Deep Breaths

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So I had to step away for a bit before writing this. Obviously, the universe, on discovering I wasn’t nearly so stressed having got my university results, decided that perhaps I should be more stressed, so as to maintain stasis.

So, according to HMRC, 2 years ago, and 1 year ago, I didn’t send in my tax return. I did, I’d like to point out, send in my tax return. Both times. But for whatever reason they didn’t arrive, or at least, did not get processed. What also, it seems, hasn’t arrived have been:

A letter in 2010 saying ‘please will you check what’s going on with the adjustment to my tax code’ (which they didn’t adjust).
A letter in 2010 saying we were moving.
A letter in 2011 saying we’d moved.

Also lost by HMRC: A request for them to adjust my tax code (2007, I think).

This is because as an ex mafia boss in witness protection*, all my government tax affairs are handled by one specific office in Wales, and indeed cannot be accessed from outside that office. According to HMRC they are infallible (presumably like the Catholic church) and all mail that goes to any other office were I to, say, foolishly send something to the office indicated on, say, the letterhead of say, my tax return, is perfectly sorted and forwarded to the correct office. This process has never had any form of problem for any other person in the entire history of the HMRC. This I know, because the woman I was speaking to declined to accept that such a possibility could even exist. That I could mention such a possibility suggested such foolish naïveté on my part as to mark me as some kind of inexperienced soul who had no idea of the incredible efficiency of HMRC and little understanding of the world in general.

Things that haven’t arrived here, for example, have included several “We didn’t get your tax return” letters, and much to my amusement, one half of a pair of letters informing me of an adjustment to my tax code. Specifically, the adjustment to my tax code because they’d finally after only 7 years of chasing, applied the ‘professional subscriptions’ allowance to my tax code. This I know, because when she was talking to me she referred to one of the two letters, specifically the one I didn’t receive, leading to me saying “No. The letter says my tax code is THIS” and her explaining how yes, one of the letters said that, but following actioning my claim, I’d had another letter which said “this”. To which I explained that no, I hadn’t.

She explained at this point that they’d both gone out on the same day** and thus both must have arrived. I presume that there’s some kind of tax-elf who applies some kind of binding charm to the letters so they are inseparable. However, clearly, some kind of evil tax-wizard is breaking those charms, because only one of the damn letters arrived.

So now, now I have to wait for the interminable second class post for them to send me two new tax forms (because, and I know I’m a moron for this, I didn’t copy the tax forms before sending them). Now, I’m going to set a reminder on my calendar because… if they’ve not arrived in 10 days, I will need to ring them and hassle them to send them again. However, one thing that has come out of this is I now have a number to ring them.

Previously, all I could ever do was ring the HMRC generally and they would ‘forward a message to contact me’. Now, this seems needlessly complicated, and suggests a level of paranoia on their part appropriate to my history as an ex mafia boss***. But that was the way it was last time I tried to ring them (back in 2010). However, according to the woman I spoke to this has never been the case. Oh no. No. I could always just ring them. I must admit that I got very, very short with her. I ended up apologising at the end, although to be honest, that she basically said that I was wrong about this (I guess this is a step up on calling me a liar) really did rile me somewhat. This is because it drove me spare at the time. I’d ring the normal number, they’d say ‘oh you need to speak to the magic office, I can get them to ring you’.

I would invariably explain that I needed them to ring back that day, not some random other day. They would invariably say they would ring another day. I would then say that I work in a hospital and can’t just ‘answer my phone’ like office workers might. They would say there was nothing they could do about that, but that they were ‘open until 6’. I would then explain that nurses, strangely enough, work beyond 6pm. I would get no-where. They would ring whilst I was at work and leave a message with no contact number. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Eventually I would give up and write to them.

Apparently that doesn’t work either.

Lord knows what I do now, but apparently I can’t lodge an appeal until they have the paperwork for the tax years that they are missing. Right at this moment, I really, really hate the HMRC.

* This may, or may not, be the exact reason.
** This, I presume, is an example of the awesome efficiency of HMRC, that they send me two conflicting letters from the same office on the same day.


Kate is lord and mistress of all she surveys at