I've got two letters from the Inland Revenue over the last couple of weeks. The first told me that I overpaid my tax for last year, and so came with a cheque for about twelve quid. Not much, but a nice surpise all the same. The second letter told me that I underpaid my tax for last year by well over a grand, and so will be taxed more over the coming year. Bugger.
Both letters quote the same national insurance number, so they've not confusedly mistaken me for two people. I've no idea what's going on, and neither, it seems, have they.
The really disturbing mistake isn't theirs, though. The underpayment letter says that the reason I underpaid is that Reed Employment, for whom I was working when I was with the Royal Mail, paid absolute zero tax on my behalf. Now, I know that Reed deducted the tax from my wages and I have the payslips to prove it. If they didn't pass that money on to the government, what did they do with it?