Back in September I received a tax calculation from the Inland Revenue that suggested that I owed them a significant quantity of unpaid tax. I took a quick look at their sums and noticed that their salary figure for 2013/14 was £24,000 more than I actually earned. I dug out a copy of my P60 to verify this and called them. After waiting in a queue for twenty minutes I eventually spoke to a chap who listened carefully and took down all the details including the reference from my P60. This troubled me as the P60 is an official Inland Revenue document that summarises earnings, tax and national insurance contributions for every employee in the UK. You would sort of hope that Tax Office staff would use one of these as a reference document when calculating tax.
To cut a long story short; Tax Year 2013/14 was the year I moved from being a Daemon in the Nine Circles of Hell to being Shifter Jnr at the Neat & Tidy Piano Movers. It appears that Dante's Nine Circles of Hell had submitted duplicate forms covering my earning during the six months I worked for them. The morons at the Tax Office had summed these duplicate returns and added them to my Piano Moving earnings rather than discarding one of the duplicate forms.
I was somewhat relieved to find it was a simple mistake and the chap at the Tax Office reassured me that it would now be resolved. He did warn that this could take up to eight weeks as it would involve communication with Dante's Nine Circles of Hell.
We now leap forward four weeks and, this morning, another tax calculation arrived in the post. I opened it and saw that it was a duplicate of the original with the same mistakes. In fact not a single number had changed.
As a result I spent twenty five minutes in a queue this morning before talking to another Official from the Inland Revenue. It was one of the most fruitless discussions I have ever had. I described the history of my case and repeated all of the details including a summary of the previous call with the Tax Office. All I got in return was that the Tax Officer did not understand why a new calculation had been issued, neither could she confirm that it was incorrect but she could advise that new information had come to hand and my calculation had now been forwarded to another Department.
What the Fuck does any of that mean? From my perspective it looks like they have not managed to get any sense from the PAYE Dept at the Nine Circles of Hell and have just regurgitated an incorrect tax calculation in the hope that I will just pay it … like that is ever going to fucking happen!
I asked if there was anything I could send that would help to move this along; advising that I had all of my payslips, P60 and bank statements that clearly demonstrated my earning over the year in question. I was told that this was not needed and I find that very interesting. If my earnings and deductions are not needed then I am a symptom rather than the problem and the little I could learn suggested that Dante's screw up impacted more than just me.
I'm still not fucking impressed and pointed this out in a polite fashion to the Tax Office … and it could still take another eight to twelve weeks to resolve!
---* Yep, I worked for the Inland Revenue too (1987 - 98)