Comments Off on Augh!

So, my tax affairs are handled through a teeny tiny office, special I am, apparently. No particular idea why. This came to pass at the same time as Her Maj’s Revenue and Customs had a new computer system installed. I have no idea if this new system is excitingly better than the old one, or is like our systems at work (there are multiple separate patient systems none of which is capable of talking to another – the poor reception staff often enter patient’s details three times*). At any rate, the new system going in meant that only ‘urgent’ tax stuff was getting done leading to a mahusive backlog of tax stuff for those of us who are not going for urgency.

After a few painful phonecalls I managed to get to the point where we’d grasped that my letters had gone to the Portsmouth office before they moved my tax stuff, and were sitting in a mountain of unsorted and unfiled paper which could take months to get through.

I’d resigned myself to resubmitting my claim for Laundry expenses (does that include a new washing machine?). I’d accepted that I would probably never, ever see my P60s** again. However, as it’s a non-urgent task it’d got pushed to the bottom of the list of things I really ought to do.

Then, out of the blue, my P60s returned, along with a nice letter saying “we’re reviewing things”. Ooh – or so I thought. Then, as I’ve whinged on here, came the bizzare underpayment/overpayment letter. Apparently I’d underpaid by 430 odd quid, and overpayed in other years by 380 quid – and had – thus – 50 quid to pay them. Less some kind of overpayment credit – meaning I had 40 quid to pay them. I was confused.

I looked in ever decreasing understanding at the figures in the letter, accompanied by a hand scrawled note, and at the end just thought ‘fuck it’ – it said “we’ve adjusted your tax code so you don’t have to pay us this year, it’ll magically disappear from your wages”. I remained in my state of confusedness because as far as I was concerned I’d suddenly gone from a 600 quid rebate to a 40 quid bill. And it made no mention of my Laundry expenses.

I put it on the ‘to sort’ pile, but with no particular expectation of doing it in a hurry because, well, it was non-urgent.

Then I got a new letter saying ‘YOU OWE US MONIES!” which had some of the same calculations on and said ‘we would like it before the end of January”. So I finally rang them today.

Apparently, out of the blue, and with no accompanying paperwork they received my P60s from Portsmouth and so have done what comes naturally to tax offices; a tax assessment. And lo, they found that I’d underpaid…and overpaid… and sent me a bill. Why I suddenly got a new letter, that’s unknown. What they still don’t have is any claim for Laundry expenses.

And so, we are back to I need to re-send them a claim for Laundry expenses. More annoying because I’ve lost the original one, so I need to go back and look at my payments and bank account stuff. It’s a job that takes a couple of very dull hours.

And now they have adjusted my tax code so I don’t have to pay the spurious bill. Well, not spurious, but it seemed silly to send them 40 quid for them to then send it back again (instead they can deduct it from my expenses claim and I get the interest for the 40 quid. Woot).

On the plus side I have, finally, sorted my allergy clinic appointments. Well, I should receive a phonecall or letter about them. That’d be good.

* Once to find their NHS information on the NHS database, once for the hospital records system and once for the A&E system. A fourth system is used to book patients clinic appointments. The clinic system can, at least, pull up patient details from the A&E number. The hospital system can’t. The NHS database is completely unrelated to any of the other systems and appears to have a web based front end. Integration is something we can’t have…
** P60s are your ‘end of year’ tax return. For reasons that escape me they’d asked me for them. I foolishly assumed they’d actually have some kind of record of such things. P45s, incidentally are your end of job tax returns and come up in British culture now and then.


Kate's a human mostly built out of spite and overcoming transphobia-racism-and-other-bullshit. Although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, it's all good.