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VAT repayment withheld - is VAT man behaving professionally?

(11 Posts)
CarrieLouise25 Fri 25-Mar-16 23:09:13

Could really do with some advice here.

First contact with VAT man via email - requesting an inspection. Was about to go on maternity leave, phoned same day to explain. He asked when I'd be back to work - I said maybe 6 months. He said too late, needed to get the visit done before then.

He said he'd ask his manager what to do, and would get back to me within 2 days.

3 weeks later he emails to ask for our full sage accounts to finalise the visit.

At this point had started maternity leave. I emailed on the same day to say that instead, I could complete the new VAT return due - and send all source documents in relation to the return - invoices/statements etc (am not happy to send sage backup).

3 weeks later he responds with - yes, send those documents and also the sage backup.

But at this point I have had baby and then become quite ill with very high blood pressure - which I am still on beta blockers for. I did not reply to his email - due to illness and of course, constantly feeding baby smile

I submitted the VAT return 2 weeks ago (having done all the main work before having baby) - and did not gather all source documents or prepare the work I had offered to do because it took him 3 weeks to reply with a yes - I literally submitted the numbers in the boxes and that was it.

We are due a repayment. The business is always owed money, as we supply VAT reg companies in the EU. As we work with very small margins - our profit is within the repayment and cash flow is tight during that quarter.

We usually get it back within 5 days, but it's been 10 now and no sign.

An email came through yesterday, saying he is waiting on documents promised, and also the sage backup. Until they are received the repayment will be held. He says hopefully you should have done the work by now and it shouldn't cause too much of a delay.

I am on maternity leave - is it right that they can demand I go back to work to provide them with what they need?

I don't need this stress at all. I've been so ill, and this stress is really upsetting me. I am breastfeeding, and baby was early and weighs less than my other 2, so he seems to be feeding constantly, I have no time for work right now. Also I only have 10 checking in days. We need the funds as we have paid the VAT - we are owed it. The stress of having that money and all future money held until I return to work is hard for me and almost screams blackmail.

I would gladly have an inspection when I return to work, there are no issues with that. But it feels like I am under pressure now as he won't accept I am on maternity leave.

Sorry it's so long. Please, any advice much appreciated, thanks smile

OP’s posts: |
antimatter Fri 25-Mar-16 23:14:06

I fon't know anything about the accountancy but vat report is for the business is it not?

So id not about you havingvto fo anything but the director/owner of the business.
Accountant coild have been employed to perform this task.
Or am I missing something?

CarrieLouise25 Fri 25-Mar-16 23:15:53

I'm a qualified accountant, and I do all the accounts for the business myself smile

OP’s posts: |
bakeoffcake Fri 25-Mar-16 23:31:28

I think you need to employ someone to do the work for you while you're on maternity leave.

You can't expect the inspectors to wait until you go back to work, you have legal obligations to HMRC.

bakeoffcake Fri 25-Mar-16 23:32:06

Sorry, the business has legal obligations, not you

IceMaiden73 Sat 26-Mar-16 07:06:22

Sorry I agree with the others, HMRC have requested information, which is normal when there are consistent refunds. The company has a legal obligations to provide the information, so if you are unable you should get someone to cover you

CarrieLouise25 Sat 26-Mar-16 12:37:10

Thanks for your views. We don't have the money for an accountant to do the work. More than happy to always provide HMRC with the info they need as I have done previously.

Also studied evening classes over 2 years so I could do the accounts without out sourcing.

I was happy to use checking in days to get the VAT inspection info he needed despite things being tricky but with illness it's going to take longer. However I feel under pressure to work under stress to get it finished now or our money won't come back to us.

Mortgage needs paying and maternity pay is welcome but not enough to keep us afloat.

So I guess my options are to get an accountant or find time somehow to do it.

It just sounds rubbish to me. 3 weeks to reply to each email. Asking me to send sage via email and telling me it's not safe. Taking 2 weeks to tell me that our money won't be coming. Sending an email just before the easter break so I can't get hold of him till Tuesday now.

My other VAT inspection was done in a much more professional manner both before, during and after.


OP’s posts: |
IceMaiden73 Sun 27-Mar-16 10:14:41

When you get an inspection they will not release the money until they have had their questions answered. By not sending the requested information YOU have let this go on as long as it has. You cannot blame HMRC when you have made it very difficult for them

Also, call them, you don't have to deal with it my email alone, this will definitely speed up the process.

CarrieLouise25 Sun 27-Mar-16 14:06:42

Not sure how I've made it difficult confused

I responded by phone and email immediately (same days) that he contacted me. He took 3 weeks to reply on both occasions. So not sure that I've let it go on as long as it has?! Add the further 2 weeks it took for him to contact me after the return was sent, he has delayed the whole process by 8 weeks. And I have called; he is the one who loves the emails - despite it not being 'safe' - his words.

His manner has been so strange - we actually thought it was a phishing email.

But yes, I guess I will be dragging it out now (all my fault of course) as a baby takes up all of my time along with 2 other children, and doctors appointments etc

Should do wonders for my blood pressure. As coming on here has done.

Maybe I posted on AIBU by mistake grin

OP’s posts: |
bakeoffcake Sun 27-Mar-16 17:26:52

I do feel for you as the timing is awful but to be brutal the HMRC don't care that you are on maternity leave. The business still has to provide the information required or you won't get your money back.

By jot sending in the info, you are delaying the return of money you are owed. To sort this I would either employ someone to send the info, or set aside some time and do it myself.

Trying to negotiate with HMRC isnt going to help your blood pressure.
Send the info in, one way or another and enjoy your babyflowers

CarrieLouise25 Sun 27-Mar-16 17:57:39

Thanks bakeoff; just a little sympathy does go along way smile

I definitely will be making time next week to be getting the info across to them that they need. It's not personal I know, they are just doing their job and you're right, they have no interest in the situation. It is what it is! enjoying baby, and once this is out the way, I can enjoy him more without thinking about work grin

OP’s posts: |

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