As if things couldn't get worse for the Inland Revenue, the department found itself facing further embarrassment this week after sending a postal request to a tax credit applicant asking for his name and address.
In a bizarre series of events, the taxpayer received a correctly addressed letter and was astounded to read the accompanying request. ‘Thank you for your tax credit claim. We need more information to help us to process it for you. We have marked the details we need with an’X’ on the claim form page(s) attached to this letter.’
On studying the attached form, he was astonished to see his title, surname, first names, address, and date of birth sections were required.
The tax credit deadline was midnight on Monday, and applicants missing it will no longer be able to claim a full year’s credits.
A Revenue spokeswoman said if it had any concerns, it had to ‘make doubly sure we have everything correct’.
Andrew Todd, whose client received the letter, was stunned. ‘So the Revenue can’t cope with the volume of tax credit applications,’ he said.
‘It might help if it stopped writing to applicants asking them to telephone or write with details of their names and addresses. It really is giving monkeys a bad name.’