Tuesday, 16 December 2014

A letter about my Income Tax Self Assessment

A few months ago I received a letter from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (usually know by the acronym HMRC) to the effect that I would no longer be required to complete an annual Self Assessment. This is because my next birthday will be 65th, at which point I shall begin to receive my State Retirement Pension.

It was therefore something of a surprise to receive a letter from HMRC today. The top of the first page of the letter stated in large letters that this was my 'Self Assessment Statement', and that I was in credit to the sum of ...

... 2p!!!!

The next two pages of the letter explained all about the ways in which I could pay any tax that I owed, and the penalties for not paying on time. It also tried to explained how I managed to get into credit, which seems to be down to the interest due to me for overpaying income tax by less than a pound back in 2012 and 2013.

Now I am all in favour of HMRC repaying money to tax payers who have overpaid ... but the cost of printing and posting the letter they have sent me must have cost far, far more than I was owed. Personally I would rather that they had just put the money into the next charity collection that was being made.

14 comments:

  1. Jim Duncan,

    Very true ... but if I had owed them 2p it would have cost me much more than that to pay my debt.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is not just in Great Britain. I had made an error in a Telephone company payment of $.01 too little. I figures that The Telephone company spent over $20 dunning me for that penny. It was not until they threatened to shut off my phone for that $.01 that I sent them a penny in the mail - bad enough that I had to pay the postage, they wanted me to pay for a check as well! They returened the penny as "they cannot receive cash in the mail"! In the end I silved it by overpaying the buill by $.01 the next time. Ah bureaucracy, yo9uve got to love it!
    Dick Bryant

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dick Bryant,

    I am sure that this sort of thing would not happen if someone somewhere actually looked at the letters and bills organisations sent out to their customers. Sending a bill for one cent is even more stupid than telling someone that they are due a 2p tax refund!

    The joys of automated billing!

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  4. Steve_Yorkshire,

    I am trying not to let all this sudden wealth go to my head!

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  5. ... or, if they really had to square their fragile consciences about receiving more money than the Government was entitled to, and as the IRD has access to your bank accounts anyhow, why not quietly slip the 2p into your bank account?

    Bureaucracy: go figure.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Archduke Piccolo,

    It would not have been too difficult for HMRC to do what you suggest ... but it would probably have been against the bureaucratic mind-set to do it.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  7. Personally I am in favour of such notices, in fact, for 2 years now, I have anticipated with glee the monthly notice from a past cellular provider that they owe me a dollar. But then my pension is paid by Canada Post so its in my interest that someone is giving them business. There is a bright side to every penny!

    ReplyDelete
  8. In my last job, I converted a dot-matrix printed hardcopy worksheet in Excel-so I just had to enter employee work hours and boom! Well there was a rounding issue and I shorted the Union a penny. And heard about it.

    Yep, some guy did all the numbers by hand, got a different answer and sent us a letter. After that we just sent an extra penny. They never complained about THAT.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Johntheone,

    Where would bureaucrats be without it?

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ross Mac,

    Your pension is paid by Canada Post? In that case let's hope that there are plenty of these sorts of letter being sent out!

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  11. Stu Rat,

    I must admit that until recently I had no idea that there were still people doing accounts and spreadsheets manually. (I visited an office in St James's a few months ago I saw someone filling in a very old-fashioned accounts ledger. Very Dickensian!)

    I'm not surprised that the Union spotted the 'underpayment'; my experience of Unions is that they need every penny that they can get!

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete