HMRC Send Pensioner £4.7billion Tax Bill by Mistake!
A Derbyshire pensioner has been hit by the taxman with an unpaid bill of £4.7 BILLION.
Doug Yeomans, a 78-year-old retired civil engineer from Shardlow in Derbyshire who lives on a state pension, has received a tax bill for £4,742,354,255.
Mr. Yeomans was sent a letter from HM Revenue and Customs informing him £948m would be taken by direct debit every month for the next five months to clear the debt.
HMRC has apologised for its error.
Mr. Yeomans was told the bill “might” have been a mistake when he rang up to complain.
The father-of-two said: “I opened the letter and saw the amount and thought to myself, ‘I’d better start cutting down on the food bill then’.”
“They must think I’m a footballer or something, but I don’t even think that Russian bloke who owns Chelsea could afford that amount.”
The bill sent in error wasn’t the grandfather’s only frustration. He also had problems with the HMRC helpline, where he was told to contact different departments and struggled to get through to the right person.
He said it seemed easier to get an audience with the Pope than to speak to the relevant person at HMRC.
“I think I can probably just about afford the £255, but I think the rest might be pushing it a bit,” he said.
“I live off a state pension, topped up with what I put aside as a pension after a lifetime of working in the building trade.”
Mr Yeomans added that he had received “a lot of bills and demands” from the taxman over the past few months, which worried him.
A spokesman for HMRC said: “We are very sorry to hear of the problems our customer has had and are very sorry about our error.
“We don’t talk about individual cases but when we make mistakes we aim to put them right fast and apologise.”
It is not the first time and will not be the last time that HMRC have made this type of error.
Back in June last year, HM Revenue & Customs admitted it had collected the wrong amount of tax from more than five million people in the 12 months to April 2014.
The Taxman also sent 2,000 demand letters to firms that didn’t owe anything because of a computer failure. Many were wrongly told they would be fined £100.
While HMRC are in the midst of updating their infrastructure by supposedly improving their IT systems and phone helplines, things should be getting better. The reality though is things seem to be taking a backwards step.