More than £10,000 spent on Sorry cards

  • 10 Nov - 16 Nov, 2018
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

Britain’s HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has spent more than £10,000 on flowers over the past five years to say sorry to taxpayers for mistakes, it has been revealed.

Despite criticism, the taxman defended the delivery of bouquets as a "more personal gesture" for responding to complaints.

According to a Freedom of Information request by the Daily Telegraph, HMRC paid florists a total of £10,298 between 2014 and this year to date.

This included £3,149 in the space of one year alone, although spending on flowers last year was less than £900 – down from £2,547 in 2016.

The newspaper reported past errors include sending a cafe owner from Stockport a near-£1bn bill, while flowers were also sent to a pensioner who was due a tax rebate of £800 but received a cheque for £1 instead.

Campaigners claimed the spend was more evidence of the need for a simpler tax system to cut down on HMRC blunders.

A source said the sending of flowers is found to have been effective in making amends with customers, but stressed it is not a way of avoiding paying financial redress to those affected by mistakes.