HM REVENUE & CUSTOMS has been forced to apologise to the owner of a Greater Manchester café after mistakenly sending it a tax demand of £1bn.
Florence Coke, owner of Mamma Flo's in Gorton, received a tax bill of £979,092,858 in March.
HMRC said the bill was sent in error, adding they have since sent a corrected bill and apologised to Coke.
"When I realised it was nearly £1bn I nearly fell over in the kitchen. I don't even make a wage," she told the BBC.
She added that the original bill for VAT had a "threatening" tone, stating HMRC could seize her assets and sell them at auction or arrange for a debt collection agency to collect payment.
"I was so worried they would come and take all my stuff," Coke said. "I work 150 hours a week and I put everything I have into the cafe."
A spokesperson for HMRC said: "We are very sorry to hear of the problems our customer has had. We can't comment on individual cases but have already contacted her to apologise and put matters right."
You may also like
If budgeting is to have any value at all, it needs a radical overhaul. In today's dynamic marketplace, budgeting can no longer serve as a company's only management system; it must integrate with and support dedicated strategy management systems, process improvement systems, and the like. In this paper, Professor Peter Horvath and Dr Ralf Sauter present what's wrong with the current approach to budgeting and how to fix it.
In this white paper CCH provide checklists to help accountants and finance professionals both in practice and in business examine these issues and make plans. Also includes a case study of a large commercial organisation working through the first year of mandatory iXBRL filing.