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to be in tears about HMRC?

(63 Posts)
commuterville Tue 23-Jun-15 13:03:05

Long story short, last year I received a penalty letter. I was really worried, called up about it, spoke to a couple of people who reassured me, said I didn't owe anything and told me what I needed to do re self assessment (have been put onto that due to being a higher rate taxpayer and in receipt of CB). So 2 people telling me I didn't owe anything was good enough for me. Self assessment filed, all ok. Apparently.

Now I've had correspondence saying I owe a 4 figure sum. I spent an hour on the phone, most of it on hold, to query it only to be told I have to appeal, which will take up to 4 months and I'll be charged interest in the meantime as well.

I'm lucky (haha) in that I can pay it but it will completely wipe out money I'd put aside for my DC and a holiday. Have been crying in the loos about it. This is just the latest shitty thing to happen this year - never ending list of jobs to do in my house, teen DC being 'challenging', my bf got diagnosed with cancer (but is clear for now thankfully), my job is a nightmare and I've recently found out I'm being paid £10k or more less than my workshy colleague (who works from home all the time, which I'm not allowed to). Frankly this feels like the last straw.

WanderWomble Tue 23-Jun-15 13:07:48

I'm sorry and hope you can work this out. Do appeal, and try visiting the CAB? They're usually helpful with this sort of thing.

Alanna1 Tue 23-Jun-15 13:13:54

I find talking to HMRC infuriating. I always write, if that helps you at all?

Smoolett Tue 23-Jun-15 13:15:24

What exactly is it for? Is it a penalty of some sort or just tax?

Ladymuck Tue 23-Jun-15 13:22:16

Have you checked the calculation, and is it correct? Have you actually completed the self assessment correctly?

commuterville Tue 23-Jun-15 13:23:12

Thanks wanderwomble. I just get the feeling that the appeal won't be successful, and I'll end up paying more.

I have to send the appeal in writing. 4 months for it to be considered sad

It's not tax payment, it's a charge because they say I filed it late and further penalties because I didn't pay the original penalty. Even though I was told I didn't owe anything. And now interest on a daily basis.

commuterville Tue 23-Jun-15 13:24:23

There's no calculation. It's a penalty which I was told last year I didn't owe. If I'd been told to pay it then it would be about £300 less.

goestoshowyouthough Tue 23-Jun-15 13:25:18

Tell them you can't afford it as a lump sum and that you were told you didn't owe anything. Maybe they will agree a payment plan with you surely. Good luck

WanderWomble Tue 23-Jun-15 13:26:16

Did you get the names/dates of the people who told you that you owed nothing?

I've been burned before- I get the details now.

commuterville Tue 23-Jun-15 13:28:10

I can afford to pay it all, but it will mean no holiday this year. If I pay it by instalments it'll just cost me more because of daily interest. But last year they said I didn't owe anything.

If I pay it now I don't know whether I have more or less chance of winning the appeal. I don't agree I owe it, and certainly not the additional charges and interest.

Elmersnewfriend Tue 23-Jun-15 13:28:50

Ok first question. When did you first get notification of the need to file a tax return? The 31 Jan deadline isn't always the "correct" one.

Secondly I would agree to put the appeal in writing. Make sure you include any details you can of the times that you were told there was no need to worry.

Thirdly HMRC have been very clear and it has been well publicised that they are looking to remove penalties where reasonable excuse has been provided. I realise it's easy for me to say but try not to worry. From what you've said I would be v optimistic that the penalty will be cancelled.

commuterville Tue 23-Jun-15 13:29:08

I have all their details. There's a note of the calls, I checked that today but they wouldn't tell me what the note says. Of course.

YaTalkinToMe Tue 23-Jun-15 13:29:16

Can you pay and then appeal?

Smoolett Tue 23-Jun-15 13:30:58

Have you filed all out if date returns requested i.e. 12/13 and 13/14?
You don't get charged penalties on penalties only on outstanding tax.
It sounds to me that there's a return missing.

commuterville Tue 23-Jun-15 13:31:07

Elmer, I'm trying not to get my hopes up.

I know compared to people who are counting pennies to feed their families I'm still really lucky, but even so a grand is a lot for me to lose.

Elmersnewfriend Tue 23-Jun-15 13:31:21

Incidentally if it was me I wouldn't pay the penalty now. Sure it may be worth keeping the money aside. But if you've now filed the TR the penalty won't increase. It may be worth trying to call them again to see if you can get them to annotate your record to say you're not paying it yet pending appeal?

Lemuriformes Tue 23-Jun-15 13:31:49

Sorry to hear this - you can definitely arrange a repayment scheme. I've done it when I owed them a similar sum after cocking up self-assessments when I was self-employed. I paid them back over a period of three years and they were quite happy with that.

You do need to get everything in writing though you can do most of it via the online portal if you have access to that. You can do free-text emails and queries and get a response back inside 24 hours. And if you do it that way you'll always have a record.

Never do anything via the phone with HMRC as you've found out already - you'll be on hold for ever and then have no record of the conversation.

Smoolett Tue 23-Jun-15 13:32:04

HMRC wont accept an appeal if the return is due and you haven't filed it.

juneau Tue 23-Jun-15 13:33:10

Write them a letter and include (if you made a note), who you spoke to on what dates telling you you didn't owe anything and why, etc. Put it all in your appeal letter. Its your best hope. If you just call up and speak to different people each time you can get a different story each time. Much better to all the info in one, written place so someone in their appeals dept can go over it all carefully. Most companies record phone calls, so they can pull the tapes if you have the details of date, time and who you spoke to. Hopefully it can then be cleared up. Good luck!

commuterville Tue 23-Jun-15 13:34:16

Everything has been filed. 12/13 was late, that's what they say I owe money on. When I got the letter last year, I was told by the advisor that they send the letters to scare people and it's only persistent offenders they fine anything more than £100, and because it was my first return I'd be given the benefit of the doubt.

I bloody hope that bit of the call was recorded!

I don't owe a penny in tax. In fact in 12/13 I got a rebate. Which they've kindly deducted from what I owe.

PosterEh Tue 23-Jun-15 13:35:25

Your MP/local councillor should be able to speak to them on your behalf. They helped DH in a similar matter. Sped things up no end. I think they even have a special hotline for MPs.

MissBattleaxe Tue 23-Jun-15 13:36:49

You can appeal and don't have to pay before the appeal. I did this and the appeal found in my favour and the debt was wiped off. they can also clawback any money owed via PAYE the following tax year, so don't panic and write letters instead of making phone calls. It protects you and gives you a name to quote at the end of the letter.

commuterville Tue 23-Jun-15 13:37:26

I've filed all returns now, that was done last year.

I was told I can't email or do anything online, the only way is to appeal, I have to send it recorded delivery and wait up to 4 months for a reply.

I specifically asked if the daily charges could be frozen whilst I appeal and was told it doesn't work like that...

Smoolett Tue 23-Jun-15 13:38:34

Ok so it must be an initial £100 penalty along with £10 for a maximum of 90 days when more than 3 months late.
They're right then you should appeal. You'll need to state why the appeal is more than 30 days late and why return was late.

Smoolett Tue 23-Jun-15 13:40:43

The daily charges are calculated up to the date the return was filed. They shouldn't go up anymore if now filed but will attract interest whilst outstanding

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