Taxing Taxing, Part 10

, , , | Working | June 4, 2021

My wife gets a letter from the UK tax office in January telling her she has overpaid and she is to get a refund of about £800. This is not a life-changing sum but not a trivial amount of money for us, so she is well pleased with this news. They tell her it will arrive in about two weeks.

A month later, she realises she still has not received this cheque. She rings the tax office up, and after about an hour on the telephone, she finally gets through to them.

Operative #1: “We delivered the cheque a month ago and made it payable to [Accountant Firm] you authorised it to go to. That’s where we posted it.”

Wife: “Excuse me? I made no such authorisation.”

Operative #1: “We have the form right here, with your signature attached and everything.”

Wife: “But I know of no such thing!”

Operative #1: “I’ll send you a copy if you like.”

Wife: “I don’t want a copy of a form I never filled in! I want my money to be paid to me!”

Operative #1: “Sorry, but there’s nothing we can do. We have paid the money, and as far as we are concerned, that’s that.”

My wife is fuming. She spends the day ringing round every accounting firm called [Accountant Firm] she can find, wishing now she had asked for details from the less-than-helpful tax operative she spoke to in the first place, but she has no luck.

Wife: *To me* “If I hadn’t been so angry and worried, I would have been calmer with her and asked her to send me all the details she had, but she was so snooty and dismissive I was seriously not in the mood.”

After attending to this all day, she rings the tax office again, and this time speaks to someone different. She explains what has happened so far.

Operative #2: “Thank you for telling us about this. We will indeed look into this. You confirm that you never made any such authorisation?”

Wife: “I certainly did not. Is there anything you can do?”

Operative #2: “Certainly, we can. It appears that they never actually got round to processing that cheque. We can stop that cheque now and issue you a new one.” *Pauses* “There, that’s done. You should now get your new cheque. It may take a few weeks to put it through the system, but it should arrive in due course.”

Wife: “Why couldn’t that be done when I first rang up?”

Operative #2: “It could and should have. I’ll look into it. Anything else I can help you with? No? Good day, then, and apologies for the inconvenience.”

We took that to mean that they will investigate what actually happened, as it looks as though there has been an attempt at fraud.

Related:
Taxing Taxing, Part 9
Taxing Taxing, Part 8
Taxing Taxing, Part 7
Taxing Taxing, Part 6
Taxing Taxing, Part 5

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