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Journal of nicholas (3034)

Friday January 20, 2006
06:06 PM

Death and taxes

[ #28422 ]

Well, actually I dealt with them in reverse today.

Firstly I filled out my tax return, and calculated my tax. I worked through the calculation guide, and all was going well until I started to get suspicious that a pension contribution carried back from this tax year into that tax year wasn't actually getting factored in anywhere. More importantly, the way the boxes worked, it wouldn't count in this year's calculations either. Then I got to the end of the calculation and spotted the explanation. Aarrrrrrgh

To paraphrase, it says "fill in the amount of tax you owe us into box 1. If you want to claim for a contribution carried back, then redo the entire calculation again as if you had made the contribution in the tax year, and work out what tax you would owe us in that case. Subtract that number from the number in box 1, and write the result in box 2". Aaargh. So I have to do the whole thing twice so as to get two numbers $a and $b, so that I can write $a and $a - $b in their boxes, so that they can do -($a - $b) - -$a, to get back to $b . Sort of "the number you first thought of". Whereas if they simply refactored the form slightly so that I could put the carried back value into the calculation from the start, then I'd only have to go through the calculation procedure once and get to the right answer (they owe me money) much more quickly, and only need to fill in one box.

Then again, "I owe them money" wasn't that bad last year, as I worked out I owed them £1, paid it cash (over the counter at the post office), and then two months later they wrote and told me that I'd got it right.

All that done, I went out in search of a doctor. My old doctor (well, actually her colleague), whom I was quite happy with, has discovered (via the cunning trick of "asking") that I don't live in the Borough of Bromley any more, and so can't send me for a routine referral to hospital, because he can only refer me to hospitals in the borough. (NHS - poppycock - small warring accounting fiefdoms more like. While I can see that the hospital accounting probably needs to work this way, I fail to see why the doctor is prevented from referring me to a hospital in the borough I now live in (Lewisham))

So, anyway, I went out hunting for a doctor. In a good old fashioned way I got the addresses of doctors listed in the local phone directory with addresses (like mine) in SE12, then went walking to check that these genuinely were surgeries, and not home addresses. It turns out that within 10 minutes walk of me there are four(!) surgeries, 3 of which are converted houses, 3 of which have only 1 doctor, whereas the other (the furthest) has 2. At least 2 of the single-doctor surgeries had 2 receptionists. That strikes me as inefficient in itself. But more importantly, I don't really want to be registered with a practice that is a one doctor show. My old doctor is part of a practice with about 8 doctors, which meant that if I couldn't get an appointment with her quickly I'd get seen by someone else. Sadly this doesn't seem to be the case here. Maybe I should move the mile back into Bromley. Or just give up ever being ill again.

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