I Just Love VAT

In 2000 the company in which I was Chairman, MD and 50% Shareholder, received a very substantial surcharge from the VAT Office, because of a considerable delay in our sending a Quarterly VAT return.

Because we were exporters, normally we would be reclaiming VAT not paying it.  However.  As this was my fault I decided to appeal to the VAT Office, which I did in a letter as follows:

HM Customs & Excise, Surcharge Appeal Team
Chesterfield Business Centre
Dents Chambers
New Square
Chesterfield
Derbyshire, S40 1AJ
For the attention of – The Surcharge Appeal Team

Dear Sirs,

Our local VAT office in Peterborough tell me that you are the correct people to write to with an appeal in connection with our latest surcharge.
I would be grateful if you would reconsider the current surcharge. Peterborough suggested that I explain the reason to you in the same way that I did to them. In their view if you are unable to allow the appeal at least you will find the grounds a bit different.

At 10:00 pm on Tuesday the 11 July my wife found me dead in our kitchen.

Being a resourceful woman she ran next door for our neighbour, who fortunately is a cardio thoracic surgeon at Papworth Hospital. Samer carried out resuscitation procedures until the emergency services arrived and re­started my heart. Since then I have had my own internal defibrillator fitted and have returned to work.

As a result of the above I got behind with one or two things, one being our last quarter VAT return. If it is of any consolation I will not be able to use this as a reason ever again because the internal defibrillator will not permit me to die again, at least not until the battery runs out in five years time.

It is conceivable that you will find this reason a bit far fetched. I am therefore enclosing one of the numerous bills that BUPA picked up on my behalf and trust that this lends credence to this appeal. Regrettably as I did not need either a new heart or a new lung my neighbour Samer Nashef, having brought me back from the dead, was the only one who could not invoice BUPA for his services.

Oh! And according to my wife I haven’t looked better in years.

Yours Faithfully,
John Keegan
Chairman & Managing Director.

Who says that VAT Officers are lacking in heart? Seven days later I received the following letter:

Ian Roffe, my Co-Director and I celebrated with a superb lunch at the Pike & Eel, Needingworth.

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