Over a month ago I sent our tax office a completed P46 for a new employee, together with a covering letter explaining that he was a US citizen was not going to be resident in the UK. The letter asked for confirmation that he was not therefore subject to UK tax.
Not having received a response, I called the tax office today to find out what was happening. I was told that it was far too soon for them to have dealt with it, they are about 10 weeks behind. They are currently dealing with the post received on 9 August (2002!).
I think this is disgraceful, but is it typical? I'm sure that you tax practitioners out there would never take nearly three months to respond to a letter from the revenue. And I'd be very surprised if they let you take that long without some rigourous chasing.
Meanwhile our employee is unneccesarily having to suffer tax on three more months' salary.
I understand that it isn't the fault of the individuals concerned and it's a resource issue, but I thought that the days of government departments providing such an atrocious service level were long gone. Winge over.
How widespread is this, and how do people cope with it?