Reader Comments

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) claims that I have received untaxed interest of £2,640 from Secure Trust Bank and owe £300 income tax

by Alica Moroney (2020-08-09)

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) claims that I have received untaxed interest of £2,640 from Secure Trust Bank and owe £300 income tax. I rang the tax office to say that I had never heard of this bank, nor received any interest from it.

I told HMRC the last four numbers of my bank account, which were totally different from the account into which this interest was paid. I have since phoned HMRC on three further occasions and written to the tax Adjudicator's Office.

The adjudicator suggested that I write to HMRC again, which I did. This has been going on since February and I still have not received a response from HMRC, which is currently taking £30 per month of my pension.


S., Bradford.

HMRC claimed that our reader had received untaxed interest of £2,640 from Secure Trust Bank and owed £300 income tax

This is a serious issue.

Even though you disputed that you owed money, HMRC continued to deduct extra tax. This is no way to run a public service.

HMRC says your case was complicated, but it eventually got to the bottom of it. As you say, you did not owe anything.
It has stopped chasing you for the money you never owed and refunded that which was purloined from your pension.


It seems there was a computer systems error — which humans then failed to resolve, even though you wrote four times, provided your bank details and contacted the adjudicator.

An HMRC spokesman says: 'We are sorry for the worry caused to the customer and that he didn't receive the high level of service he would expect from us.

We have now solved the issue and spoken with your reader to calm any concerns.'

Our reader had a problem with her car insurer after an accident in a Sainsbury's car park

I am a 90-year-old widow with a clean driving licence.

On July 31, I was in a Sainsbury's car park waiting for a space when a woman reversed into the side of my car. She apologised and said she would pay for the damage.

As she pulled forward, my car shook: it was as if we had been locked together.

The estimate for repair was £473.
I rang the lady and she insisted that her car couldn't have caused so much damage.

Two days later, her son came to take lots of photos and claimed his mother's car could not have caused that damage.

He was very nasty.

My daughter said that I should contact my insurer, Rias. I was told I had to pay the £500 excess on my policy. I explained that I had not caused the accident and eventually hung up.

I made several further calls over the week and got different information. Quite frankly, I felt like I was going mad.

Finally, I was told that I didn't have to pay the £500.

When the repair was finished, my premium increased by £150 to £720 at the renewal and seven years' no claims was deducted.

I was told that, until the claim was settled by the other insurer, Rias would regard me as being at fault.

Mrs J.

A., Staffs.

Lesson one: if you're involved in a prang such as this, always go through your insurer straight away. This would have prevented some of the shenanigans with the other driver's bullying son turning up at your front door.

Lesson two: try not to lose your cool with your insurer.

The Rias employee you spoke to originally was correct in saying you would initially have to pay the excess. This is standard practice in the insurance industry.

The insurer then pays you back once it has collected the money from the insurer of the person responsible for the accident.
In your case, the other driver's insurer admitted liability, so you did not have to pay the excess.

This should probably have been better explained by the person you initially spoke to.

So why did your premium rise?

A spokesman for Ageas, which owns Rias, explains: 'As Mrs A's policy fell for renewal before we recovered the costs of her claim from the other driver's insurer, she had an open claim, and her renewal premium reflected this. Now that we are in the process of recovering the costs of the claim, we have refunded the difference in Mrs A's premium.'

Rias has contacted you to explain this and to clarify the claims process.

I was pleased to receive your lovely card telling me that Rias has now refunded you £392.

As the cost of your policy should have gone down this year, this covers the difference between what you paid and what you should have paid if your no-claims bonus had remained in place.