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Anyone had any nasty dealings with HMRC?

 
Sethisis
Posts: 18
Message
on 05/01/2013

I know this isn't Wizzley related, but figure that someone on here might have been self employed at some point...

My partner became self employed in 2011, made no money and quickly realised it was a bad idea. He stopped being self employed a couple of months later. In this time we sent in one self assessment. Now, 2 years later we've received a letter saying he hasn't completed his last 2 tax returns and now owes £1800. 

Now I know there's something wrong here, he definitely informed them he'd stopped being self employed, so had no need to send in these tax returns. Also, this is the first we've heard of it... they haven't sent us anything before now. 

We have no proof of anything, he went into their office to stop the self employment, so we have no paperwork. Obviously we can't prove they haven't sent us any tax returns, it's our word against theirs. 

any advice on getting out of this??

LizM
Posts: 66
Message
on 05/01/2013

Sorry no.  The US is so different on taxes.  We don't have to give notice of stopping self employment except on our tax returns.

Only thing I know to do is go to a tax attorney/awesome accountant.

JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 05/01/2013

You poor love.  Yes, I've had many, many dealings with the HMRC.  I was once on the phone to them on and off for six months, trying to find someone able to cope with me being paid from Mexico.

My recommendation would be to return to the tax office. There must be records there of what was submitted.  Did he do his returns during those two years, even though he'd not earned anything?  The HMRC is possibly basing it all on a previous job. 

They still think I'm at the University, despite having left in 2008 and had other jobs since. I've told them, but this is the bloody HMRC we're talking about. Incompetent doesn't cover it.

It can't be your word against their's, because they would also have to prove that he's earned enough to be paying that amount for those two years.  Don't let them intimidate you.  Most of the people on the phone or sending out letters are doing so from a script.  Go in person and demand to see an actual tax inspector.


frankbeswick
Posts: 79
Message
on 05/01/2013

A colleague of mine, who was in far worse trouble than your partner is [he was found cheating his taxes and was billed for six thousand pounds], hired an accountant to negotiate for him and got the bill reduced. Often writing to an mp works. 

You can file tax forms online, so get him to register online, it's quite easy, and then fill in a nil return on self-employment. He can do this self-employment zero return on the same form as his employed earnings. He needs to fill in a return every year, and tell them that he has no self-employed earnings.

Good luck!


frankbeswick
Sethisis
Posts: 18
Message
on 05/01/2013

After speaking to them on the phone it appears they never received the tax return we did fill in. I remember filling that in as it was disheartening to fill the whole thing with zeros xD

I agree that they're utterly useless Jo, this has only popped up a week after we had to call them because they gave him the wrong tax code. It seems they think for the last 2 years he's been self employed, working full time and receiving jobseekers allowance all at once! They're just as bad as the jobcentre! 

Frank - thank you, it's so nice to know someone in a worse position managed to come to some sort of arrangement. 

The idea that this might lead to getting an accountant/ attorney is daunting though... Our new plan of action is to write a written appeal, take it in to their office tomorrow, fill in any tax form they throw at us and if all else fails cry at them until they relent. 

Can't fail right?

WordChazer
Posts: 412
Message
on 05/01/2013

They sent me a BR emergency tax code this year, out of the blue, for the firm I left 2 years ago. Said firm submitted an electronic P45 for me when I left, which I know was their usual way of working. I have a hard copy in my files. I rang them to check, just to be sure and their records confirm it, though HMRC maintain no knowledge. I need to copy that and send it to them, really, just to square the circle. Like you, they appeared to think I had two full time jobs.

Sometimes one area of HMRC doesn't know what another is doing, and their filing is so complex, done by so many different people, that things get misfiled or lost in job changes.

I always keep copies of anything I personally provide for HMRC, and well beyond the statutory years required as well. Sounds like you were not offered the chance to have a copy of the tax form for your own records, which is a shame, because that one thing would have prevented the situation you now find yourselves in.

Why not try talking to one of these organisations set up to help those in trouble, like the Samaritans or similar. I'd say the Citizens' Advice Bureau but I'm not sure if they exist still or have been renamed/taken over.

 


Described by one of my clients as 'a literary grammarian', writing, researching and reading are requirements for sanity, at least this side of the keyboard.
whitemoss
Posts: 37
Message
on 05/02/2013

Ring them and ask them to send their computation of how they arrive at that amount. They usually provide details of what your income was (as far as they know) and how they have arrived at this amount.

I've switched between being self employed and employed - you pay tax either way ! If you're on PAYE of course your tax and NI goes off every time you get paid so you don't notice it as much.You still have to pay the tax and a different category of NI if you are self employed, usually in two big lumps in January and July.

I agree- get all the information together from HMRC and from your own records and go and see Citizen's Advice. If you do owe this money, you should be able to pay it off in installments. If necessary, they can help you find an accountant .

Try to keep calm! They can drive you crazy but (in my experience), provided you have kept all your information accurately it WILL get sorted in the end.

Good Luck!


Whitemoss (sue) on Wizzley and whitemoss on Squidoo
frankbeswick
Posts: 79
Message
on 05/02/2013

One important point to realize is that they are after money not prosecution. Currently they are hunting the big boys, tax evaders on a massive scale. To them you and I are very small and insignificant fry indeed, so they will not be interested in hunting you down. They only want the money that is due to them.


frankbeswick
frankbeswick
Posts: 79
Message
on 05/02/2013

ps: I forgot to tell you this. Because I am both employed and self-employed my then employers tax office was different from the main office where I am taxed. Like all retired teachers in the UK my office is in South Wales. I sent my form in to HMRC South Wales, but my employer's office stlil gave me a £100 fine for late submission. I appealed and got it refunded. 


frankbeswick
Sethisis
Posts: 18
Message
on 05/07/2013

Ok, update for anyone interested. 

After calling the HRMC twice and having 2 appointments with them we're in the appeal process. We now have the tax returns to fill in. There's just one problem.  We don't have Rich's p45 from his previous job, which is necessary for the forms. Now this is completely our fault. I can't believe we've lost it. I've contacted everyone who should have copies (HMRC, Jobcentre, Previous employer) Nobody has one! 

We're now being charged £10 per day until we've got it sorted, on top of all the other costs. Any further advice on how to dig up p45s from the past? 

JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 05/09/2013

The HRMC is charging you a tenner a day for a P45?  What the actual...?

They should have this information!  I don't get this at all.  Mind you, if they can charge £10 a day until they give you the information to feed back to themselves, then they're on a nice little earner.  I suggest keeping records of your attempts to get the P45 and submitting that. Plus going to CAB today.

{{{{hugs}}}}  I wish I could help you.


whitemoss
Posts: 37
Message
on 05/10/2013

The old employer can't issue you with another P45, but he WILL have the information in his records if it was within the last 6 years. Employers have to keep  this information.

I've been able to send all the details to an employee who has left, who has lost a P45 using my old records. 

It's a nuisance though, looking all this stuff out. I'm a small employer, and like to try to help people out who I've parted with on good terms. It might be worth another appeal to the old employer. If they give you the crucial pay to date, tax deducted to date, date of leaving, week/month of leaving, etc details, it can be enough. My ex employees who have gone back to Slovakia, Lithuania...etc have all lost P45s but still been able to reclaim the tex eventually.


Whitemoss (sue) on Wizzley and whitemoss on Squidoo
Sethisis
Posts: 18
Message
on 05/29/2013

Ok, latest update.

We just received another nasty letter (you owe us even more money now, the charges are stacking up).
So we called HMRC, asking about the status of our appeal, telling them that if they've denied our appeal we need to have their reasons in writing. At this point I've prepared the defence we will be using in court, and have been pondering how to get the media interested in this injustice.

Then they said the most wonderful words I have ever heard.

"Ignore that letter. Your  appeal has been accepted, the charges have all been dropped." 

 

The charges have ALL been dropped. I'm crying. 

Thank you everybody for your advice. I have never been so happy. =]

WordChazer
Posts: 412
Message
on 05/29/2013

Hallelujah!

That is wonderful news!

 

Can I even say 'congratulations, well done!'?


Described by one of my clients as 'a literary grammarian', writing, researching and reading are requirements for sanity, at least this side of the keyboard.
Sethisis
Posts: 18
Message
on 05/30/2013

*Breaks out Champagne*

Time to focus on writing now the terror has passed =]

whitemoss
Posts: 37
Message
on 05/30/2013

What a relief!

HMRC works in a mysterious way!


Whitemoss (sue) on Wizzley and whitemoss on Squidoo
JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 05/30/2013

Oh wow!  I'm happy dancing like a mad bint here for you!  Nice one. :D


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