Saturday, January 06, 2007

Me, an idiot

Good morning Inland Revenue how may I help you?

Yes, hi, good morning, I want to ask about these two additional assessment demand notes I received...

Yes. May I have your ID card number please.... Yes.... And your name please? Okay...... I see. Please give me a moment to look at your file.


Miss, these are additional assessment for your request for relating back your gratuity payment from the last year to this year.

Last year, that would be 2004 to 2005?

Yes, that is the last financial year.

Well, I don’t understand it, there must be some mistake.

Did you or did you not apply for additional assessment on you gratuity payment you received in 2004/05? I think I did fill in a box.... something about gratuity...

Well that’s fine then, we have fulfilled your request.

Well…. But you see, when I ticked that box, I thought what it meant was that because that money was gratuity payment, so it is not a regular part of my salary, and so….. you should not include it in the calculation of my provisional tax this year, right? So how come instead of a smaller tax bill, I’m getting two EXTRA ones?

Let me check. One moment please.

....(idiots… bloody thieves).....

The demand notes we sent you are correct, the gratuity payment has not been considered towards your provisional tax of this year, miss.

But... but... but how come I have to pay another two extra tax bills? Shouldn’t I be paying less?

Miss, according to my records, you ARE paying less. One extra bill is for 2003/04, and the other is for 2004/05, since your contract gratuity, according to the form you filled in, covers your employment for those two years.

How could that be.....???

Do you know what "relating back of your gratuity payment to this year" means, miss? actually, no...not really.... I thought it means I pay less tax....

Yes, you are right, and you ARE paying less, miss.

(Dear God please help me, help me get out of this).....well...I don’t understand... how could this be.....

(slight pause) Miss, let me explain. Firstly, like I said, you are paying less provisional tax. Secondly, separate calculation of your gratuity payments means it is less likely you will hve to pay the standard tax rate of 16%. So you are paying less. You can compare the tax you pay now and what you would have been paying if you have to pay the standard rate. You will see that this is lower than the standard rate.

Oh.... Yes.. sure...I understand now
(actually, I don’t really). Thank you for your time.... Thanks.

You are welcome. Good bye.

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