Wednesday 23 February 2011

The Cheque May Be In The Post ... One Day

Still run off my feet unfortunately. Much going on alongside the usual family and business commitments, including close encounters with NHS lethargy and rudeness after the hospitalisation of a relative (long story except to say that if my staff required as much badgering for routine tasks, they wouldn't be my staff for long).

In amongst all that is the small matter of an expected refund cheque from HMRC for overpaid tax - part of this - of around £15k. It's almost a month late now despite numerous phone calls to chase it up.

Of course, if you're even a day late just submitting a form to HMRC you are fined £100, and if you have the temerity to be late paying - for whatever reason - you are charged a daily interest rate and/or a debt collector will be sent to your home or business (I've experienced both)**.

Where are my interest payments, HMRC? Where's my right to apply fines for your incompetence? I've got a large VAT bill which you won't have any sympathy with me over if I were to quote cashflow difficulties, or even that my staff are complete dickheads and can't put a cheque in an envelope and send it. Yet that £15k which you find so difficult to process could well be part of the problem for a small business.

And if you become assertive and demand the money which you are owed and which is long overdue remember (the overpaid tax is for last year), HMRC get all touchy and threaten to cut you off for being 'offensive', the prissy berks.

Dealing with government agencies on the most simple of processes is akin to trying to fell an oak tree with a pair of secateurs. Yet if a member of the public were to be anywhere near as incompetent, they'd be mercilessly bankrupted and brutalised in short order.

The state is truly a hideous evil.

Next up: Staggering indolence experienced trying to obtain a court document for which they apparently have an established system for issuing. The words 'inept' and 'lazy' just don't cover it adequately.

** Addendum: Forgot to mention that the collector who arrived unannounced at our business went away with a cheque for £11k ... and lost it.


William said...

I get the impression from this post and many others I've read today the kettle is almost at boiling point.

The good news is the coagulation seem to be completely unaware.

Anonymous said...

It's ironic, isn't it, that something which calls itself the "Civil Service" seems to go out of its way to employ people who have not the remotest understanding of either word ...

RB said...

They are incompetent in all respects. I moved business premises on 1/1/2010. I notified HMRC of this move in December 2009, in writing. It took them eleven months to update their records during which time all of my correspondence from HMRC regarding VAT, PAYE, etc., etc., went to the old premises which was from 1.1.2010 occupied by a new business(despite hours spent on the phone on numerous occasions to try and chase them up about this) - a complete nightmare.

Anonymous said...

Was the collector literate ?
Probably not.

OpenID said...

Ah, but to hire literate candidates in preference to illiterate ones would be DISCRIMINATION, the very worst thing in the world.

My favourite ballache is the telephone merry-go-round you have to go through whenever you want to get information out of the fuckers.

Dick Puddlecote said...

RB: Yes, I can echo that. We had exactly that experience 2 years ago, every time I rang they'd insist they had the new details, yet the tax code notifications would still get sent to our old address. Took about the same time as you to get it sorted.

cuffleyburgers said...

Soon be time to hit the streets...