There is a splendid letter in today's Telegraph from a taxpayer ("customer" sticks in the throat), who is a tad upset that HMRC have used the word "penalties" 11 times in a letter covering the subject of tax returns.
The author goes on to say that such letters should in future include some words of thanks for those who have paid their tax.
Here is the letter in full:
"SIR – My wife and I have just received letters from HMRC informing us that it is time to complete our tax returns. In a single letter they manage to use the word “penalties” (for non-compliance) 11 times.Perhaps instead of threatening us with penalties, they would like to thank us for the amount of tax and National Insurance contributions we paid last year.May I suggest that they illustrate this with a pie chart showing a breakdown of how much we were allowed to keep and how much was spent on education, the NHS, police, defence, benefits, overseas aid, MPs’ expenses and interest payments on the national debt. I’m sure this would be very easy with their expensive new computer system. It would also be illuminating (and depressing) if they could show the running total we have paid in direct taxes since we started work almost 50 years ago.Graham Worthington
Lamothe-Goas, Midi-Pyrénées, France"
Tax does have to be taxing.
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