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A while back I made an effort to get 33 pounds back from HMRC that DACS had inappropriately withheld for tax purposes.  I finally gave up.

Now I get a letter from HMRC saying I owe THEM 100 pounds because my tax return is late!  What tax return?

I'm a Canadian citizen, and I hope to never go back to England (in case they arrest me).

Contact via e-mail is impossible.  I could spend 100 pounds on long distance phone calls.  Letters obviously don't work.

Any suggestions?

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Bummer. Glad I never got around to contacting HMRC regarding withholding tax. I figured it was easier just to forfeit the 20% (or whatever it is). I hate forms and bureaucracy.

 

Have you contacted the CRA about this? Perhaps they have some advice.

 

 

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell
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Posted (edited)

They sent me a self assessment appeal form.  I'll try that with an attached letter explaining the situation.  Just for fun, here is the body of text below.  Too cheeky?

 

In the Fall of 2020, The UK DACS Payback scheme mistakenly withheld 33.89 pounds from by payment for picture royalties.  I am a photographer, and a Canadian citizen that is exempt from UK withholding tax.  I pay tax on that income to the Canadian government.

 

 

I filled out the HMRC paperwork at that time for reimbursement, but HMRC made it next to impossible to get my money back, so I gave up.  This is the only dealing I have had with HMRC.

Today I get letter saying I owe HMRC 100 pounds because of a late tax return.

 

 

I have never, and do not plan on providing HMRC with a tax return.  The request is absurd.  I am retired in Canada and will probably never visit England. 

 

 

Can you explain why you think I should fill out a UK tax return? 

 

 

Will you pay me the 33.89 pounds you owe me?

 

Edited by Reimar
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ah, that is the way of HMRC inland revenue or VAT or probably any other tax department; they issue demands or statements, but do not reveal any avenues of response. Very much the same for UK insurance companies. Same for Calor Gas ( I have a current beef with them) and banks (your choice!)

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1 hour ago, Reimar said:

They sent me a self assessment appeal form.  I'll try that with an attached letter explaining the situation.  Just for fun, here is the body of text below.  Too cheeky?

 

In the Fall of 2020, The UK DACS Payback scheme mistakenly withheld 33.89 pounds from by payment for picture royalties.  I am a photographer, and a Canadian citizen that is exempt from UK withholding tax.  I pay tax on that income to the Canadian government.

 

 

I filled out the HMRC paperwork at that time for reimbursement, but HMRC made it next to impossible to get my money back, so I gave up.  This is the only dealing I have had with HMRC.

Today I get letter saying I owe HMRC 100 pounds because of a late tax return.

 

 

I have never, and do not plan on providing HMRC with a tax return.  The request is absurd.  I am retired in Canada and will probably never visit England. 

 

 

Can you explain why you think I should fill out a UK tax return? 

 

 

Will you pay me the 33.89 pounds you owe me?

 

I might be a little cheekier if it were me. But then, I’m a brash American. Good luck, and may the Force be with you.

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The UK tax guys  are not unique in this, I have an inherited investment portfolio in Canada which is very handy but suffer a 15% withholding tax which I don't manage to reclaim Sadly, it is rather more than your £33.89. Don't get me started on US tax forms and deductions!

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Sounds sort of familiar. Americans aren't supposed to pay taxes to the UK but you have to walk through so many hoops (and pay a big fee) that it seemed better to just let the money go. It is one reason I now have Alamy do my DACS. Not a huge amount for me in any case.

 

Paulette

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One country is probably as bad as the next when it comes to this type of thing. I tried to get a tax exemption from Germany and gave up. After submitting a convoluted form that I downloaded online, I got a response in German apparently telling me about additional hoops that I needed to jump through. I requested a translation but was informed in perfect English that they didn't offer translation services. Huh!?

 

Don't get me started on my tangled experiences with Italian tax bureaucracy. Mamma mia! Talk about a plate of spaghetti...🍝

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13 hours ago, Reimar said:

A while back I made an effort to get 33 pounds back from HMRC that DACS had inappropriately withheld for tax purposes.  I finally gave up.

Now I get a letter from HMRC saying I owe THEM 100 pounds because my tax return is late!  What tax return?

I'm a Canadian citizen, and I hope to never go back to England (in case they arrest me).

Contact via e-mail is impossible.  I could spend 100 pounds on long distance phone calls.  Letters obviously don't work.

Any suggestions?

The self-employed in the UK, as I expect you are, are required to submit a tax return by a given deadline. There is a penalty for not doing so. Clearly you're not liable in Canada, but in trying to get the refund you have evidently triggered  with HMRC, evidently in error, that requirement to submit a return. You can ignore it or explain. It's not personal and it is not "gouging"- it's a liability that UK taxpayers can incur. I have no doubt that your tax system has similar penalties.

 

Edited by spacecadet
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Thanks for the moral support everyone.  I'll probably never hear back from HMRC, but I'll let you know if there is a comical response.

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17 hours ago, Reimar said:

A while back I made an effort to get 33 pounds back from HMRC that DACS had inappropriately withheld for tax purposes.  I finally gave up.

Now I get a letter from HMRC saying I owe THEM 100 pounds because my tax return is late!  What tax return?

I'm a Canadian citizen, and I hope to never go back to England (in case they arrest me).

Contact via e-mail is impossible.  I could spend 100 pounds on long distance phone calls.  Letters obviously don't work.

Any suggestions?

Each year I have to reclaim the witholding tax that DACS take for the HMRC.

DACS send me a certificate which details how much and I send this along with a form R43 which I download from gov.uk(Google it and you'll find it!).

Eventually HMRC send me a letter agreeing they owe me the money and about 6 - 8 weeks later I get a cheque.

 

Usually runs smoothly, however about 3 years ago somebody decided that I had been a PAYE employee at some unknown job in the UK and sent a rather snotty letter demanding P60's and other things which I have not got, so i replied telling them in no uncertain terms that their request was a load of bull and the facts were I was claiming back Withheld taxes as per the DACS cert and get it sorted, which they did but never apologised or admitted their mistake...

 

Good luck 

Phil

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Yeah Phil, I did send them an R43 form.  No joy.  They came back with endless hurdles.  The process lead me to register with HMRC online.  Obviously that was a mistake. 

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18 minutes ago, Reimar said:

Yeah Phil, I did send them an R43 form.  No joy.  They came back with endless hurdles.  The process lead me to register with HMRC online.  Obviously that was a mistake. 

I would follow up with a very simple & precise letter telling them that they are obliged to repay you this tax as you are not a UK taxpayer.

Maybe also contact the British embassy in Canada and see if they can help...

 

Phil

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I had an email from ASCRL about their updated website for members. They have added an additional requirement to upload a W-9  and identification ( presumably passport or similar). So this excludes non-US photographers from making any claim on the funds that  they are given by DACS for US uses (perhaps other Collecting Societies in Europe  I can't remember). I have never understood why DACS funds them in the first place.

 

I also remember that the Collecting Society in Canada only accepts Canadian citizens/residents.

 

Maybe worth bearing in mind in relation to DACS claims which primarily receives its funding from UK taxpayers but do not impose any restrictions in terms of residency/citizenship on claimants.

Edited by geogphotos
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No doubt this is a dumb question, but here goes...

 

If you let Alamy file your DACS claim for you (I file myself), what happens to withholding tax? Is it still imposed on contributors outside the UK?

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DACS isn't going to charge Alamy withholding tax, they are both in the UK. Do you and other Canadians or other nationalities have any issues with Alamy and tax withholding? The fact that Alamy do their sums in US dollars should be an irrelevance

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Alamy doesn't withhold any tax from me. I declare it on my US tax forms and pay an appropriate quarterly estimated tax. It is me earning the money as an "independent contractor".

 

Paulette

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48 minutes ago, Robert M Estall said:

DACS isn't going to charge Alamy withholding tax, they are both in the UK. Do you and other Canadians or other nationalities have any issues with Alamy and tax withholding? The fact that Alamy do their sums in US dollars should be an irrelevance

 

No tax withholding issues with Alamy for me. I was referring specifically to DACS payouts.

 

Love those USD because of favourable exchange rate -- $1.00 US currently converts to $1.26 CAN.

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@Reimar It's funny, I thought the British tax authorities were better than the IRS here in the US. The first time I filed for DACS some years ago, I contacted HMRC and they sent me a form, that I could file, for free, to get the VAT back - however, the IRS loves to make $$$ and it would cost me $80 for the corresponding form needed on this side of the pond to complete the transaction - and it was a fee that would have to be paid every year going forward. So, I decided it wasn't worth $80 to get back less than that in £'s - and who knows how much the fee is now? Not worth the hassle! (And I hope to visit the UK again someday, so I'd rather not get on their naughty list) 

 

I feel your pain. A couple years ago I saved a bundle (over $2,000/year) by switching from Verizon Fios. I had to pay my bill prospectively, so they owed me $200 for part of the month in which I cancelled my service. They not only failed to send me a check for the sum owed, but then hounded me for months with robocalls (8 alone on Christmas day that year!), followed by sending my account to a collection agency for money they owed me! Countless letters, including threats to sue them for any damage to my credit (signed Marianne C...., Esq.) and calls with their corporate headquarters lead to more headaches before the matter was finally resolved. Ugh! Bureaucracy! 

 

@Robert M Estall Here in the US, Alamy and other European agencies I'm with just have me fill out something that says I'm not subject to VAT, so they don't withhold anything. They don't send a 1099 either, so I add the income to my non-1099 portion when I pay my income taxes here in the US. One agency pays me in Euros so I have to pay a bank fee as I do with DACS. (A 1099 is the form that agencies & others send independent contractors who have earned more than $600 from them each year - just have to keep track of what I earn from abroad as it's all subject to US income tax). 

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2 hours ago, Marianne said:

@Reimar It's funny, I thought the British tax authorities were better than the IRS here in the US. The first time I filed for DACS some years ago, I contacted HMRC and they sent me a form, that I could file, for free, to get the VAT back - however, the IRS loves to make $$$ and it would cost me $80 for the corresponding form needed on this side of the pond to complete the transaction - and it was a fee that would have to be paid every year going forward. So, I decided it wasn't worth $80 to get back less than that in £'s - and who knows how much the fee is now? Not worth the hassle! (And I hope to visit the UK again someday, so I'd rather not get on their naughty list) 

 

 

 

My dealings with the IRS have been pretty good so far. As a "foreigner," I applied for an IRS individual taxpayer ID number many years ago. It allows me to submit a W-8BEN (I think) form to agencies and clients stateside so that I don't get double taxed. Have never had any problems.

 

The CRA (Canada Revenue Agency), our version of the IRS, is another lovely bureaucracy. 🙄

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell
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14 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

 

My DACS payments are fairly low, so I've decided to leave the withheld tax as a tip for HRM. She probably deserves it, and this saves me a lot of bureaucratic grief. 😚

 

 

Thank you John. We need it at the moment. Our billionaires are getting tetchy because there isn't quite as much gold at the end of the rainbow right now.

 

Alan

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9 hours ago, Inchiquin said:

 

Thank you John. We need it at the moment. Our billionaires are getting tetchy because there isn't quite as much gold at the end of the rainbow right now.

 

Alan

 

You're welcome. Glad I'm able to contribute to the cause. 😎

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22 hours ago, Marianne said:

 (A 1099 is the form that agencies & others send independent contractors who have earned more than $600 from them each year - just have to keep track of what I earn from abroad as it's all subject to US income tax). 

Today my CPA told me I had to file only if I made over $400 on my images (business) for the year. I’m getting a healthy transfer to my bank from federal and state this year.

I”m so glad I got that done and over.

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