Gransnet forums

Legal & money

The tax man. Need I say more!!

(24 Posts)
Lizbethann55 Fri 28-Jan-22 11:48:40

Admittedly my DH's income is slightly complicated. A state pension, a couple of local government pensions and a part time, (work as needed) job, which means that some months he earns a good amount and sometimes earns nothing. Retired from a well paid part time , but not fixed income, job just pre Covid. But every penny he has ever earned is PAYE. A couple of years he got a tax demand for literally thousands of pounds. He passed all his paper work to an accountant he knows who confirmed the amount. DH cashed in much of our savings to get the demand paid off. It had reached a stage when quite literally a few times every week we would get a different letter with a different tax code and a different conclusion.
Last week via his accountant who had been working on his tax returns, he heard that he had overpaid his tax and was due a healthy sum back. Which would make a huge difference to us. Today he has had a letter from the tax man saying my DH owed them yet more money! This letter was sent only a couple of days after they would have received his tax returns from the accountant.
I figure that the HMRC need taking in hand. They are the ones with the training, the experience, the qualifications and the presumably extremely advanced computer systems. Yet they make things more and more complicated for us mere mortals. With their ever changing tax codes and letters of "explanation"And we are pilloried and treated as criminals if we don't get it right. My DH is highly intelligent, but is absolutely at a loss and at the end of his tether. He hates the way they make him feel that it is all his fault.
Is anyone else fed up with HMRC. Has anyone taken them to task, and won?

Smileless2012 Fri 28-Jan-22 11:53:28

Well a few years ago they were taken to task and we did win but we couldn't have done so without our accountant. They took on board the information he supplied, which was exactly the same as supplied by us, but for some reason they wouldn't accept.

I understand your frustration and hope you'll be able to get this sorted.

Cs783 Fri 28-Jan-22 12:04:47

It can take nerves of steel to deal with HMRC sometimes. I am glad you have an accountant. Try to leave it to them to do the worrying.

Advanced computer systems my foot. HMRC definitely have weak points. My husband runs a very small business and had the delight once of HMRC telling him he owed a million pounds. Turned out HMRC had somehow got the wrong business name. Husband managed afterwards to joke with the inspector. I couldn’t have.

Luckygirl3 Fri 28-Jan-22 12:06:42

It's a nightmare. For the last 10 years of my career I was working freelance on a number of different projects. Collating all the invoices, expenses etc. was truly a nightmare and I got conflicting advice from HMRC all the time. I was very glad to retire!! I wish you lots of luck with all this - you have to be single-minded and determined to sort these tings out. Do any of us need this stuff I ask myself?

But ...... when my OH died and I was starting to try and sort stuff out I rang them about my tax codes - they sorted it out very efficiently over the phone, tagging codes to the different pensions so that it was most advantageous to me.

Keeper1 Fri 28-Jan-22 12:26:29

Do you know nearly all HMRC offices have been refurbished at enormous expense?

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 28-Jan-22 13:41:43

Your husband should authorise his accountant to deal with HMRC on his behalf and leave it to them. In my experience HMRC can be totally useless. Qualified? You’re joking as regards the vast majority of them.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 28-Jan-22 14:01:03

I suppose it very much on what you class as qualified.

Enter at degree level then 4 years minimum training with continued updates throughout their professional life.

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 28-Jan-22 14:07:30

Or be an unqualified clerk as most are.

Whitewavemark2 Fri 28-Jan-22 14:08:12

In your office, did you have clerks?

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 28-Jan-22 14:09:23

I didn’t work at HMRC.

Peasblossom Fri 28-Jan-22 15:23:54

I’ve filled in an Nouakchott self assessment for years now. It’s quite simple -even I can do it😬

I have a ball park figure in my head of what I’ll owe because of additional earnings like Royalties and it’s pretty much the same as what the computer system says every time.

Then I pay it by direct debit and it’s done for another
The tax is paid from the years earnings.

Peasblossom Fri 28-Jan-22 15:24:45

Nouakchott??????? Can’t even remember what I meant to type now>😬

Lizbethann55 Fri 28-Jan-22 16:16:18

Peasblossim filling in the form isn't the problem. My DH is obsessive about keeping absolutely all his paperwork in order. It is the total shambles the HMRC make of the information my DH sends them, which is the problem.

humptydumpty Fri 28-Jan-22 16:21:31

Have just started claiming my state pension while still working, and to my surprise, HMRC seem to be on top of things. Long may it last!

DillytheGardener Fri 28-Jan-22 16:25:53

I can’t bear them. I do my own books and get my accountant to file. Having an issue this year as a gov grant I was given in the first lockdown was listed as tax exempt, which they changed two weeks before the filing deadline. Really p*****d off. Rishi is happy to write off his friends/family’s and Tory donors covid loans, but has stuck the knife into the self employed who were unsupported through the pandemic. Furious doesn’t cut it. Won’t be voting Tory ever, ever again.

Callistemon21 Fri 28-Jan-22 16:34:18

Is anyone else fed up with HMRC. Has anyone taken them to task, and won?

Yes a few years ago now, Lizbethann
Income from different sources can be dealt with at different tax offices and one may not have a clue what another office is doing.
Conversation between me and Tax Inspector went something like this:
Her: "It's up to your husband to keep track of his tax and what he owes".
Me: "But you are the experts and we expect you to get it right, how has this only just come to light?"
Her: "Oh, but sometimes the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing"
Me: "Well, if you can't sort it out, how do you expect a lay person to?"

DH had to employ an accountant but it was worth it as he didn't owe any of the thousands HMRC claimed he did.
In fact, he got a small refund.

Peasblossom Fri 28-Jan-22 16:58:47


Peasblossim filling in the form isn't the problem. My DH is obsessive about keeping absolutely all his paperwork in order. It is the total shambles the HMRC make of the information my DH sends them, which is the problem.

Oh sorry. 🙂

I guess I’m just used to feeding it into the computer system and letting it do the work. I’ve never been asked for an actual piece of paper-even though I have a boxful😬

Lizbethann55 Fri 28-Jan-22 18:31:44

humpty dumpty I am in the same position. I could have claimed my state pension 12 months ago but decided not to. This year I have started to claim it, but put it into premium bonds so I don't get used to relying on my pension and my wage. The taxman was on to it in less than a month . My actual wage is below the tax payable level . Now of course I am paying tax so I have less money a month . AND I have also had a tax demand of over £300!! How did that happen!!!! I will pay the HMRC what they say I owe, but after that, they had better leave me alone. DH has enough tax worries without mine adding to them.

HettyBetty Fri 28-Jan-22 20:20:00

I had trouble with them a few years ago which took a while to sort out. I have their letter of apology framed in the ensuite toilet.

Sounds stressful for you and your DH, I hope they come to a satisfactory conclusion.

Pudding123 Fri 28-Jan-22 20:52:26

I was employed as a Tax Officer for 36 years and well trained...I took early retirement 12 years ago because I could and I was disillusioned with the people they were employing and the lack of training they were receiving but please do not refer to all" tax people "in such a derogatory manner most of my colleagues who I still meet up with regularly are excellent at their jobs .

Shandy57 Fri 28-Jan-22 21:10:53

@Lizbethann55 when my husband died I received a widow's pension from his company, I already had my Teacher's pension. Unfortunately the widow's pension was not taxed correctly and I ended up owning the tax man a ridiculous sum. I asked if I could repay it over three years, and lo and behold, the following year they had not actioned my request.

I set up on on-line tax account and bombarded them with emails. Four years later the debt has finally been paid off, although they have still massively over estimated my savings interest which is ridiculous, everyone knows how low the current interest rates are.

Might this be of use to your husband and his accountant?

Kate1949 Fri 28-Jan-22 21:15:57

We'll said Pudding. I worked for them for 37 years (in the lowest possible grade). Mine was purely office work, just typing etc. I usually didn't say, when asked, who I worked for. It wasn't worth the hassle. I was told that 'It was alright for me as I didn't pay tax' or 'Can you sort my tax out? or 'Can you get me a form?'. Or even rudeness.

At the time, some of my colleagues were very well qualified indeed. I get as frustrated as the next person when I have to contact them and can't get through these days. I'm sure they're not doing it on purpose.

Georgesgran Fri 28-Jan-22 22:26:41

After DH died HMRC sent me a cheque for £1060, then a few weeks later wanted £964 back!
Giving with one hand etc comes to mind.

karmalady Sun 30-Jan-22 08:55:37

I kept the accountant on after my husband died. He was extremely helpful to me, especially when there was a question about being incorrectly taxed on a sipp, which had been transferred to me after being widowed. He spoke directly to hmrc. Little by little my (our) tax affairs sorted themselves out and from 2022 my tax affairs are very simplistic. I have finished with the accountant now but would not hesitate to use an accountant if I had affairs that were in any way complicated

I kept several years of accountant copies so this year, my first for self assessment, I shall only have to copy into the relevant spaces online, same spaces but different amounts