Shitipedia : S is for Self-Assessment

Every year I complete two self Assessment Tax returns – one for myself and one for Mrs D. I do this as soon as possible once the tax year is over because we live on savings and investments where tax is deducted at source, so they always owe us money.

We call it the ‘HMRC Savings Scheme’…

Last year, I submitted the returns on 24th April and reclaimed a total of £1,961.60 which, to be fair to HMRC, was in my bank account on 30th April. They settle promptly if you submit the stuff on line and make the refund by BACS.

This year, the £1,453.50 rebate (interest rates had gone down and we kept spending on holidays!) was in our account on 23rd April.

“So what’s the beef, then, Dioclese?” I hear you asking.

Well, it’s this : I just received a form SA316 from HMRC. This is a notice telling me of dire consequences and penalty charges if I fail to submit a Self Assessment Tax Return by 31st October (paper) or 1st January (online). Mrs D got one as well. We get one every year.

Now you wouldn’t have thought it beyond the wit of HMRC and it’s systems to not waste vast amounts of tax payers money sending these things out to people who have not only already submitted their returns online, but who have also received a rebate payment courtesy of the same computer system.

On the other hand, the Government Gateway system was written by Microsoft so that probably explains it…


7 responses to “Shitipedia : S is for Self-Assessment

  1. One advantage of me being as poor as a church mouse is not paying tax on income – the only advantage I can think of. As far as wasting money sending out reminders to those who've already paid, like you say, who gives a shit when it's other people's money being wasted? They all do it. In the days when I was a Sky subscriber it used to boil my piss to receive their missives with offers for cheap broadband – only snag was when I phoned them to take up the offer I was informed that Sky broadband was not available at my exchange – the useless toss-pots.

    It's now the 21st century. We live in a world with vast computing power on hand. Yet seemingly nobody is capable of writing a piece of software to filter recipients of mail-shots based on certain criteria. I know that's bollocks because I have written software and know this is eminently possible, and I have also worked in a mailing department and know that demographic profiling was a large part of targeting our mailings.

    No it's just laziness or incompetence or both in yet another arm of government – an arm of government with disgusting draconian powers at its disposal when dealing with the man on the Clapham omnibus, but which pussyfoots around when it comes to the uber rich and famous – the bastards!

  2. Before I retired I actually did a contract at Microsoft working on the Government Gateway. I was a contractor for over 20 years and this was the only contract I asked to be released from. It was a total shambles.

    Re your Sky experience, I had a similar one with Virginmedia. They kicked me off to TalkTalk because they don't want non-fibre broadband subscribers. Doesn't stop the cunts mailing me to try and sell it to me though. Same with BT. They bombard me with junk mail trying to sell me super fast fibre optic broadband.

    You would think that BT would know were not wired for fibre wouldn't you? Especially as they fucking wire it !!!

    See :

  3. Nothing to do with Microshaft but it doesn't do any harm to kick them anyway but more to do with our lords and masters cutting costs.

    Looks like you are an anomaly in my theory but it is the exceptions that prove the rule.

    Have you not noticed that the only systems that work well in government are the ones that take money from you. The ones where you get money back are crap.

    Easy example. Car tax, pay online 24/7/356 via Card. Claim car tax, post and they give you a cheque.

  4. If you pay by credit card they will charge you a £2.50 fee. Nice.

  5. Problem with government contracts is that the spec is never frozen because it's designed by committee. No civil servant ever wants to take responsibility for a project because it could jeopardise his career prospects.

    The project plan always starts with “Step1. Write the spec. 3 weeks' or the like. It never occurs to them that they should write the plan AFTER they know what the spec is, so they allocate time to programming, testing and roll out without knowing what it is they are writing in the first place.

    Fails every time and they never learn.

    In the programmers' office at Microsoft Campus in Reading there used to be a banner saying “Remember. The future of the world is in your hand today.” One night, a bloke with a red pen wrote underneath “We're fucked then!”

    Says it all doesn't it?…

  6. I wonder what would happen if, at their behest, you were to send your forms in again?

    Would a second refund be forthcoming? 😉

  7. Now there's a thought…….!