Friday, 12 March 2010

A Reply from the Taxman

The Taxman's Answer

I was sent the following and I'm assured it is a genuine reply to a taxpayer. The Guardian published it I understand. It does show someone at HMRC has a sense of humour or at the very least the courtesy to respond.

Dear Mr [name removed],

I am writing to you to express our thanks for your more than prompt reply to our latest communication, and also to answer some of the points you raise. I will address them, as ever, in order.

Firstly, I must take issue with your description of our last as a "begging letter". It might perhaps more properly be referred to as a "tax demand".. This is how we at the Inland Revenue have always, for reasons of accuracy, traditionally referred to such documents.

Secondly, your frustration at our adding to the "endless stream of crapulent whining and panhandling vomited daily through the letterbox on to the doormat" has been noted. However, whilst I have naturally not seen the other letters to which you refer, I would cautiously suggest that their being from "pauper councils, Lombardy pirate banking houses and pissant gas mongerers" might indicate that your decision to "file them next to the toilet in case of emergencies" is, at best, a little ill-advised. In common with my own organisation, it is unlikely that the senders of these letters do see you as a "lackwit bumpkin" or, come to that, a "sodding charity". More likely they see you as a citizen of Great Britain, with a responsibility to contribute to
the upkeep of the nation as a whole.

Which brings me to my next point. Whilst there may be some spirit of truth in your assertion that the taxes you pay "go to shore up the canker-blighted, toppling folly that is the Public Services", a moment's rudimentary calculation ought to disabuse you of the notion that the government, in any way, expects you to "stump up for the whole damned party" yourself. The estimates you provide for the Chancellor's disbursement of the funds levied by taxation, whilst colourful, are, in fairness, a little off the mark. Less than you seem to imagine is spent on "junkets for Bunterish lickspittles" and "dancing whores", whilst far more than you have accounted for is allocated to, for example, "that box-ticking facade of a university system."

A couple of technical points arising from direct queries,

1. The reason we don't simply write "Muggins" on the envelope has to do with the vagaries of the postal system.

2. You can rest assured that "sucking the very marrow of those with nothing else to give" has never been considered as a practice because, even if the Personal Allowance didn't render it irrelevant, the sheer medical logistics involved would make it financially unviable.

I trust this has helped. In the meantime, whilst I would not in any way wish to influence your decision one way or the other, I ought to point out that, even if you did choose to "give the whole foul jamboree up and go and live in India", you would still owe us the money.

Please send it to us by Friday.

Yours sincerely,


Uncle Marvo said...


voterinscotland said...

That is not genuine as the Complaints section of HMRC do use Inland Revenue as that ceased over 3 years ago. Having worked there for over 30 years there are now strict guidelines on what can be used in letters regarding complaints incase the matter went to Ombusman.

Sorry! But it was fun though.

Clarinda said...

Surely there was no need to redact Oldrightie's name from this letter?

CrazyDaisy said...



subrosa said...

Voter, couldn't it just be older than 3 years? Yes indeed it was good anyway.

subrosa said...

Clarinda, damn! Now everyone will know the source. :)

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

It's not from HMRC.

Penalties and interest aren't mentioned.

subrosa said...

Very true RA, it's a fake then. Oh dear, I'll shoot the sender. :)

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Rosa don't do that, because the tone if not the context of the letter was a pretty fair if satirical take on the HMRC job-speak.

We are the servants of the State with a polite but irrevocable duty to collect the tithes the State deems fit to impose upon you.

Unless of course you are a mega rich oligarch with non-dom status granted world wide; in which case we will gratefully accept any amount you gracefully submit.

subrosa said...

RA, I wonder if the mega rich receive the same tedious tax return form as ourselves or do they perhaps just get one sheet of A4 which requests their accountant's name and address.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Good lord no Rosa.

The head of the Treasury usually has a word in their ear when he takes them to the club for lunch.

I've never been quite sure whether "word in their ear" is a euphemism or code for some ritual or other?

Got to go now Rosa - I'm a bit P O'd at the moment and spitting feathers with a quasi quango that calls itself a charity. So I'm looking for a dog to bite.

Now for the umpteenth time I'll try to convince your verification panel I'm not a dyslexic - well not a bad one anyway.

subrosa said...

Ah, RA, I'm sure many of us know that feeling well. Fake charities - politicians modern inventions - and luvvies with the Righteous.

Keep an eye on your BP though.

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