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Tax Office Staff Hit By Swine Flu

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Tax office staff hit by swine flu

ALMOST 50 staff working at the Inland Revenue’s offices in Cardiff are suspected of having swine flu.

The level of sickness at the Ty Glas building, in Llanishen, comes as new figures suggest that more than a quarter of the Welsh workforce could have time off work because of the H1N1 virus by the end of September.

A worst-case scenario document compiled by the Welsh Assembly Government and Department of Health suggests one in eight employees could be off sick as the number of cases swine flu reaches peak levels.

But there are warnings that a further 15% of workers could take up to 10 days off at a time to care for sick children.

Official figures last night revealed that there are an estimated 4,635 cases of flu-like illness in Wales. There are 546 cases in Cardiff, based on the number of people who contacted their GP surgery with flu-like symptoms.

A spokeswoman for HM Revenue and Customs said: “Nine of the 3,000 HMRC staff at the Ty Glas site at Llanishen are confirmed as having contracted the swine flu virus, 39 other staff members are suspected of having contracted the virus. Local managers are in contact with the staff concerned and are following current health service guidance on handling confirmed/suspected swine flu cases.

“Guidance has been issued to managers and staff at all HMRC offices around the UK advising them of what action to take if a member of staff informs them that they have, or suspect they have, contracted swine flu. All HMRC staff have been advised of what to do if they experience flu-like symptoms.â€

The Assembly Government is understood to be working on the basis that cases of swine flu will peak at the end of September and beginning of October – about a month behind England.

This is thought to be the first wave of the pandemic – two waves are expected over the next 18 months. One in eight workers could be off sick during the peak weeks.

The planning document added: “This estimate assumes an average absence of seven working days for those without complications, 10 working days for those with complications. This estimate is for absence over and above normal holiday leave and non-pandemic illness.

“If schools are closed due to influenza during term time due to lack of availability of staff or planned closure, absence rates may increase as parents may need to stay at home to look after children. It has been estimated that this could cause an additional 15% of the workforce to be absent.â€

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Are there a lot of tax rebates due to be paid shortly ?

Funny you should mention that but a lot of the tax rebates i've seen recently have been delayed by a long time due to "security checks".

As an example, just last week a client rang me up to say he'd got £1,500 from HMRC and didn't know what it was for. I looked into it and it was his 2007/08 overpayment; nothing wrong with that except we submitted his return online back in December and these should usually take no more than a couple of weeks.

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Funny you should mention that but a lot of the tax rebates i've seen recently have been delayed by a long time due to "security checks".

As an example, just last week a client rang me up to say he'd got £1,500 from HMRC and didn't know what it was for. I looked into it and it was his 2007/08 overpayment; nothing wrong with that except we submitted his return online back in December and these should usually take no more than a couple of weeks.

We're due a huge repayment from HMRC that they keep giving excuses about. I'd have thought there was some edict to not readily pay out. Not at all acceptable really as tax/govt ought to retain the moral high ground.

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I'm self-employed and so I pay my tax twice yearly in instalments by cheque. In the last year or so the local tax office has stopped accepting payments - how silly can that be? I used to go there and pay my cheque and I even felt quite friendly and benevolent as the people there have always been helpful. But now they don't accept payments. Why don't Sainsbury's try that, or filling stations, or the train operators?

Edited by blankster

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We're due a huge repayment from HMRC that they keep giving excuses about. I'd have thought there was some edict to not readily pay out. Not at all acceptable really as tax/govt ought to retain the moral high ground.

I think you'll find it's down to the fact HMRC has no money to pay you back with. Any cheque would simply bounce.

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We're due a huge repayment from HMRC that they keep giving excuses about. I'd have thought there was some edict to not readily pay out. Not at all acceptable really as tax/govt ought to retain the moral high ground.

Is the John Major Citizen's Charter still in operation ?

They have to act fairly and be consistent in the way they collect and refund tax.

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Is the John Major Citizen's Charter still in operation ?

They have to act fairly and be consistent in the way they collect and refund tax.

Don't know if it applies to businesses. I've got a pretty good idea what would happen if we started witholding payment on other taxes to offset.

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Shock, public sector workers grasp opportunity for a sickie.

Question is, did they play their hand too soon? Perhaps the hot weather might return in a week or two, and then what? They can't exactly claim to get it again can they? Can they?

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Question is, did they play their hand too soon? Perhaps the hot weather might return in a week or two, and then what? They can't exactly claim to get it again can they? Can they?

They don't think that far ahead!

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