Happy New Year!

Yes, I know it’s April – but for some of us sad buggers, it’s new year. I refer of course to the New Tax Year.

Out with the old and in with the new! Just when you’ve seen the last of the bloody bank and building societies trying to ram ISAs down your throat, along comes that lovely brown envelope ‘inviting’ you to submit a tax return.

Now for many of you, this is most likely not a problem, but for us old farts that are trying desperately to make ends meet with our meagre pensions and even more meagre savings this is pretty much the last straw. I don’t have a huge income, but what there is is spread around all over the place in little bits, so the result is that I always end up overpaying tax and then having to claim it back again every April.

HMRC are now so piddled with me doing this every year, that they like to launch a pre-emptive strike. Hence their kind ‘invitation’. Somehow, only our esteemed Revenue Service could cock up your taxes, then send you a demand to fill in a return and tell you that it’s an ‘invitation’.

So, fresh off the blocks this afternoon I shall be sending off the usual letters, making the usual phone calls and sending the e-mails that are required for me to gather in all the supporting paperwork that enables me to compose this annual extravaganza. It’s a absolute pain in the neck, so if Boy George reckons he can simplify the system, then good luck to him. He gets my support – even if I will believe it when I see it.

To be fair to HMRC, once the claim is in the cheque comes pretty quickly. That’s about the only good thing I have to say about it all.

Now, where’s that strong black coffee?…


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