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Death & Taxes

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117753.  Sat Nov 18, 2006 9:10 am Reply with quote

Taken from the Guardian, an actual letter sent by the Inland Revenue:

Dear Mr Addison,

I am writing to you to express our thanks for your more than prompt reply to our latest communication, and also to answer some of the points you raise. I will address them, as ever, in order.

Firstly, I must take issue with your description of our last as a "begging letter". It might perhaps more properly be referred to as a "tax demand". This is how we, at the Inland Revenue have always, for reasons of accuracy, traditionally referred to such documents.

Secondly, your frustration at our adding to the "endless stream of crapulent whining and panhandling vomited daily through the letterbox on to the doormat" has been noted. However, whilst I have naturally not seen the other letters to which you refer I would cautiously suggest that their being from "pauper councils, Lombardy pirate banking houses and pissant gas-mongerers" might indicate that your decision to "file them next to the toilet in case of emergencies" is at best a little ill-advised. In common with my own organisation, it is unlikely that the senders of these letters do see you as a "lackwit bumpkin or, come to that, a sodding charity".
More likely they see you as a citizen of Great Britain, with a responsibility to contribute to the upkeep of the nation as a whole.

Which brings me to my next point. Whilst there may be some spirit of truth in your assertion that the taxes you pay "go to shore up the canker-blighted, toppling folly that is the Public Services", a moment's rudimentary calculation ought to disabuse you of the notion that the government in any way expects you to "stump up for the whole damned arty" yourself. The estimates you provide for the Chancellor's disbursement of the funds levied by taxation, whilst colourful, are, in fairness, a little off the mark. Less than you seem to imagine is spent on "junkets for Bunterish lickspittles" and "dancing whores" whilst far more than you have accounted for is allocated to, for example, "that box-ticking fašade of a university system."

A couple of technical points arising from direct queries:

1. The reason we don't simply write "Muggins" on the envelope has to do with the vagaries of the postal system;

2. You can rest assured that "sucking the very marrows of those with nothing else to give" has never been considered as a practice because even if the Personal Allowance didn't render it irrelevant, the sheer medical logistics involved would make it financially unviable.

I trust this has helped. In the meantime, whilst I would not in any way wish to influence your decision one way or the other, I ought to point out that even if you did choose to "give the whole foul jamboree up and go and live in India" you would still owe us the money.

Please forward it by Friday.

Yours Sincerely,
H J Lee
Customer Relations

117776.  Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:54 am Reply with quote

That's fantastic - very funny indeed.

286172.  Thu Feb 28, 2008 4:38 am Reply with quote

that's bloody briliant!! It's still a pain in the backside to pay taxes though...

286195.  Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:03 am Reply with quote

It's a lovely, well-crafted piece of humour that, but to term it an 'actual' letter is wholly erroneous.

Here it is on the Guardian website. Note it's appearance in the 'Funny Money' Section. Also note how the original article makes no claims as to how 'real' it is.

Then look at the byline - it was penned by Chris Addison, who is a stand up comedian, not a journalist. It was just a light-hearted joke of a column. The late, great, Alan Coren regularly used to dress up his columns in this manner.

Googling the pertinent phrases, though, it is remarkable just how many people have reposted it on many, many message boards an blogs calling it a genuine response. Just how credulous are we all?

324742.  Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:03 pm Reply with quote

Would that it were true. When working in the complaints department of a telephone helpdesk, though, a thoroughly repellent and abusive customer (eventually his account was cancelled) claimed that a colleague had told him to "sod off".

He was told "we appreciate just how distressing it must be to be on the receiving end of verbal abuse".


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