A few weeks ago I put out a panicky tweet about my self assessment thingumajig for the tax man and the lovely @CazzONeill told me about the 'additional needs' link on the HMRC website. In that section there is the option to book a face-to-face meeting with a tax bod. So I clicked on the link and two hours later was presented with my appointment time and date.
And today I went along to it. Apparently, according to the tax bod I met, there aren't any offices anymore for these meetings and instead they book a room in an office space for the meeting that is required and that is what I turned up to. There wasn't a single HMRC sign in sight, which I found a little bit worrying at first, but luckily he had his ID.
And so he talked me through the whole self-assessment process. He answered all my questions, and created an amazing PacMan/Taxman analogy that I've completely forgotten about – and I left there happier but poorer.
I chatted to him a bit about how great this service is and he said that he could put me forward to give feedback on it, but that they would call me to get this feedback – the only mega-fail of the whole service HMRC provides.
Knowing that I can get an appointment to ask about tax stuff is absolutely invaluable. It means I don't have to get someone to lift the phone, or struggle to make the call and worry that I have missed something. I would definitely recommend using this service and am slightly terrified that Government cuts will see it sidelined in the future.
It got me thinking whether there are any other places you can get these face-to-face meetings? I have requested one with the Citizens Advice Bureau before but they actively seem to discourage this and push people towards phone calls or email.
Let me know though what your experiences have been.
I'm just off to start documenting my taxes for the 2014/2015 tax year – after all, I know how to now.
Have a luffly evening peeps.