HMRC pour the Cup of Pain

It must have been a cold day, greyer than usual for the London bureaucrats who are trying to chase down an alleged tax debt I accrued before I left Olde Blighty. As if Centrelink didn’t provide enough angst for me last year.

You’ll recall from a previous post that Centrelink (UK readers, this is Aust. “social security“) attributed a ~One Million Dollar share holding to me which I never owned (as an ethical investor, I do not invest in mining or oil companies, exploratory or otherwise).

[To the present] Courtesy of some shabby accounting from S- Accountancy firm in London (pms me for the name if you want to avoid them), I’ve racked up a $4K tax debt in Brexiting Britain, who obviously need all the funds they can get.

How much have they paid consultants to sort out the mess created by Nigel “Mirage” Farage, Priti “Fugly” Patel, Bojo the Light-Heavyweight, and David “Worst PM Ever” Cameron? Billions of Great British Pounds? Shylock wants his pound in flesh…Take heart Dcameron, you’ll yet be the second worst PM in British history very very soon. Enjoy your focaccia in the Canary Isles, or would Elba be more appropriate?

As the Lords lord it over the working class and the “Royal We” exit the European Union, it looks like the United Kingdom of Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales (and the other one) will fall apart too soon. So we’ll have to change our flag won’t we? Come out of the cupboard, Malcolm Turnbull (I’d say closet, but that’s taken by another movement).

Knock, knock.
Who’s there?
Costello who?

[But back to my travails] I herein declare to have received a notice (soon to be attached), which is the only information regarding my debt to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs. I’d hate to think of the letterheads which will all need changing should Charlie or Willy ascend the Throne of Chaos…that is, become King of Almighty Blighty. Just give it to Willy Wonka’s Wifey – it’ll save everyone a lot of money, and no shredding required.

So this all proceeds from some shabby accounting by my ex-accountants in the UK, who have passed the buck to Wild of the Early-Midlife crisis.

I’ve been in pre-midlife crisis mode since I was seven and acquired a hearing loss from the mumps. It’s been downhill slalom ever since. Just ask one of my previous employers, who punished me when they gave me four phones despite wearing hearing aids! But that’s another story…

A flag

I thought I’d cleaned up my affairs before I left the northern climes, filing my tax return early (I believe) via the HMRC online service. I can’t access my account because I don’t have the UK phone number (thank you 2-FA .. that stands for Two-Factor Authentication, not “..”)

I’ll need to spend an hour or more on the phone I wager. I did the reverse grand tour when I was 34ish, a good age to travel as you are financially more secure and the trip won’t be one giant p1ss-up ticking boxes… “Wash that Prague we jusht pashed thru?”

We listened to a lot of music and painted, and finally got through. End of story. I think she sorted everything out.

Now I have to do the same to get access to my HMRC online account. Recently I rang one of the banks there – it took three hours, what with broken connections and waiting on the line. The music sucked after five minutes. I tried a mixture of VoIP and mobile, eventually running out of credit, but not after a couple of broken connections. Not entirely their fault, I imagine – an international call has to be routed via many providers, some satellite, some cable (underwater or otherwise). I got through, eventually, and sorted my sh1t out. {alright, I know you search engines aren’t easily fooled}

By then I’d given Centrelink every financial statement of the past year and they did not relent until I sought Legal Aid. They tried to cheat me out of $10K Au! I was getting into financial dire straits because of the lack of jobs under covid. That’s a disease you stupid conspiracy believers. And there are no UFOs…look – a squirrel! (Thanks Rubio)

I fought my way out of it – not covid, but the Centrelink labyrinth – but not before feeling suicidal. Do not give up! Seek Legal Aid in your State, or have a friend sit by during the call or visitation. Be brave and stoic if you have to do some or all of it alone. My mum always tells me, “Be resilient!”

Now I’ve got HMRC on my back, obviously in need of funds to bomb Yemen by proxy and pay more consultants ‘Brexit advisory fees’. England is now the ar5e-end of humanity, and don’t they know it!

My late-dad was born in England, and I don’t get a British passport because I’m adopted. Go figure. Alas, I do not share in the pure bloody blood of that brood known otherwise as Anglo-Saxon. “Barbarians north of the Rhine,” said the Romans, and it still holds true.

Now they doth hound me, Hounslow to Haberfield! My advice, always use an accountant, even if it’s of the Better Call Saul variety (he’s a lawyer, but you get the drift). Urban accountants like a challenge, and they won’t charge you billions for it.

But I’m swimming up the Thames without goggles and my snorkel’s blocked. Yuck. They’re charging me 300 quid a year in late fees. Three hundred quid? That’s five hundred bucks (Au!) to tell me I may or may not owe them a petty tax bill. David Cameron, may I use your accountant?

As the heretic thus spake: “Pour the cup of pain!” –Percy Bysshe Shelley, Prometheus Unbound.


One Reply to “HMRC pour the Cup of Pain”

  1. Argh, that sucks! So sorry you have to put with all this sh!t, Dan. I really hope you can get out of that one.

    That reminds me of the last time I filed tax in Switzerland. The tax officer looked at my income statement and scoffed “That can’t be right…you can’t survive on such an amount”. He seemed genuinely annoyed at me for probably cheating the system or somehow not declaring income. I left soon after, accruing more tax debt for never having joined the military…it accrues for up to three years after you leave the country, 1.5% per annum. I’m staying away until they abolish the army.

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