Good newspaper to get onside

  hastelloy 09:13 15 Mar 2014
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Answered

I've been having an argument with HMRC for the past 10 years. I intend to write a final letter outlining all the problems and copy this to my MP (who has had copies of all of this) as well as the HMRC Chairman. This has been to the Adjudicator (who found in my favour) once during this period but this has not improved the situation.

Could anybody suggest a which newspaper I might also copy in to this in an attempt to get some action to resolve the issues?

  Forum Editor 10:01 15 Mar 2014

HMRC monitors web forums, so it might be an idea to keep that in mind.

Newspapers like human interest stories, but they are wary of publishing when there is no clear indication of who is in the right. My advice to you is to keep your case out of the media - at least until it is finally resolved. I really don't see what you could possible gain from seeing it in print.

A newspaper article isn't going to 'get some action' as you put it. There are other avenues you can explore if you are still not happy with HMRC's decisions.

  spuds 11:03 15 Mar 2014

I have used the media in the past, and I also regular contribute articles for publication to my local newspaper.

But be warned, if the 'nationals' get the story, it may end in a situation that what is printed, is not what was actually wanted or intended.

In the case you have mentioned, the Adjudicator should have provided information of ways to seek further readdress. If they didn't, then your MP should?.

  hastelloy 11:11 15 Mar 2014

FE

I appreciate your comments but am at a loss as to where to go next. I've had prolonged written conversations with senior personnel but they just keep making the same old illogical arguments, repeating the same mistakes and contradicting themselves. In one letter they give an unsatisfactory (meaning it doesn't make any sense to me) explanation for an action already taken and in the next say that their computer would never have allowed that action.

They already know what I think of them so they are welcome to monitor my comments here but I suggest they would be better spending their time putting their own house in order. The latest development is that I have had 2 PAYE codings for 1 of my pensions (the others are taxed BR), the 2nd of which was charging me an amount from last year which they say the computer won't allow as it more than doubles my current tax liability from that pension and which I paid in January anyway. A telephone call denied all knowledge of the 2nd notice and told me that the other coding was wrong anyway. This is only the tip of the iceberg. I just want a hassle-free life (from HMRC anyway) but they won't allow it.

  hastelloy 11:15 15 Mar 2014

Thanks spuds.

I understand your warning.

The Adjudicator awarded me compensation but this has not prevented further mistakes all of which involve me in a lot of work correcting them and trying to prevent a recurrence. My MP has written to the HMRC Chairman on my behalf on several occasions but it's just passed down the line.

  spuds 11:24 15 Mar 2014

Have you thought about talking to the CAB, and see if they can recommend an accountant. The first part might be free, but the accountant part might be chargeable?.

A few years ago, I had a slight tax problem, and was very fortunate to meet a 'gamekeeper turned poacher'. He was a a whole mine of information. Perhaps someone at the CAB might know someone like that. Another alternative is one of the charities that might offer advice on this subject?.

  Forum Editor 11:26 15 Mar 2014

Do you have an accountant?

It strikes me that you need one, even though you might think that you don't, or that you can't afford one. A decent tax accountant could probably sort this out pretty quickly, and save you a lot of time and frustration.

Paying a relatively small amount for some professional advice is often the best way in the end, and HMRC tends to like dealing with professionals. It shouldn't be that way, but it is, and life teaches you that expediency is very often a better course.

  hastelloy 12:44 15 Mar 2014

Thanks FE

I don't have an accountant but it seems to me that, if I did, I'd then be paying somebody to deal with HMRCs mistakes which I'd have to tell them about so no real reduction in hassle just extra (admittedly tax free) expense.

My affairs are not at all complex, it's just that HMRC don't seem to be able to handle simple information in a reasonable and accurate manner. For example, last year they said they would take an amount through PAYE which was fine by me. I then get a letter in August telling me I had to pay it after all and because I was late paying (their error) they charged me interest.

  Forum Editor 13:08 15 Mar 2014
Answer

My suggestion about an accountant was precisely to deal with the HMRC errors.

Tax accountants are used to this sort of thing, and they know the right ways to deal with HMRC - you might be surprised at how rapidly this could be brought to a conclusion. Spending time and energy on seeking to publish an account of your problems seems to me to be a pointless waste of time and resources - there are thousands of people in similar disputes with HMRC at any given moment.

Talk to an accountant - I think you'll be glad you did.

  hastelloy 13:58 15 Mar 2014

FE

"there are thousands of people in similar disputes with HMRC at any given moment.

That was precisely my point and they are all treated in the same offhand fashion. My thought was to put pressure on somebody who is in a position to make the system fit for purpose, which it clearly isn't at the moment.

I'll take your comments on board and rethink my strategy.

Many thanks.

  Forum Editor 16:11 15 Mar 2014

HMRC knows that it could do better in terms of its attitudes to its customers, but to be fair, there have been big improvements over the past few years.

The problems facing the organisation are still many however, but not all of them are of its making. The government has exerted a lot of pressure on HMRC to claw back tax that hasn't been paid for various reasons - mainly through evasion, and that work has been pretty successful.

HMRC is currently developing a major state of the art digital centre in Newcastle. This will go live this year, and should transform the way that us ordinary mortals can deal with taxation matters online.

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