Um… pardon?

Have just been trying to work out why my National Insurance payment hasn’t been taken this month. Then I remembered that they sent me a letter (which I took no notice of, obviously). I hunted it out. Now I know it seems boring – hell, it is boring – but try and read it, eh?

From 2011-2012, we will change the dates we collect your Class 2 NICs Direct Debts so payments are made by 31 January and 31 July. We will collect Class 2 NICs in 12 monthly instalments starting in August and ending the following July. There is more detailed information to explain what the changes are on page 2 of this letter.

The last collection for the 2010-11 tax year will be in April 2011: this will be for March 2011

We will not make any collections in May, June and July 2011.

The first collection for the 2011-12 tax year will be in August 2011: this will be for April 2011.

Page 2:

From the 2011-12 tax year Class 2 NICs will be due for payment by 31 January and 31 July each year.

The monthly payments collected by 31 January will cover NICs due for the first 6 months of the tax year and the payments collected by 31 July will cover NICs due for the last 6 months of the tax year.

There will be a break in your current Class 2 NICs Direct Debit payments following the collection in April 2011 (covering payment for the period March 2011 to April 2011). They will restart in August 2011.

To ensure that your final payment is collected by 31 July each year, your NICs will be collected in 12 monthly instalments, starting in August and ending in July each year.

Payments will be collected monthly, four monthly in arrears.

Is it just me or is that completely flaming incomprehensible?!

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12 thoughts on “Um… pardon?

  1. *squints*

    They’re hoping you’ll get so cross-eyed reading it that you do it wrong and then they can fine you. (You can tell I’ve done my tax return recently, right?)

    You’re writing a new adult novel! There’s a countdown and everything! How did I not know this??

    1. Well it’s only *half* new – I’m rewriting the one I wrote last year, but in first instead of third and with one POV instead of three. So it’s sort of like an entirely new book…

      1. That’s still v exciting! I’m doing that with one of mine: mental jury still out on whether having a previous version makes it easier or hardr…

  2. I’m with Susie, I think they deliberately make it overly complicated so they can catch you out with fines.It seems to be the world we live in 😦

    1. I think – though I could be wrong because, you know, the wording is so bloody ridiculous! – that the contributions are voluntary and so there aren’t fines. But I think it’s certainly the case with the tax. I’ve actually rung the helpline and found they didn’t understand it either! Madness.

  3. It’s like they took some random words, put them in a giant pepperpot and shook it all over two sheets of paper. I can only say that I’m glad I didn’t get one of these letters and you have all my sympathy. 🙂 xx

  4. I *think* they’re just over-complicating saying they’re going to be taking payments 4 months in arrears rather than 1 month. So, April-Sept payments will be collected monthly from August-Jan (hence the 31st Jan deadline) and Oct-March payments will be collected in Feb-July (hence the 31st July deadline).

    But it does read like one of those optical illusion pictures! Perhaps it makes sense if you can make your vision go blurry…. xx

    1. Thanks, Jo. That makes sense. But how to explain that they haven’t taken any payments? And will I get in trouble for them not having taken any?

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