I thought the whole idea of ringing a Government helpline for advice on tax and import duty, was for them to tell me the tax rate on any item, once I had explained to them exactly what it was.
But rather bizarrely, I had to determine the classification of the item, before they would tell me what the tax rate would be.
Apparently, stating it was a vehicle, together with its’ country of origin, value and purpose was not enough for them to know what their own rates would be.
And for all you barmy, fanatical Euro-lovers, I did notice that the pages of technical stuff was all from the E.E.C. and indeed, they governed not only what the rates were, but on what and why.
It gets better though.
The best thing about it was that the advice they eventually gave about the tax liability, was they issued it with a nonsensical disclaimer about how they couldn't be held responsible for the accuracy of, wait for it, their own tax demand.
What's that all about?
You mean to tell me that H.M. Customs and Excise, who are responsible for collecting tax, given their own classification code from which they have decreed the level of duty, state that they can't guarantee their information is correct and cannot be held responsible for any errors.
You couldn't make this stuff up.
No wonder the country is in a mess with this sort of bureaucracy.