Dear Sir/ Madam,
Thank you for the Notice of Determination of penalty for a late Tax Return for the year ended 5 April 2010. It was an unpleasant surprise to receive this document , since I had already replied to your first notification, explaining my position and why it is no longer necessary for me to submit a tax return to your office. That reason is that, since MY MOVE TO CANADA, your own office issued me with an exemption from UK tax. I pay tax here in Canada, in accordance with the taxation agreement between the United Kingdom and Canada.
I am disappointed that you have had to send out a notice informing me that you intend to fine me. Surely you have a database of tax exempt individuals? If not, I am sure any reputable database company could supply you with one. Or you could use EDS.
You may feel I am over-reacting to a minor inconvenience, but I believe that you have this information easily available to you and it is lazy over-automation that dispenses these notices, causing unnecessary cost to the public.
If you feel the need to send another demand for money I do not owe, I would appreciate the courtesy of a named individual to write to. You may also wish to consider the implications of using e-mail, which would speed up the process considerably. For example, the notice informing me (erroneously) that I had failed to file my return took two weeks to reach me, by which time more than half the allotted response time had elapsed. You do not trouble to use airmail to send your demand, but seem to insist that I do so to reach your office within your deadline. This seems presumptuous, especially considering, as I have already mentioned, that your own office issued me with my exemption.
This last week I have been working with accountants to complete my tax return here in Canada. I will be paying tax here in Canada. I have paperwork attesting to that fact. You, also, should have paperwork indicating that this is the case. If you do not, I suggest that the fault lies with your filing system, as indicated by the generation of this insulting demand in the first place. If you wish to discuss this matter with me in person, I suggest you stay up past midnight to call me on the telephone. If you find this request unreasonable, perhaps you will explain why you expect ME to stay up past midnight so I can speak to YOU on the phone*.
I will understand if you feel this letter to be rude or sarcastic. I will not, however, apologise in this instance. All my dealing with the UK Inland Revenue have been impersonal, difficult and, without exception, riddled with errors. Time and again your offices have lost documents, started irrelevant procedures and made unreasonable demands or accusations. I had hoped that by moving to a different country and paying tax to a different government, that I would be freed of this problem, but alas this is not the case.
Please. Please. Please. Look up your records. Perhaps under “Trasler, D.” I completed the paperwork to be taxed only HERE IN CANADA. THAT is why I did not file a 2009/2010 return in the UK. Because I’m filing one here. Where I live and work. I don’t owe you a fee, or a penalty. You owe me postage and an apology.
*I will not be calling on the phone, as it was an error made by an Inland Revenue employee during a phone conversation that lead to an enormous amount of paperwork and wasted effort on a separate issue. From that point on, all my dealings with the Inland Revenue have been by correspondence. I have never received a letter from the same person twice, and you have now ceased to indicate at all the presence or identity of human beings in your offices.
Its alarming to see that the UK revenue department is just as stupid and inept as the US IRS. What is it about having a job with a revenue department that sucks the brains and common decency out of people? Sort of like politics, once in office, the brains are sphioned out…. Good Luck! 😀
We all want to download this as a letter template and tweak it accordingly to suit our circumstances… Actually I cannot complain as I had a rebate this year which my money grabbing accountant clawed back for me. But Damian, I love your style… I’m sure there is a scene in a script here.
Love the letter–and love the “tags” even more!
You are hilarious! I’m so glad your friend Kristen Lamb let your secret out 😉
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