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happy_renting

U K Income Tax Return

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I've just completed my annual online Tax Return.

My tax affairs a simple but it was still a nightmare to navigate. For example, you are asked:

"Did you receive any UK pensions, annuities or state benefits, for example, state pension, occupational pension, retirement annuity, Incapacity Benefit?"

I receive a benefit, so i answered 'Yes'.

This results in the online form asking

"You have said that you received a UK pension and other state benefits in the tax year 2009-10. Please complete the following question(s)."

But I hadn't said I received a pension.

I am then prompted to enter:

"State Pension (the amount due for the year)"

As I did not receive a state pension, I attempt to enter £0.00, which is rejected.

After telephoning my local tax office (and after waiting 15 minutes on hold) I was advised I should leave the box blank instead of filling in the sum £0.00. I was also helpfully advised of another bug in the system relating to data entry in the pensions section.

The HMRC guy on the helpline also advised me that the reference forms they had access to, in order to help sort out enquiries about online filing, are several years out of date and do not reflect the forms that customers are using.

I also encountered several other mistakes and misleading phrases in the process. For example, if you preview your completed return, it gives you the filing reference code, creating the false impression that you have already filed the return and need do nothing further.

There is, at the end of the online filing process, a so-called 'free form' text entry box to provide feedback about the online 'experience'. Except that, having typed in a detailed complaint, it rejects it because I am using punctuation characters it does not accept. So much for 'free form'.

The Tax System and Tax Returns are designed by idiots. Yet we have to pay for salaries for civil servants to operate this cretinous system, as well as accountants to try and fathom it out, and get fined heavily if WE get it wrong.

If this is how the civil service operates then no wonder it is so expensive, inefficient and utterly usless. Huge economies should and can be made by the Government if it takes an axe to the dead wood.

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It's designed this way on purpose, to wear you down and cause you to give up simply to catch out people who do it at the last minute. 1/5 people are hit by the £100 penalty.

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I complete my online tax return for the previous year on the day of the new tax year, takes 10 minutes and within 3 days my rebate due is paid into my bank account. Been doing it since online started and never encountered any problems. It makes you invisible to the tax man. ;)

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I complete my online tax return for the previous year on the day of the new tax year, takes 10 minutes and within 3 days my rebate due is paid into my bank account. Been doing it since online started and never encountered any problems. It makes you invisible to the tax man. ;)

I just give £200 and a load of bits of paper to my accountant.

He sends me a form to sign

I get a rebate in about a week.

Dead simple, taxman never bothers me unitl he asks for NI contributions or sends me a tax code.

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Had a moment of frustration like that when I tried to declare book royalties from a foreign publisher. Tick overseas income, then struggle to find a heading that looks compatible with book royalties.

Eventually got through to them on the phone, and they tell me it comes under a heading of foreign pensions! :huh:

The good news is, it's been the same ever since. Once you've navigated the crap once, you know it for next time.

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I've just completed my annual online Tax Return.

My tax affairs a simple but it was still a nightmare to navigate. For example, you are asked:

"Did you receive any UK pensions, annuities or state benefits, for example, state pension, occupational pension, retirement annuity, Incapacity Benefit?"

I receive a benefit, so i answered 'Yes'.

This results in the online form asking

"You have said that you received a UK pension and other state benefits in the tax year 2009-10. Please complete the following question(s)."

But I hadn't said I received a pension.

I am then prompted to enter:

"State Pension (the amount due for the year)"

As I did not receive a state pension, I attempt to enter £0.00, which is rejected.

After telephoning my local tax office (and after waiting 15 minutes on hold) I was advised I should leave the box blank instead of filling in the sum £0.00. I was also helpfully advised of another bug in the system relating to data entry in the pensions section.

The HMRC guy on the helpline also advised me that the reference forms they had access to, in order to help sort out enquiries about online filing, are several years out of date and do not reflect the forms that customers are using.

I also encountered several other mistakes and misleading phrases in the process. For example, if you preview your completed return, it gives you the filing reference code, creating the false impression that you have already filed the return and need do nothing further.

There is, at the end of the online filing process, a so-called 'free form' text entry box to provide feedback about the online 'experience'. Except that, having typed in a detailed complaint, it rejects it because I am using punctuation characters it does not accept. So much for 'free form'.

The Tax System and Tax Returns are designed by idiots. Yet we have to pay for salaries for civil servants to operate this cretinous system, as well as accountants to try and fathom it out, and get fined heavily if WE get it wrong.

If this is how the civil service operates then no wonder it is so expensive, inefficient and utterly usless. Huge economies should and can be made by the Government if it takes an axe to the dead wood.

The Australian online tax form is extremely complex (large numbers of PAYE only people get accountants to do their tax return for them...they set up in the supermarkets each year), but quite well worded and it works. (Actually, it is a piece of software you download. It has all the tax rules in it, and there are many, and churns out a beautifully filled out tax return with everything calculated at the end.)

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Always do it online, that way if you don't like the amount shown in the preview you can go back and change it laugh.gif

Love it when a tax year finishes, it means they can't get back the fraudulent claim from 6 years ago wink.gif

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Used to be much easier to figure out until they 'simplified' it a few years ago. I guess by that they meant it was simpler for them to deal with, not simpler for the poor bastards who have to fill them in.

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Used to be much easier to figure out until they 'simplified' it a few years ago. I guess by that they meant it was simpler for them to deal with, not simpler for the poor bastards who have to fill them in.

Nah it has actually gotten simpler though. I remember the HMRC manual on how to fill in a tax return. It was first a booklet about thompson local sized B&W, then it grew till it became yellow pages sized 2-3 years later. Then it grew to two yellow pages sized phone books. In my absence from the UK it grew even bigger. Now it has shrunk down to one yellow pages phone book size. Though the paper is thinner.

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Love it when a tax year finishes, it means they can't get back the fraudulent claim from 6 years ago wink.gif

Oh yes they can!

HMRC can go back as many years as they like if they suspect serious misdeclaration.

What you are thinking about is when the general enquiry window closes.

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Always do it online, that way if you don't like the amount shown in the preview you can go back and change it laugh.gif

Love it when a tax year finishes, it means they can't get back the fraudulent claim from 6 years ago wink.gif

Nah the tax investigation window is 21 years these days. But it is essentially unlimited. It's kkind of cheeky in that you are only supposed to keep your records for 7 years, if they raise something about something which happened 19 years ago you have absolutely no way to defend yourself!

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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