Taking Stock – The truth is out there … in the Revenue’s Z-files.

Amongst all the brouhaha surrounding whether or not the Inland Revenue has actually ‘closed’ one million tax files, TS was intrigued to read about the term ‘Z-ing’, which is what had technically happened to the files. Did this mean that the files had been put to sleep and were now pushing up the zzzz, or was there something more sinister, along the lines of the X-files?

TS wondered if the Revenue was actually putting together its own set of Z-Files, secretly stashed away and forever suppressed as insoluble mysteries that would terrify and strike panic into the heart of poor unsuspecting taxpayers should they ever come to light. Indeed there are some tax measures, such as IR35 and changes to double tax relief that some would argue could only come from an extraterrestrial mind, but TS hasn’t bought into this conspiracy theory.

Sadly nothing quite so exotic. Going back to the good old days when tax files were done on cards, and not on screen, the Revenue says there was a box that needed to be filled to show the record’s status. A ‘U’ signified underpayment, a ‘R’ meant repayment, and a ‘Z’ meant, well, the file was closed. However, others with longer memories agree with the analysis but not the letters: instead, an ‘A’ was used for ‘assess’, ‘N’ for nil tax and ‘Z’ for zero action. Any more suggestions?

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