No explanation, no attempt to open discourse, just pay it.
I phoned them on the only number they let the public have (premium number of course), having listened to various robots quoting FAQ (none of which met my need) I was delighted when quick as a flash I was talking to a human in a mere 48 minutes.
I told him my sorry story and he he explained in great detail .......
"I only take payments and can not explain anything about how tax is worked out" He shared with me.
He went on to advise me .......
"It's funny but most people calling here think I know all the answers or I can change decisions" I felt so much more relieved.
"Who does know the answers?" I unreasonably challenged.
After only 14 verses of Greensleeves played at the bottom of a well; he came back and suggested I write in with my query. Unless I just wanted to pay it, as he could handle that for me.
I declined his kind offer as I am known for my lack of enthusiasm to shell out immense numbers of English Pounds to any old Tom, Dick or Governmental Department merely 'cos they think I should.
He seemed surprised, but we said goodbye to each other and I went off to write my letter and I imagine he spoke to some other poor baffled bastard.
My letter was posted a fortnight before the due date of Jan 31 and detailed all the evidence and reasons why I couldn't possibly owe them a penny and requested a reason.
Today I got a letter back from them. I was finally satisfied they had taken the time and trouble to read, understand and advise me where they had made their mistake. In plain English it apologised and told me......
You have not paid the £811.42. you owe.
It was due for payment Feb 01 you also now owe us 5% a day interest.
So that was a relief and no mistake.
I thought it was time I ran up my mobile phone bill a bit more, and rang Jimmy in Cumbernauld again, perhaps he'd been on a course since we last spoke and understood a bit more about tax.
He hadn't, so consequently didn't, however I think he got worn down by me waffling through my tears of frustration and took pity on me.
"I see from your records that you've written in ....." He confided in me.
"It's got code UP/11/12 against the amount" He whispered knowingly.
"Ah, has it? Suddenly all appears clear" I could picture as both nodding sagely.
I pointed out that although I understood all of the words he was using individually, as a sentence it might just as well be instructions for growing a radio controlled Marrow.
It seemed they had under-estimated my tax for 11/12 to the said tune. Yes it was their fault, no I hadn't done anything wrong except not paying it back when they so generously invited me to. After all it was their money that I had enjoyed the benefit of enjoying, but now was time to be miserable about it.
And "Oh by the way, we think we probably did the same for year 10/11, so we'll be looking at that shortly"
So all's well that ends well eh?