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Your Tax Pounds (not) at Work

You know that live-action version of the Simpson's opening? It was cute ... when you could look at it on YouTube at your leisure. It's not so cute when Sky runs it during every commercial break.

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I'm a little flummoxed by the lack of professionalism I've encountered in the past couple days here in the UK.

Case the first

My Inland Revenue tax return was made out and sent to BrandThis! instead of me, due to a clerical error by the accounting firm they hired to "take care of me." Everyone involved was aware, and the deal was they'd forward the refund check to me when they got it.

In the meantime, BrandThis! decided that they didn't withhold enough tax before I left (after the tax cycle for which the refund was issued). So, without notifying me or discussing it in any way, they decided to deduct their own error from my refund before cutting me a new check.

The thing is, the accounting firm reissued my tax return (after I'd submitted it to Inland Revenue) so that the refund would come directly to me. I didn't submit the revised return 'cause I thought it'd be easier to deal with work than the government. If the check had come directly to me, then the BT! accountant would have never been able to take the money that they screwed up on by not notifying me before they showed me the door.

Unbelievable. It will all work out in the next tax cycle, but still .. I firmly believe they had no right to take money back from me without asking (or at least advising). And they have not responded to my more-than-polite request for an explanation.

Who needs 4 grand anyway? Fuckers.

Case the second

A friend of mine, who we'll call Lucio Spinoza, has recently applied for some new immigration papers. A couple days ago, he recieved a package from the Home Office. In said package was a letter awarding him residence in the UK, his new residence card, and his orignal documentation (including bank statements, pay stubs, residence permit for another EU country, Inland Revenue card, and National Insurance card).


One problem. My friend didn't apply for residency. He applied for Leave to Remain (an extension of his current visa). Seems there's another Lucio Spinoza in the UK who was applying for a change to his immigration status at the same time. The Home Office totally got the two files mixed up and sent the 2nd LS's documents to my friend LS.

So the 2nd LS is sitting at home, waiting to hear if he gets his residency or not, and his documents that he entrusted to the government are now sitting with someone else. Nice.

I'm completely accepting of human error. But that's just human stupidity. The government is so worried about identification and immigration (not to mention terrorism) and yet they apparently have no standards to guarantee that the legal identification documents they send via Royal Mail are delivered to the intended recipient.

Oh yeah ... my passport is currently at the Home Office because I too have applied for a change in my Leave to Remain. I'm hoping it doesn't get to sent to some unknown namesake in Norwich.