have been causing you concern.

I have now looked closely at the tax position for 2013-14 and 2014-15 and I confirm I have processed nil Self-Assessment (SA) Tax Returns for both years and cancelled the penalties and interest charged. The statement of account balance has been reduced to nil and a statement issued separately. You can also view this on your Personal Tax account

I am very sorry for the long delay in correcting your tax records and for the threatening letters you have received which have caused you a great deal of worry and distress.

I can understand how frustrated you have been because of the problems you have had and I feel I should make a payment to you under our redress policy to acknowledge and apologise for this. You will receive a cheque within the next 20 working days. For security reasons I cannot provide the amount in this email.

I hope you feel I have answered all the points you raised but if you have new information that you would like me to consider please provide this as soon as possible. You can complete our online form for an existing complaint at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/complain-to-hm-revenue-and-customs.

If you feel I have not dealt with your complaint fully or correctly you can ask for a further review by a different customer service adviser. If you wish to do this please complete our online form for existing complaints at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/complain-to-hm-revenue-and-customs or you can write to Complaints Service Reply (PAYE and SA) Tier 2, HM Revenue and Customs, BX9 1AS. Please mark both your letter and envelope ‘For the attention of the Operational Manager (Customer Complaints) Tier 2.

Yours sincerely

Mrs D Williams

Customer Service Adviser

 

September 2018 From AD To Tax Hell

Hi Nick I am amazed to have received an email back already stating that they have sorted all issues with confusion regarding  self assessment rubbish.
The smile on my face right now woah!
Thank you so much for you help.
Thanks A

This worked well because 1. It was a simple problem with a quick fix and 2. The right person at HMRC was approached at the right time. Complex cases are unlikely to work with this method.

HMRC have offered compensation unprompted: “I can understand how frustrated you have been because of the problems you have had and I feel I should make a payment to you under our redress policy to acknowledge and apologise for this. You will receive a cheque within the next 20 working days. For security reasons I cannot provide the amount in this email.” It will be very interesting to see what this amount is.

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