A Saturday morning date with the Revenue

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THE Inland Revenue is becoming much keener on getting money in on time. It is following the practice adopted by some lenders and telephoning taxpayers at home when payments are overdue.

'We do ring up,' a spokesman said, 'but only after we have sent out a couple of reminders which have brought no results. If you are, say, 'down the line' in non- payment, then we may well turn up on your doorstep.'

Sue Sillitoe was amazed when she received a telephone call from the Inland Revenue at 8.30am one Saturday.

'I was just making breakfast for my three children when the phone rang. There was this woman at the other end, saying 'I'm calling from the Inland Revenue in Shipley. When are you going to pay your tax, love?'

'My first reaction was outrage at being hassled on a Saturday morning. Why couldn't they speak to me about it during business hours? I knew I was overdue with my second payment, but I am a freelance journalist and was waiting for people to pay me before I could pay my tax - about pounds 700. I was quite happy to pay the extra interest. She asked me when my next cheque was due in, and why couldn't I pay something towards the bill when I got that cheque? I thought it was all a bit much.'

'If you refuse to pay your tax,' a Revenue spokesman said, 'we can send a collector round with a bailiff. They will mark up goods in your home which are estimated to be worth the amount due. If you do not pay up within five days, then they take away the goods. It is remarkably effective.'

(Photograph omitted)

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