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Neoshoegal
05-25-2009, 02:38 PM
Background: I'm Belgian, moved to the UK years ago.
My uncle died late 2007. We were given something in his will, very nice of him. The Belgian government took over 65% of in taxes, not so nice.

There was a life insurance for myself and my sisters, due to what we think is an error by the bank issuing the life insurance, this was not added to the inheritance as it was supposed to, so it was a new case that had to be dealt with via the notary. This whole affair started last July, that's when we first heard about the life insurance. The bank would not give us any details (wouldn't tell us the terms of the contract or hwo much money was involved). They insisted on getting proof that I would pay the tax on this life insurance, they needed some kind of guarantee as I am living abroad and it would be too easy for me to avoid paying the tax. The notary would deal with this and sort it out. That was last September.

Fast forward to this week. All this time, we didn't hear anything from the notary or the bank. My sisters have been calling, writing, seeking legal advice, ... But basically, when it comes to notaries, it's anything goes and anything is legal. This week I get a letter from the Belgian tax office. It states I have to pay 1500 in tax on that life insurance by the end of this week or fines will have to added. At this point, my reaction is "huh"? I haven't heard a beep about that life insurance, what's that tax amount based on, why do I have to pay when I haven't even received the life insurance or even any indication that I will receive it, I still don't even know what the life insurance amount is?!?! :scared1:

Just had a long phone call with my sister and it boils down to this: the bank has the money, but won't pay out until the inland revenue has received its share. So we have to pay the 1500 (nearly 1500) up front. Then we need to send the proof of payment to the bank and then they will deal with the payment. However, there is no payment date, so we don't know how long it would take for them to deal with, leaving us 1500 out of pocket for goodness knows how long. There actually isn't even a guarantee that we will receive the money. If this were to happen, we would have to get proof to send to the inland revenue and try to get our money back from them (which is a procedure that can take months and months). If we do not pay we get fined, it can even get so bad for my sisters that the inland revenue can withhold their normal wages being paid into their bank accounts. We can't even say, forget about the whole life insurance, we don't want it, we still need to pay the tax. If we don't pay because we don't have the money or can't save up fast enough, same thing happens: wages can be withheld and get done for tax evasion.

Right now, I don't have a spare 1500 lying about (can't be paid by credit card) so I'd be screwed. One of my sisters is on vacation at the moment, she gets back on Wednesday, we don't know if she has that amount ready in the bank account to be transferred by Friday. :mad:

And if it all works out fast and easy, we'll each be 700 better off. It really isn't bloody worth it. The amount of time and money we've spent making phone calls, trying to work everything out, the hassle, ... it just doesn't work out. It's just one more thing in whole list of things with regards to this inheritance that have caused more stress than it's worth. :sad2:

Goofyish
05-25-2009, 03:03 PM
Sorry to hear about all your problems, but it's nice to see that it's not just our government and banking system that is inept and bogged down in bureaucratic red tape!

Hope you get it sorted.

paulh
05-25-2009, 04:56 PM
we have a bit of a problem with banks as well.they were looking after Dads deads he`s been paying for 15 years for them to be in safe storage and they lost them ,he had to pay to get new ones then they would refund him
Hope you get it sorted
Paulh

Neoshoegal
05-26-2009, 08:49 AM
I'm having to seriously restrain myself from making a very angry phone call to the revenue.

Luckily for me, my parents have come up with a solution. My birthday is coming up (and my sister's birthdays, all of us were born in June). My parents were planning on giving us all a huge cash birthday present. So their suggestion is now to take part of that cash present and pay it to the revenue. That way I don't have to worry about finding the 1500 asap. Even if I would have had the money spare in a current account, the time it takes to an international transfer is longer than the time I've been given by the revenue.

I know I'm now very lucky that our parents will help out. But what if this wasn't the case. What if we were poor, or living on benefits (for whatever genuine reason)? If this were the case, then how can anyone in that position find that amount of money within a week. In that position, it would even be hard to get that amount of money spare in a few months, but in those few months, serious fines and interest payment would eat away at anything that is left behind of the life insurance. It could even become so ridiculous that when you can't find the money in time, that the whole amount is due to paid to the revenue, nothing left for you and even then, they would still keep pestering you for the taxes and the fines for eternity, leaving you in the red! How can this be legal? :mad: It's a stupid catch 22 situation: need to pay the money to the taxes, but can't pay until the money has been received first, but can't get the money until the tax has been paid. http://hitched.co.uk/Chat/emoticons/icon_smile_banghead.gif

This has been winding me up all night. :sad2: