Logical Suicide

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by ZatoRocke, May 20, 2014.

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  1. ZatoRocke

    ZatoRocke New Member

    About 4 years ago I became homeless and shortly after, lost my job. Apparently HM Revenue and Customs randomly send random people a "Self-Assessment" and if you don't fill it in, you are put down as self-employed which means you should be paying a lot of Tax. From what I understand this is an automatic process. Unknown to me, one of those was sent to my old address and being homeless, I didn't receive it. Anyway, I eventually pulled myself up from being homeless with help from charities and live in a rented flat which I share with a friend. At this point I still had no idea about the self-assessment.

    After getting a new job however, I started receiving mail from HM Revenue and Customs to my current address stating that I owe them roughly 4 years worth of Tax. Having been unemployed for a long time, I have virtually no money/savings and very few possessions. All I can say I actually own is my bed, my clothes and a pedal bike to get to work with, all of which were provided by charities. I do own a computer however, that my flat-mate sold to me very cheaply as an act of friendship. This computer has become the center of my free-time as I don't really have anything else. I also have a mobile that was given to me as a gift by a different friend.

    I started getting phone calls on my mobile and letters sent to me. First from HM Revenue and Customs then from their solicitors. Several times, I tried to contact HM Revenue and Customs and explain my situation, and each time the letters have kept coming, so I contact them again and they tell me "A box wasn't ticked" or something and it will be sorted. Under the assumption that perhaps it was an automated process and would simply take time to fix, I started ignoring the calls and not answering the letters.

    Now solicitors are contacting me. I have had a letter saying if I don't pay back the money I owe in time they are going to have a Warrant of Execution taken out against me, deduct money from my work earnings or even summon me to court. I don't know what to do...

    I know it's selfish but I don't want anyone finding anything out about me being homeless or about all of this and I certainly don't want people banging on our door! I only work 10 - 16 hours a week, minimum wage, me and my friend pay £240 each a month rent which I get benefits from the council to help me pay since I don't earn enough - we also half all the bills and I've got to buy food on top of that. I can't sell the bike I was given or I won't be able to afford to get to work. I have virtually no savings and I don't own anything to sell accept my computer and mobile, which I really, badly don't want to part with for personal reasons. I'm terrified my bike will be taken and I'll have to quit my job, or my computer will be taken. The computer is full of personal things I've created since I've got it, like stories I've written and other pointless personal things that are just hard to have to loose. I've been saving for a back-up hard drive so I could maybe keep something and one day buy a new computer, but I just can't get enough money together. Besides, they'd probably take that too.

    What can I do? I want to be able to offer them the lowest amount I can pay each month but will they accept this or has it gone too far now? A friend of mine told me they cant do a thing as I don't own the home so they can't take anything and will write it off after 5 years. But I'm still worried if my Landlady lets them in to my flat can they take stuff? I'm so confused I need to have some advice in plain English as I don't know anything about debts or how to handle them. I've gone out of my way in a serious manner my entire life to avoid loans or any other kind of situation where I would be in debt so how did I end up here?

    What's weird is apparently the amount of Tax I owe isn't too bad, but I've been getting penalty charges for not sending them this self-assessment for 4 years.

    I could probably afford £20 a month to get them off my back, but that is my entire food budget gone. I'd have eat maybe once every two days for the sake of survival. Would they even accept that? A friend said - once I give in to the letters and calls and make a minimum repayment agreement with them they will hound me forever to keep paying more and more and keep increasing the monthly payments.


    I literally can't sleep, eat or function properly because of the worry of this. I've lost interest in everything I used to enjoy, feel like I have no energy all the time and am constantly depressed at work. Every time someone knocks on our door I crap myself.

    It's come to suicidal thoughts now just to get away from this total and utter mess, the only thing really stopping me is that I don't want to leave my flat-mate in trouble as I know he couldn't afford to keep the place on his own.

    I've also always been one to never give up and that's why I'm talking to you now, because deep down inside some part of me believes there is a way I can solve this and I'm desperately trying to hold on to that feeling. It's just that there doesn't seem to be a realistic end to the suffering in sight.
  2. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN

    Wow, okay - the first thing is to take a deep breath and calm down. They cannot take what you do not have and the benefit of the UK system over the US system is that even if they took me to court over this (and that will happen if you do not take some action instead of panicking) they will not deduct from your earnings if it leaves you too little to live on.

    If you were sent a self assessment form and did not complete it, this does not mean you have been determined to be self employed - no idea where that piece of nonsense came out but whoever told you that is wrong. You will have been fined £100 for not completing the form and then accrued some interest. What they are probably chasing you for NOW is the fine and interest on the fine. If they believe that you have been avoiding tax for 4 years this would be a criminal case, not a civil pursuit of money. They can see from your National Insurance Number what you have been earning and if you earned nothing for 4 years they have no reason to suppose otherwise unless they are launching a tax fraud enquiry of some kind.

    Regardless of the details you are going to have to breathe deep and deal with this. it is not going away on its own. Take yourself and any letters you have, open or not, to the Citizens Advice bureau. Get it looked at. They will help you. They will make you a cup of tea and go through it with you and you just explain the homelessness, the error, the panic - the suicidal thoughts even if you want to (though clearly they are not doctors) - and they will help you figure it out.

    Come what may, they will not take money you cannot afford to pay. There IS a realistic end to your suffering but not by burying your head in the sand. Google citizens advice. Make an appointment. Get it dealt with.

    Stay safe :hug:
  3. Perfect Melancholy

    Perfect Melancholy SF Friend

    I agree the cab is a great start, I know it sounds odd but if they take you court that might help. You've been out of work so they shouldn't be claiming for this money, a court would do a statement of means so you show them out goings and income and they will decide a rate affordable for you if you do owe anything.

    I really wish you so much luck please keep us posted about the cab

    Take care

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