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
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Sport
wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test