Friday, June 14, 2024

Taxing tymes


TAXPAYERS collectively spent the equivalent of almost 800 years waiting on the phone last year as they tried to speak to HM Revenue and Customs advisers, a report has revealed

The National Audit Office spending watchdog found that average call waiting times at HMRC have soared by more than 350 per cent in five years, with increasing numbers of callers not getting through in the first place, or having their calls terminated. Those who were eventually connected waited an average of almost 23 minutes in 2023-2024, compared with five minutes in 2018-2019.

In fact, the situation is much worse than reported, according to three leaked files from the HMRC archives. They reveal that some taxpayers have waited a whole 800 years for a response . . .

2676 BC

From: Mr Flint Knapper, The Cave, nr Salisbury.

To: The taxman.

Dear Sirs,

I strained my back while lifting a sarsen during the building of Stonehenge and have not been able to go hunter-gathering since 2678 BC. Am I entitled to a tax rebate?

1876 BC

To: Mr Flint Knapper, The Cave, nr Salisbury.

From: The taxman.

Dear Mr Knapper,

Thank you for your inscribed tablet of 2676 BC and apologies for the 800-year delay in replying. As you will appreciate in these fast-changing times, we are committed to using the latest technology. Our staff are currently being trained to make inscriptions with bronze tools instead of sharpened stones and we hope to be back in touch with you as soon as this programme is completed.

376 BC

From: Caradoc the Spearman, The Iron Age Hill Fort, Albion.

To: The taxman.

Dear Sirs,

My local Druids are charging tax at the full rate for purchases of woad. But surely I should be entitled to 25 per cent relief because of my recent burial of gifts to the Earth gods and my ceremonial sacrifice of a chicken? I await your early reply.

AD 424

From: The taxman.

To: Mr Caradoc the Spearman, The Iron Age Hill Fort, Albion.

Dear Mr The Spearman,

Thank you for your communication of 376BC, which we received via beacon fires. We apologise for the 800-year delay in replying. As you will appreciate, we at the Anglo-Saxon Interim Authority in Londinium are still dealing with the repercussions of Rexit, when the Roman Empire left Britannia in AD 410. We will be in touch as soon as possible.

AD 1224

From: Dorban Wattle, yeoman.

To: Ye taxman.

Dear Sirs,

According to this new-fangled Magna Carta, taxation can be imposed only by consent. Ergo, I do not consent to paying for the Crusades, the King’s war with France and the depredations of the rebellious barons, to name but a few things. As far as I can see, this Magna Carta is a Non-Starta.

AD 2024

From: HMRC, 100 Parliament Street, London.

To: Mr Dorban Wattle, yeoman.

Dear Mr Wattle,

Thank you for your parchment of AD 1224 and apologies for the 800-year delay in replying. Your query is important to us and we ask for your patience. Please phone us and you will find you are currently two million, seven hundred and twenty thousandth in the queue and should be through to an adviser in 800 years. To help pass the time, you will hear a recording of The Trumpet Voluntary endlessly repeated.

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Weaver Sheridan
Weaver Sheridan
Weaver Sheridan is a wannabe best-selling novelist, one of his efforts being the Fifties Franny series, available on Amazon Kindle books.

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