Bad Attitude from HMRC for spreading tax payments

I know many of you have stories of how ignorant & unhelpful HMRC can be, but when I met my client at the week-end I was amazed at a conversation he had with them in January. My client had a really serious accident in November and didn't get back to work for several months. As he wasn't earning for a few months he had to eat into the money he had put aside for his tax. He rang HMRC to ask if he could pay his £2,500 tax he owed,  in instalments. He offered to pay £1,200 straight away and then split the remaining balance over the following 2 months. This is how the conversation went:-

Client: Is it possible for me to spread my payments over the next few months to clear my self assessment tax I owe.

Nasty HMRC Man: You haven't got the god given right you know!

Client: I'm aware of that but I don't have funds available to pay what is due.

Nasty HMRC Man: Why not?

Client: I had a really bad accident and have been unable to work for several months.

Nasty HMRC Man: Have you got any assets? Could you not re-mortgage your house?

Client: What just for £2,500.

Nasty HMRC Man: What about your Van or tools, could you not sell any of them to pay your debt?

Client: If I do that you won't get any money at all will you, as I won't be able to get to work or have the equipment I need to do the job.

Nasty HMRC Man: Ok, but if you pay £1,200 now, you have to pay the balance next month.

After various discussions he finally agreed a payment plan he knew he could stick to, but I am gobsmacked, what gives HMRC, 'the god given right', to be so rude and unhelpful. They say you must ring them if you know you will have difficulty paying and then they treat you like s**t.

I know some of you will probably have other stories to tell, but I just had to share this one!

Comments
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I think it depends if you

bernard michael |

Make an offer, confirm it in writing, and stick to it.

Retired Accountant |
Retired Accountant's picture

I must be the only one...

Flash Gordon |
Flash Gordon's picture

Same experience here, Flash

BKD |
BKD's picture

i found o/p story quite tame....

mackthefork |