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sarahbell

voice and tax

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Whenever I ring HMRC, which I try to avoid, I'm always surprised at the complete level of stupidity on display. It seems to get worse every time.

 

"Hey, HMRC, do you know why you've charged me this?"

"It says you've got an agent (accountant). Can you speak to them?"

translation: cant be arsed

 

Instead of getting angry, I remind myself that if I ever commit tax fraud I'll probably get away with it, as they're so bloody thick.

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Posted (edited)

Last week I had a tax question regarding my mothers affairs that couldn't be resolved via a google query alone as the information online was so ambiguous. After numerous attempts to get through and 19 minutes on I am explaining my query to the Welsh lass/call handler who ums and ahs then asking if I'd mind holding for a few minutes returns to impart her specialist knowledge that I instantly picked up on as being gleaned from the same link I'd stumbled across on google (not .gov.uk - so not official) I called her out on it as well which she admitted.

Edited by longtomsilver

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1 hour ago, longtomsilver said:

Last week I had a tax question regarding my mothers affairs that couldn't be resolved via a google query alone as the information online was so ambiguous. After numerous attempts to get through and 19 minutes on I am explaining my query to the Welsh lass/call handler who ums and ahs then asking if I'd mind holding for a few minutes returns to impart her specialist knowledge that I instantly picked up on as being gleaned from the same link I'd stumbled across on google (not .gov.uk - so not official) I called her out on it as well which she admitted.

To be fair at least she bothered to listen to your problem. That's more than 90% of their staff do.

And then she went about resolving it on Google. Top girl, if anything - you don't get that kind of joined-up thinking outside of your GP's office.

"Mr Spunko, vot is the problem?"


"I think I've got gout", I replied.


*thinking I cant see his screen, GP googles gout symptoms*


"I see. And vot are your symptoms?" he asks. etc. £250k a year+, nice work if you can get it.

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On 15/04/2019 at 13:08, spunko said:

Whenever I ring HMRC, which I try to avoid, I'm always surprised at the complete level of stupidity on display. It seems to get worse every time.

 

"Hey, HMRC, do you know why you've charged me this?"

"It says you've got an agent (accountant). Can you speak to them?"

translation: cant be arsed

 

Instead of getting angry, I remind myself that if I ever commit tax fraud I'll probably get away with it, as they're so bloody thick.

Well I managed to get through last week to someone who told me I needed identifier numbers  for my company (which I assume my agent has) so anyway my agent told me to try again with my NINO and I finally after 2 attempts got through to a nice man who let me properly duck about with my tax codes.

Still no idea why they'd added me a taxable benefit in kind as no P11D mentions one at all. 

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22 hours ago, longtomsilver said:

Last week I had a tax question regarding my mothers affairs that couldn't be resolved via a google query alone as the information online was so ambiguous. After numerous attempts to get through and 19 minutes on I am explaining my query to the Welsh lass/call handler who ums and ahs then asking if I'd mind holding for a few minutes returns to impart her specialist knowledge that I instantly picked up on as being gleaned from the same link I'd stumbled across on google (not .gov.uk - so not official) I called her out on it as well which she admitted.

There was a long and sustained effort to simplify the UK's tax laws from Nigel Lawson onwards, 1981.  I was studying it after ten years of this work and we had a pretty coherent tax system.

Since then Brown and then Osborne, and probably Hammond, went back to the bad old days of just bolting on each new initiative as a special case so that these days you have to be a real expert to understand them and if you're that level of expert you will be coining it in the city or in private practice and not working for the HMRC on their call line.

It is those quiet unacknowledged achievements that I most admire.  Lawson, Howe, Major cumulatively cut tax legislation in half through bringing proper discipline to tax law to achieve a simple system.  Brown alone doubled it back it to where it was; I saw a picture of Tolley's tax manual from 1990 compared to one from 2005.  It had more than doubled in size in that time.

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3 hours ago, Frank Hovis said:

 

It is those quiet unacknowledged achievements that I most admire.  Lawson, Howe, Major cumulatively cut tax legislation in half through bringing proper discipline to tax law to achieve a simple system.  Brown alone doubled it back it to where it was; I saw a picture of Tolley's tax manual from 1990 compared to one from 2005.  It had more than doubled in size in that time.

And then to make it more difficult for the taxpayer automatic penalties were introduced in addition to more stringent compliance requirements.

 

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3 hours ago, Frank Hovis said:

There was a long and sustained effort to simplify the UK's tax laws from Nigel Lawson onwards, 1981.  I was studying it after ten years of this work and we had a pretty coherent tax system.

Since then Brown and then Osborne, and probably Hammond, went back to the bad old days of just bolting on each new initiative as a special case so that these days you have to be a real expert to understand them and if you're that level of expert you will be coining it in the city or in private practice and not working for the HMRC on their call line.

It is those quiet unacknowledged achievements that I most admire.  Lawson, Howe, Major cumulatively cut tax legislation in half through bringing proper discipline to tax law to achieve a simple system.  Brown alone doubled it back it to where it was; I saw a picture of Tolley's tax manual from 1990 compared to one from 2005.  It had more than doubled in size in that time.

'Initiative-itis' I call this. It seems more common with lefty, idealist types who think they can change the world by passing laws.

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1 hour ago, sleepwello'nights said:

And then to make it more difficult for the taxpayer automatic penalties were introduced in addition to more stringent compliance requirements.

 

I'm sitting on about 1800 quids worth - all absolute bullshit based on their maladministration. 

I have given up writing to them. Just appointed an Accountant on Franks advice. Annoys me though that I have to pay for an Accountant to sort out their administrative incompetence. 

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8 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

I'm sitting on about 1800 quids worth - all absolute bullshit based on their maladministration. 

I have given up writing to them. Just appointed an Accountant on Franks advice. Annoys me though that I have to pay for an Accountant to sort out their administrative incompetence. 

I've found that HMRC are quite lenient in removing penalties when appealed. Often I've appealed penalties on behalf of clients in the full knowledge that my client ignored repeated warning letters from HMRC and that the penalties were applied in accordance with the law. To my surprise the penalties were removed, especially when there was no tax loss and the taxpayer had brought their tax affairs up to date.

 

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35 minutes ago, sleepwello'nights said:

I've found that HMRC are quite lenient in removing penalties when appealed. Often I've appealed penalties on behalf of clients in the full knowledge that my client ignored repeated warning letters from HMRC and that the penalties were applied in accordance with the law. To my surprise the penalties were removed, especially when there was no tax loss and the taxpayer had brought their tax affairs up to date.

 

I have a trail now of 8 letters I sent recorded delivery which include appeals  to which I have not had a single reply

One fine is because they somehow migrated my 2017/18 tax return into 2015/16 (when I lived in OZ and have repeated informed them of this) This then generated a 4 figure fine for not submitting a return for 3 years. 

The other I submitted on time and have evidence as they wrote back to me before the deadline saying please sign this - i had omitted that bit. This was in the middle of dealing with my Fathers deepening bereavement culminating in his Suicide 2 days before Xmas. Have sent them his certified death certificate 3 times. They return it but no actual determination of my appeal or complaints. 

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The good thing about calling HMRC as an agent is that you have a hotline number that the public doesn't, meaning that you don't have to spend all day in a queue. 

The bad thing is that you still seem to get through to the same people and then have to explain to them how the tax system works. 

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On 15/04/2019 at 13:08, spunko said:

Whenever I ring HMRC, which I try to avoid, I'm always surprised at the complete level of stupidity on display. It seems to get worse every time.

 

"Hey, HMRC, do you know why you've charged me this?"

"It says you've got an agent (accountant). Can you speak to them?"

translation: cant be arsed

 

Instead of getting angry, I remind myself that if I ever commit tax fraud I'll probably get away with it, as they're so bloody thick.

Since my return from Oz I have been sitting on about 300K in investments that are not inside an ISA. I offset the tax by paying into a SIPP and use mine and my wifes ISA allowance each year to progressively reduce the tax liability. However I seriously wonder if I bunged the entire lot into different ISAs in one year whether anyone would notice? 

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19 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

Since my return from Oz I have been sitting on about 300K in investments that are not inside an ISA. I offset the tax by paying into a SIPP and use mine and my wifes ISA allowance each year to progressively reduce the tax liability. However I seriously wonder if I bunged the entire lot into different ISAs in one year whether anyone would notice? 

My mother opened two ISAs one year, both with the annual maximum. She received a polite letter from HMRC advising her to try and avoid making the same mistake again. No punitive action was taken or additional tax demanded. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, snaga said:

Records deleted, Campaigners accused HMRC of creating "biometric ID cards by the back door".

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48150575

 

We've got biometric ID cards -- they're called passports.

The problem is always one of having mandatory carrying of ID cards, and it doesn't matter if they're biometric or not -- it is the mandated carrying that is the problem.

I'd say that this is a non-victory for privacy.

Edited by dgul

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