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The Scottish Mail on Sunday - 2021-11-21

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Why working out taxes is so taxing

Personal Finance

Ms J.S. writes: Revenue & Customs notified me that I was due a refund of £199 tax that was paid on a PPI claim. The company that represented me, PPI Tax Advisory, say they never received Revenue & Customs’ cheque. Seven phone calls and six letters to the taxman have failed to solve the mystery, and the claims firm washed its hands of it. Surely Revenue & Customs can trace whether or not its cheque has been banked? BIZARRELY, soon after you contacted me you received a second letter from the taxman, this time saying a further cheque for £45 had been sent to the same agent, but with nothing to show how this was calculated. It took senior staff at Revenue & Customs headquarters to explain to me what had happened. Your agent submitted claims covering three years, from 2016 to 2019, but you had already filed a self-assessment tax return for one of those years and had a refund. When Revenue & Customs sent the £199 refund, it made the cheque out incorrectly and needed to reissue the payment, but then failed to keep a record of this. Staff recalculated your refund and sent the £45. Next though, they discovered an earlier agent that acted for you had also made a mistake, leaving you now with a tax bill of £151, and not a refund. The bottom line to all of this, I am glad to say, is that Revenue & Customs has done its sums all over again, resulting in a £150 refund which has been sent to PPI Tax Advisory. A Revenue spokesman said: ‘We are sorry for the inconvenience caused – and have now corrected Ms S’s record.’ The taxman has also sent you £75 compensation. I invited PPI Tax Advisory to comment but it did not respond, though it did finally send you £147, which is your tax refunds less its commission. Who says working out your taxes isn’t taxing.

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