"Tell them anything"

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Simon Sweetman
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I had a possible new client ring me this week. Not unusually, he is in a state of some confusion, partly because his affairs are slightly complicated, but mostly because he has tried to seek advice from HMRC.

He is a US citizen, though he has been in the UK for nearly 40 years, beginning with 28 years in the USAF in Suffolk and then 8 years working here for the US government. Following an injury, he has not worked for the last four years : he has had some investment income including an account in Jersey (now paying 0.1%, so not exactly the best deal around). He has not remitted anything from this account so has paid no tax on the interest. He is not wholly unfamiliar with tax : during his military service he worked as a tax volunteer helping people complete their US returns.

He went to his b...

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By Anonymous
01st Dec 2009 09:27

complicated affairs? in my experience HMRC quite often can't han

....... calling a CT office directly yesterday the person on the front line answering the phone had to refer on my query concerning the filing deadline for a CT return !!! (My query being that HMRC had incorrectly raised a penalty.) It wasn't a difficult question, relating only to the administration of tax and nothing technical.

I have another call to make about another client who keeps getting threatening letters about his tax debt when he is on a time to pay arrangement. I was told the last time I contacted HMRC that future chasing letters would be suppressed. 

I have lost the will to live when contacting HMRC. It takes up inordinate amounts of time and quite often you get bounced around call centres and offices without getting answers to your queries or even as you say several different answers! 

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By Anonymous
04th Dec 2009 11:32

Here we go again...

With all your Revenue bashing I'm amazed you have time to fit in any new clients let alone all the walking anecdotes you seem to meet.

I'm sure someone with your talents would be much better employed by HMRC to sort out what is clearly a dysfunctional organisation.


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04th Dec 2009 12:08

Anonymous, that doesn't make sense

If the author is a talented and experienced ex-tax inspector why would HMRC wish to re-employ him?  Those are the very people that the modern Revenue sees as the problem.

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