The February edition of HMRC’s thrice-yearly “Employer Bulletin” normally contains a CD of software designed to help small firms deal with their tax obligations. There should be an employee database, tax calculators and automatic form generators. “Install Immediately”, the taxman’s packaging urges. The CD is updated and mailed out twice per year.
This year ‘hard working British payroll administrators’ received 16 CD audio files with titles such as Zwei Ordentliche Kinder (Two Tidy Children), Der Flohzirkus (The Flea Circus) and Gespenster (Ghosts). Each features a kindly-sounding woman reading a short children’s story, Jackanory-style.
Software Logistics managing director Barry Hurley said a mix up had occured in the manufacturing process which meant CDs of German children’s stories were printed with the HMRC label and so wrongly packaged. “We aware of the situation. It’s a very rare occurrence,” he said.
“It’s of course regrettable and we are working with HMRC to ensure replacements are sent out as soon as possible.”
Remember this when the tax man accuses you of telling him fairytales…….he probably won’t, mind you, your name and address will be on the CD he sent out to hard pressed single mothers in Germany – that’s if it didn’t get left on a train on its way to the Post Office.
Hat tip to Chris Williams