The Tax Man commeth – the dreaded day draws close – Amazon – spam calls

by | Jan 11, 2024 | Latest Post | 0 comments

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Tax returns

I hate filling in tax forms. Come to that I hate filling in any sort of forms . I have to revert to a pupil – teacher ‘write down 100 times’ mode.


Most of the questions are not relevant to me as they are addressed to every single person who might have their own circumstances and have to declare it . The UK tax people have gone to great efforts to make sure that the new self-assessment situation is understandable and friendly.

This brings me to the topic of filling in forms in general, including having to read  FAQ, you name it.   In most cases the FAQs have obviously been filled in by the industry or firm itself as they frequently avoid asking awkward questions . I suggest any compiler of FAQ do some beta testing  (remember those?)  where the firm could send the FAQs to a number of potential purchasers or users of the system, listen to them, and rewrite the list accordingly .

Satisfaction forms

I also dislike the filling in of satisfaction forms such as PPH people per hour.  If the person has done a halfway decent job then you normally give them five stars, and they give you five stars for being a good customer. It is and unwritten rule that you don’t want to queer somebody’s pitch.

I also hate the post-telephone conversation from someone on the ‘sales team’  even with a verbal warning that ‘you will shortly receive a questionnaire’.

It says such things as

# did the operator understand the reason for your call?
# Was your call dealt with satisfactorily?
# was the operator friendly?
# Are you likely to recommend the service to other people?

# did they sound like a human being or were they robotic (just joking)
# did the line cut off due to poor connectivity?
# could you hear a lot of other sales people in the background?
# was the operator too pushy?
# did they answer your questions or did they stick to their script?

I just click 9 or 10 just to get people out of the way. I doubt if anyone reads these things anyway so what is the point. I don’t want to say nasty things and put someone else out of a job.

Another one only marginally more useful.
Are you
very dissatisfied
neither one nor the other
very satisfied

I normally pick the middle one or the top one if I am feeling charitable.

I particularly dislike Survey Monkey . After a certain time I get sick of filling in the form with questions that are often intrusive and halfway through I think, why am I bothering ?  Do me a favor people just ask half a dozen questions to which you really know the answer and leave it at that . When there is a warning saying, this will take 10 minutes to fill in , unless I see an immediate advantage to myself I don’t even bother.

I frequently buy from Amazon and they ask me how satisfied I was with the delivery. Well, I’ve got news, the item was either delivered or it was not . I do not expect the deliverer to do a song and dance act, ask me how I am, his or her job is to deliver the material and if it arrives on the day that I expected then that is obviously good. Delivering to the right house is enormously encouraging.

People who I put the phone down on (UK)

# when there is a pause, noise in the background, and someone says ‘Am I speaking to Mr Snellgrove?’
# We are doing a survey in the area.
# (robotic) we are calling from your bank clearing department
# This is your technical support team. You have a problem with your computer
# any call from an 0203 number
# silence when you pick up. This is part of an automated system. Lots of numbers are called at the same time. The first one to pick up is talked to by a human.  The rest are left hanging. If the silence lasts for more than 5 seconds then it is a spam call. Note the number, block it and move on.

Back to the tax forms:  I recall days of old when an actual tax person would contact you and ask you a question about your filling in. Such as the state of efficiency or lack of it that the whole thing is done by algorithms and if your account is cross-checked with other activity and a misalignment is found, only that will trigger a query .  Francoise and myself are at the bottom end of the priority list . We live on our state pension and a few bits of income here and there from investments but that’s about it.

4.6 billion of the UK ‘tax gap’ is due to tax evasion but around 70 billion of revenue has been lost to tax evasion overall in the UK. We are not talking about tax avoidance where people have shifted their assets away from the UK. I suspect the time of most of the tax officers is doing detective work and following up those who have undeclared businesses. I don’t think they’re interested in any income below 20,000 pounds please correct me if I am wrong.

Incidentally in the UK Public sector, current receipts for the year 2022 to 23 is £1,017 bn of which
249 billion pounds is income tax,
National Insurance is not far behind -believe it or not – at 178 billion pounds
and VAT is somewhat behind that at 160 billion pounds.

I filled in my own return and found I was not liable to pay anything . I also started to fill in the forms for Francoise but I noticed before filling in the detail it said , ‘check if you are obliged to fill in the form at all’ and I found that her circumstances were such that a return was not even required. It said on the form that they would contact her if there was a necessity which I think is vanishingly unlikely.

Drama over.

Just make sure that you have the Government Gateway number and the unique tax reference number (UTR) and also the email by which you can be recognized.  Those are the basic necessities for entering into the system.

Christian prayer and discussion evening

This evening I went to my Christian gathering at the home of one of our group and we spent most of the time chatting. There were five of us but that was more than enough to fill the evening. We decided to tell each other one good thing that had happened to us in the past year, followed by a bad thing and then another good thing.

I try to make the best out of everything and draw from it so it was difficult to find something negative but then I did identify something and that was the feeling of being isolated and not knowing who to turn to in terms of someone who would be interested, have the time, and would be sufficiently on the same wavelength to be able to have a dialogue.

One of my most enjoyable events was the coach tour to Leicestershire about which I have written. It’s nice not to have to bother about anything. Arrangements are made for you and all you have to do in the event of a tour is to appear at the coach at the right time. There is no washing up, no chores, no responsibilities. You get fed and watered and have a chance to meet a lot of very nice people who are also relaxing. It’s not that I don’t like being at home, in fact I love it, but it is nice to have a change from the same four walls and experience new things.

The other unpleasant thing relates back to the bacon butties we had at the Methodist Church about which I have written. It was just plain badly made. The bacon was cremated, the egg was only cooked on one side, and the bread would of such bad quality that I threw up afterwards. How do I tell these good ladies that the cooking was dreadful? They are doing it voluntarily so in the event of my saying something I hope they won’t take it too personally.

We British are not very good at constructive criticism. We either keep it all inside us and stew, about everything and embarrass people. Someone suggested that I find an intermediary to take the sting out of it. I don’t want to do nothing because for all I know I might do everyone a favor. If I’m paying £2.50 or something I want it to be of reasonable quality and this fell far short.

I find that unresolved matters can leave a stain on me whereas other matters although they might be quite traumatic at the time if they are resolved do not leave any lasting effect. It does help if you are the innocent party in other words you haven’t done anything wrong. You may just be the victim of circumstances or be in the wrong place at the wrong time

We finished the evening by praying for someone who was having difficulty with their christian faith because they could not understand why God would allow evil to happen. We also prayed for someone else who might be offered a job tomorrow. We prayed for the state of the world in general and my goodness does it need it.

Severing links with Amazon  has ceased their printing requirements with Amazon. The reasons given are blunt but in my view well placed.

There are several reasons why we find it was long due to leave this giant global cooperation. Here are the main points:

  • Amazon fully supported the Covid pseudo-pandemic and profited billions from it
  • Amazon supports the digitalisation of everything, meaning more unwanted control, less privacy, less freedom
  • Amazon owner Jeff Bezos is directly associated with the World Economic Forum
  • Amazon causes small and middle-size businesses and shops on the high street to close down
  • Amazon’s working conditions are in-humane

Liberalism in Bonnie Scotland

How is this for liberalism. Parents and pastors who don’t support ‘gender transition’ threatened with 7 years jail. Now, that’s a great step forward. Heaven help us. See link here.



What is the best evidence of life after life.  R. Craig Morgan 48:52
This is WAY WAY out but bear with it.


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