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Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.
Saturday, 23 February 2008
Rearranging The Deckchairs on The Titanic II
Further to my earlier article about HMRC "celebrating Gay Lesbian and transgender month" (albeit with a "secret" co-ordinator); it seems that, despite all the fanfare with which HMRC claim to be "right on" wrt gay and lesbian issues etc, reality falls somewhat short of the spin.
I received this email from a lady today, who is far from happy with HMRC's heavy handed treatment of her and her partner.
Re 'celebrating Gay Lesbian and transgender month with various events.'
The 'event' it should start with is writing off the tax credit overpayments of its LGBT 'customers' who have had their honesty in declaring a same-sex partner (as required under the Civil Partnership act 2004) rewarded by demands for thousands of pounds back, apparently representing credits overpaid on their sole awards now that their living arrangements are differently viewed, and their partners recognised in law.
My own honesty in advising HMRC of this on 5th December 2005 - the moment I was supposed to - was to receive a (2005) Christmas present of an overpayment bill for £5880 which I have been fighting ever since, with the help of www.taxCC.org.
Not only that, but HMRC - with my details before them - insisted in repeatedly referring to my partner as male, despite her very gender-specific first name. They also referred to our living together as a 'household breakdown'. Very enlightened, LGBT-aware treatment that!
These heterosexist assumptions and hurtful description of our supposedly 'changed circumstances' persisted without apology until January 2007, when - after being instructed by the Adjudicator to do so - HMRC eventually grudgingly gave one.
The letter glibly states: 'Let me assure you that we take the human rights and the equality of our staff and customers very seriously. HMRC has just been placed in the top 100 of the workplace equality index (WEI) of Stonewall, the organisation that promotes equality for lesbians, gay men and bisexual people (LGB)'.
So that makes it alright then?
'Tax does have to be discriminatory'".
Tax does have to be taxing.
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