Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Reward criminals, penalise honest people, welcome to britain

Taxman penalises someone for paying too much

The self-employed man, who has not been named, tried to reclaim £3,000 in overpaid tax for the year to April 2010, but Revenue & Customs calculated that he was owed £1,000 and fined him £1,400 for the error.

Posted by mark @ 03:27 PM (2034 views)
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10 thoughts on “Reward criminals, penalise honest people, welcome to britain

  • A Future Fairer For All

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  • There’s something not quite right about this story.

    HMRC is as much a political entity as any other and if the public tide of opinion is that they are wrong they will be challenged more often and will lose money defending their decisions.

    If HMRC say that the error was not ‘inadvertant’ (according to HMRC’s decision), I’m actually inclined to believe them rather than this man who is asking the public to trust him that he didn’t deliberately try to deceive them.

    Again though if there is no right of appeal and no oversight of HMRC’s decision then I can se why he might not be happy with the outcome.

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  • Any ‘tax avoidance’ is a contribution to a greater deficit, and I feel that the whole business from small to largest accounts deserves debate. The circle can never be squared when there is an industry dedicated to unpicking the chancellor of the day’s intent. This article is part of a propaganda war towards ‘small’ government, which is fine, if the practical consequences are explained in full.
    But the electorate seems to have the attention span of an amoeba, and grizzles when they pick up the ‘hole’ side of the bill.. Ho hum.

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  • If people are fined a lot for honest mistakes when they are trying to pay the right tax, then the Revenue will go for the easy targets – the ones who are trying to play by the rules instead of the ones who are trying to cheat.

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  • charlie brooker says:

    When I left Colchester in 2005 something similar happened to me – through four different organisations.

    We correctly informed the local council, utility company, cable TV provider that we were leaving the address so please could they note that fact, terminate services and cease billing us from that date and refund us any monies owed that we had paid in advance.

    Shortly after arriving at our new address in Bournemouth, Colchester Borough Council, NTL and British Gas all then sent threatening letters demanding payment for services allegedly provided – after the date we’d moved

    After about three weeks phoning Colchester Borough Council to get them to correct matters they admitted their mistake, apologized and sent the cheque for 276 pounds I was rightly owed,

    British Gas was very difficult, but after about 8 weeks of me phoning their call centre they finally admitted they’d made mistakes and again sent a cheque reimbursing monies they owed me.

    NTL were the worst. For four months they continued to send bills demanding payment. They ignored everyone of my calls stating we’d left the Colchester property months before. In the end I gave up trying to get the message across and decided to wait until they issued legal proceedings. They duly did. I then called them again. I spent and hour-and-a-half on the phone passed between five different operators.

    In a rage, I took the afternoon off work, put my baseball bat in my car and drove to their head office – only 50 miles away. Stopping short at taking the bat into their office reception, I went in, blood boiling, insisting on speaking to director of NTL that instant.

    A PR-type woman took me into the main office complex (through the ID card barriers) and sat me in a meeting room. She asked me to explain the problem – she then picked up the phone to her colleague saying “Maureen, we’ve got another walk-in.”

    That told me everything I needed to know. They immediately dropped their demands for payment but I am still waiting to receive the written apology they promised. I’n not holding my breath.

    NTL were taken over by Virgin shortly after. No suprise.

    What really topped off matters during that time was receiving bailiff letters addressed to “The Occupant” finding out that the previous tenants had left an unpaid bill of 47 pounds for something or other. No amount of explanation to the bailiff’s office would placate them, so I paid their bill myself then threatened the bailiff with legal action. They promptly returned the money.

    It was this saga that utterly destroyed my confidence in the competence and integrity of such organisations and undermined my willingness to conform to the conventional roles we – as consumers – are expected to fill.

    When the system does this to an honest, hard-working person, I say “B0ll0cks to it”.

    The time I spent with these clowns correcting their mistakes could have been time spent with my wife strengthening our marriage and avoiding the split that followed months later.

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  • Charlie, that’s a truly sad story.

    Next time, when a company mismanages your personal data, go after them under the Data Protection Act 1998 – it now has civil offences with maximum penalties of £50,000 for not adequately ensuring the integrity and security of your data.

    I’ve done this a number of times and gotten very speedy resolutions.

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  • My strategy for coping with all the [email protected] things you have to put up with in life is to do as little as possible.
    I never change my utility providers, I’ve got no mortgage, I rarely travel etc. Most things are just not worth the bother. Despite these precautions I have been fined about £300 in the past year for various parking tickets and motoring offences such as going a few yards inside the congestion charge zone so maybe next year I’ll get rid of the car!

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  • no wonder this country is full of people on the dole from leaving school till death..

    no purpose, no reason, no incentive to work

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  • cat and canary says:

    its becoming abundantly clear, that the state has become far too powerful

    I’ve also had trouble with bailiffs, from a previous tenant. The best advice I received was from my local bobby, that I should write them a letter explaining that the person owing the money doesnt live there and any attempt to take goods is illegal, and that the local police station have been informed. And send it with proof of postage. Then you call the police if they try anything.

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  • Poor man. I thought I had overpaid tax by about 200 quid and claimed it from HMRC. Only then to receive interest statement which I thought was paying me interest later in the year (annual interest) but instead was being paid on April 5th. In my case I wasn’t fined and simply paid the money back at the end of the year. It’s all too easy to make a small error, but an error going into 1000’s is always going to catch the eye of HMRC and lead to fines. I think the moral of the story is to be 100% sure you are correct when claiming money back from HMRC. Pay an accountant or get someone else to check your records if you are not too sure.

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