James Moore: Owe the taxman £2.76? You'd better meet him at The Ivy to chew it over

Outlook

Dear Taxpayer,

We notice that your account is still in arrears and that you owe the sum of £2.76.

We have been asked by the Government to extend the same concessions to individuals and small businesses as we have extended to large businesses when it comes to settling outstanding tax bills. As such we are willing to offer you the opportunity to meet with us to discuss your debt of £2.76 prior to the commencement of enforcement action.

After agreeing a mutually convenient time the venue is left to your discretion. However, we have found that London restaurants contain all the necessary facilities to expedite a negotiation and we recommend that you select one and reserve a table before communicating it to us.

The tax treatment of such a meeting has been raised with us. It has been common practice to restrict the expenditure on food and drink to £30 per head, higher amounts being considered to be benefits in kind. However, as we can be absolutely sure that your meeting is intended for business, we are willing to waive this stipulation on this occasion only.

We should note that the waiver is conditional upon the quality of the refreshments being acceptable. As such we would recommend that you consider the purchase of a copy of Harden's Restaurant Guide before deciding upon a venue. The selection of one of its top 20 restaurants would be considered acceptable. We are aware that the guide produces top 20s based upon a number of categories such as cost, service, location etc. The top 20 you should use on this occasion should be the list referring to quality.

Whilst we are unable to provide a list of recommended venues, our staff have found that the Ivy has proved to be adequate for discussions during the middle of the working day. For those allocated an earlier time slot, the Wolseley is also acceptable while Petrus has been found by our inspectors to be suitable for evening discussions.

While there has been much unfortunate publicity attached to the settlements achieved with some of our larger customers, we should note that we are not able to guarantee a favourable outcome to anyone from such meetings.

However, we have been asked to make it clear to you that we are prepared to listen to all customers who are willing to make the effort to meet with us at an appropriate time and venue.

In the meantime we should warn you that until your account is settled we shall apply interest to the outstanding amount of £2.76 at a rate of 5 per cent above the Bank of England base rates. Should it turn out that we in fact owe you £2.76 we shall of course credit your account with interest. The rate will be base rates less 5 per cent.

If you choose not to take up this offer or to settle the account we shall of course engage bailiffs to seek redress by auctioning off your property. Any sums realised over and above the level of the debt will be held for you in an account with interest payable at base rates less 5 per cent.

Yours sincerely, HM Revenue & Customs

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Guru Careers: Communications Exec / PR Exec

£25 - £30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a highly-motivated and ambitious Comm...

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral