With all the quite proper fuss and concern about the government losing personal data, it is easy to forget just how difficult it is to get your own personal data corrected when it is wrong, and its even more difficult when the people with the wrong information are Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.
I my case the Student Loan Company wrote to me to tell me that in the alst tax year I had made no payments to them. Actually, I have has deductions made from my account, but none of them seem to have arrived with the SLC in Glasgow. So I phone up the SLC and tell them how much I have paid. They are happy to believe me, but say the tax office told them I only earnt £4000 last year. Confused ? So I phoned up my employers, and they told me that they sent all my student loan deductions off and told the Tax Office (the dreaded HMRC who lost the millions of child benefit pieces of data) and that the HMRC did have a correct copy of my pay from last year.
So now I am stuck. The end of the line (the SLC) are relying on data from HMRC and I know from my employer that HMRC have been sent the correct data. So what appears to have happened at HMRC is that they thought of a number, halved it, times by 50, added this to another random number and then told the SLC that this was my pay for the year.
Of course phoning HMRC is a waste of time as they do not deal with individuals, only the companies that send them the pay.
So at the moment I am relying on the kindness and hard work of a guy at Norfolk County Council who has promised to follow this up for me, but it will be early January before I have an answer.
Is it just me or are HMRC absolutely shit ?