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Trying to get in touch with HMRC

Trying to get in touch with HMRC

Old Dec 23rd 2019, 7:22 pm
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Default Trying to get in touch with HMRC

Hi,

I need help with getting in touch with HMRC, other than writing letters, which I've been doing on & off for almost 20 years with no result..

I'm an ex-pat living permanently in the US since 2001, I pay my taxes in the US & have nothing in the UK except for a couple of pensions. One has started paying out & another one starts payments next March 2020. I've been informed that UK income tax will be deducted from these payments at source. This means I will pay income tax in the UK & US.

There's supposed to be a Tax Treaty between the UK & US to prevent double taxation & I've been writing to HMRC to try & get this sorted out by having my National Insurance Number changed to "No Tax (NT)" status. I sent in my P85 & forms back in late 2001....& heard nothing. I wrote again in 2008 & 2010............some mail came to my old address in the UK but the new owners never sent it so I've no idea if this was HMRC's replies.

I wrote to HMRC again this August (2019) & was asked for another P85 & form, but I could only send the P85 form as my actual P85 was sent off to them long ago. Since them I received one boiler-plate letter that says my UK pension payments will be subject to UK Income Tax, this is despite making it abundantly clear that I don't live in the UK any more & quoting the UK-US Tax Treaty.

Each time I write it takes about 2 months to get a reply, assuming I actually get one at all, so I'm trying to find out if there's any way to get in touch either by email or fax. I tried calling a couple of times but got left on hold for over 20 mins each time (at $1/min!) & eventually got cut off. No one at HMRC seems to give a toss that I'm expending a considerably large amount of time, effort & money to call them & seem to think that I can just "Visit a local tax agent" even though I've told them again & again that I don't live in the UK.

This issue is covered by law & yet they seem unwilling or unable (or both) to do anything about it.

Has anyone found a reliable way to get in touch &/or how to get this simple matter through these thick skulls?

Thanks from

Lochaber
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Old Dec 23rd 2019, 11:19 pm
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Default Re: Trying to get in touch with HMRC

Have a look at this recent thread.

https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-...ension-927054/

It lays out the process you need to follow. Basically pay the IRS to send a certificate to the Inland Revenue. Read it, go through the process and in 2-4 months things should be sorted out.
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Old Dec 23rd 2019, 11:57 pm
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Default Re: Trying to get in touch with HMRC

Took about 4 weeks for US IRS to confirm they had sent off the relevant certificate to the HMRC..

Not heard anything since from HMRC........
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Old Dec 24th 2019, 11:34 am
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Default Re: Trying to get in touch with HMRC

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl View Post
Took about 4 weeks for US IRS to confirm they had sent off the relevant certificate to the HMRC..

Not heard anything since from HMRC........
I don't recall getting any notice from the IRS that they had done it. It took about two months for HMRC to set a "no tax" coding, then I automatically got a tax refund on what I had already paid. I did not need to contact HMRC, it just happened.
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Old Dec 24th 2019, 6:09 pm
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Default Re: Trying to get in touch with HMRC

Originally Posted by MidAtlantic View Post
I don't recall getting any notice from the IRS that they had done it. It took about two months for HMRC to set a "no tax" coding, then I automatically got a tax refund on what I had already paid. I did not need to contact HMRC, it just happened.
That mirrors my experience as well.
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Old Dec 25th 2019, 6:22 pm
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Default Re: Trying to get in touch with HMRC

Originally Posted by Lochaber View Post
Hi,

I need help with getting in touch with HMRC, other than writing letters, which I've been doing on & off for almost 20 years with no result..

I'm an ex-pat living permanently in the US since 2001, I pay my taxes in the US & have nothing in the UK except for a couple of pensions. One has started paying out & another one starts payments next March 2020. I've been informed that UK income tax will be deducted from these payments at source. This means I will pay income tax in the UK & US.

There's supposed to be a Tax Treaty between the UK & US to prevent double taxation & I've been writing to HMRC to try & get this sorted out by having my National Insurance Number changed to "No Tax (NT)" status. I sent in my P85 & forms back in late 2001....& heard nothing. I wrote again in 2008 & 2010............some mail came to my old address in the UK but the new owners never sent it so I've no idea if this was HMRC's replies.

I wrote to HMRC again this August (2019) & was asked for another P85 & form, but I could only send the P85 form as my actual P85 was sent off to them long ago. Since them I received one boiler-plate letter that says my UK pension payments will be subject to UK Income Tax, this is despite making it abundantly clear that I don't live in the UK any more & quoting the UK-US Tax Treaty.

Each time I write it takes about 2 months to get a reply, assuming I actually get one at all, so I'm trying to find out if there's any way to get in touch either by email or fax. I tried calling a couple of times but got left on hold for over 20 mins each time (at $1/min!) & eventually got cut off. No one at HMRC seems to give a toss that I'm expending a considerably large amount of time, effort & money to call them & seem to think that I can just "Visit a local tax agent" even though I've told them again & again that I don't live in the UK.

This issue is covered by law & yet they seem unwilling or unable (or both) to do anything about it.

Has anyone found a reliable way to get in touch &/or how to get this simple matter through these thick skulls?

Thanks from

Lochaber
I'm also in the process of pursuing National Insurance issues with HMRC, so I'm interested in this thread.

regarding "I tried calling a couple of times but got left on hold for over 20 mins each time (at $1/min!) ..." if for no other reason than dealing with this situation, get yourself some kind of 'calling plan' for UK calls. I've been using one for years now that gives me 4c/min, no connection fee, no overhead, no expiration. I presume you don't need this for any other reason but since it's zero cost, no harm. I was able to call them and the call was answered pretty quickly.

I have a rather naive question ... if your only source of income in the UK is a pension, why is there any tax withheld at source? That is - what is their reason for withholding any tax at all, since you aren't earning anything there?
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Old Dec 26th 2019, 12:25 pm
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Default Re: Trying to get in touch with HMRC

I find that the best way to converse with HMRC is to use their online service.

Create an account with gov.uk, once approved/processed you will need a mobile 'phone for authentication purposes via SMS.

Once online, drill down to what interests you, then pose your question (most HMRC areas of interest seem to have this functionality) fill out the form and wait. You will be rewarded by an email such as this...



... and sure enough some time later another inviting you to log on again to see their response.

It works well for me.
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Old Dec 31st 2019, 2:54 pm
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Default Re: Trying to get in touch with HMRC

Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
I'm also in the process of pursuing National Insurance issues with HMRC, so I'm interested in this thread.
I have a rather naive question ... if your only source of income in the UK is a pension, why is there any tax withheld at source? That is - what is their reason for withholding any tax at all, since you aren't earning anything there?
Hi Steerpike. My UK Pension plan providers have told me that I will be subject to UK Income Tax on my pension payments. I've no idea IF UK income tax will be taken, just that it WILL be liable, hence I'm trying to avoid that. My UK Pension Providers are of no help at all, they either recommend that I set up a meeting with them.....they seem to think that I still live in the UK.......or talk to a tax adviser.....which again I can't do because I'm in the US. Anything other than that & they immediately say "we're don't deal with tax issues" & won't go any further, not even where to start.

It's a system totally centered around living in the UK & anyone living abroad is left to their own devices. I've no idea how people managed to get this sorted out before the internet!
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Old Dec 31st 2019, 2:57 pm
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Default Re: Trying to get in touch with HMRC

Originally Posted by BuckinghamshireBoy View Post
I find that the best way to converse with HMRC is to use their online service.

Create an account with gov.uk, once approved/processed you will need a mobile 'phone for authentication purposes via SMS.

.
Hi Buckinghamshireboy

The problem is that I need a UK passport number & I don't have a UK passport anymore so I can't authenticate my ID. I've tried using the HMRC website's Webchat....but in the last year I've NEVER seen it available, it's always off because of "Technical problems" or "we're serving others". I've checked it constatly for day after day, for months on end & NEVER seen it pop up as on line.
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Old Dec 31st 2019, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: Trying to get in touch with HMRC

Originally Posted by Lochaber View Post
Hi Buckinghamshireboy

The problem is that I need a UK passport number & I don't have a UK passport anymore so I can't authenticate my ID. I've tried using the HMRC website's Webchat....but in the last year I've NEVER seen it available, it's always off because of "Technical problems" or "we're serving others". I've checked it constatly for day after day, for months on end & NEVER seen it pop up as on line.
Wow - I would get a passport asap if I were you! It only costs $100 or so. I'm no expert on these matters but having a passport is proof of citizenship. Without a passport, I don't know how you prove citizenship. Come to think of it, maybe you don't even need to be a citizen to receive a pension if you've made all the requisite payments over the years, but ... I'd get a passport to simplify matters.
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Old Dec 31st 2019, 4:09 pm
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Default Re: Trying to get in touch with HMRC

Originally Posted by Lochaber View Post
Hi Buckinghamshireboy

The problem is that I need a UK passport number & I don't have a UK passport anymore so I can't authenticate my ID. I've tried using the HMRC website's Webchat....but in the last year I've NEVER seen it available, it's always off because of "Technical problems" or "we're serving others". I've checked it constatly for day after day, for months on end & NEVER seen it pop up as on line.
Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Wow - I would get a passport asap if I were you! It only costs $100 or so. I'm no expert on these matters but having a passport is proof of citizenship. Without a passport, I don't know how you prove citizenship. Come to think of it, maybe you don't even need to be a citizen to receive a pension if you've made all the requisite payments over the years, but ... I'd get a passport to simplify matters.
Oh heck, I see the problem.

Without a passport to validate that you're you, then it could become very frustrating. As Steerpike suggests it's a jolly good idea to have one.

Do you have an old, expired one, or maybe even a lost or damaged one that you know the number of and issuing office?
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Old Jan 2nd 2020, 11:39 am
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Default Re: Trying to get in touch with HMRC

Originally Posted by Lochaber View Post
Hi Steerpike. My UK Pension plan providers have told me that I will be subject to UK Income Tax on my pension payments. I've no idea IF UK income tax will be taken, just that it WILL be liable, hence I'm trying to avoid that. My UK Pension Providers are of no help at all, they either recommend that I set up a meeting with them.....they seem to think that I still live in the UK.......or talk to a tax adviser.....which again I can't do because I'm in the US. Anything other than that & they immediately say "we're don't deal with tax issues" & won't go any further, not even where to start.

It's a system totally centered around living in the UK & anyone living abroad is left to their own devices. I've no idea how people managed to get this sorted out before the internet!
Pension companies do not decide whether, or how much, tax to deduct. They simply operate the coding issued by HMRC.

As already stated, send this form to the IRS: https://assets.publishing.service.go...idual_2002.pdf, they will send it on to HMRC who will then issue the appropriate coding for your pension(s).
In my experience the process took 2-3 months and my UK state pension and a couple of small private pensions are all coded "NT" (ie no tax).
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Old Jan 2nd 2020, 9:35 pm
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Default Re: Trying to get in touch with HMRC

Originally Posted by BuckinghamshireBoy View Post
Oh heck, I see the problem.

Without a passport to validate that you're you, then it could become very frustrating. As Steerpike suggests it's a jolly good idea to have one.

Do you have an old, expired one, or maybe even a lost or damaged one that you know the number of and issuing office?

Hi.

I have an old one, I have promised the kids I'd get them UK passports when they come of age so I need to renew mine to begin with.

Meanwhile I sent a complaint to 11 Downing Street.....

My, my, how things soon change.

I now have a reply to my Tweets, after months of trying, & been sent form DT-Individual (For use by an Individual resident of a country with which the UK has a double taxation treaty that provides for relief from UK Income Tax on pensions....)

The only problem with this is that I need to send it off to someone in the US who can sign off on me being fully resident here & I've no idea where to start. It needs some sort of official stamp............needless to say the place for that stamp is half on one page & half on the other....which is the difference between US Legal & UK A4 paper!

Anyway, has anyone got any recommendations where I should send this to get a stamp & signature to prove I'm in the US?

Happy New Year to you all.

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Old Jan 2nd 2020, 10:16 pm
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Default Re: Trying to get in touch with HMRC

You send the double taxation form to the IRS. You send it with an IRS form, this was explained to you in post #2 in this thread. There is a link in that post which explains all this. There is a fee payable to the IRS of I think still $85. Fill out the double taxation form, fill out the IRS form, post both with the fee to the address on the IRS form, and they do they rest.

Full explanation here, along with the IRS form number and address to send it. https://assets.publishing.service.go...idual_2002.pdf

Last edited by lansbury; Jan 2nd 2020 at 10:19 pm.
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Old Jan 2nd 2020, 10:35 pm
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Default Re: Trying to get in touch with HMRC

Originally Posted by Lochaber View Post
Hi.

I have an old one, I have promised the kids I'd get them UK passports when they come of age so I need to renew mine to begin with.

Meanwhile I sent a complaint to 11 Downing Street.....

My, my, how things soon change.

I now have a reply to my Tweets, after months of trying, & been sent form DT-Individual (For use by an Individual resident of a country with which the UK has a double taxation treaty that provides for relief from UK Income Tax on pensions....)

The only problem with this is that I need to send it off to someone in the US who can sign off on me being fully resident here & I've no idea where to start. It needs some sort of official stamp............needless to say the place for that stamp is half on one page & half on the other....which is the difference between US Legal & UK A4 paper!

Anyway, has anyone got any recommendations where I should send this to get a stamp & signature to prove I'm in the US?

Happy New Year to you all.

Goodness, have you read any of the information and/or links the forum has given you?

Why are you complaining to 'Downing Street' about responses from HMRC when, if you read what has already been given you, you'll have all the forms and addresses necessary for your situation
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