My heart beat really quite fast.
I don't pay tax any more. Haven't for a long time.
I rang the number and listened while they played clinkly, tinkly music and apologised for making me wait but that someone would be with me as soon as they could.
Neither the apology nor the clinkly, tinkly music slowed my heart rate down.
After 23 minutes and 17 seconds Alistair answered the phone.
"May I have your National Insurance number?"
"No but I have a pretty code you sent me."
"That will do. Are you employed or self-employed?"
"Well, neither. And that is the issue. You have sent me a demand saying I have to have filed a tax return AND paid it by Jan 31. And I haven't needed a tax form for TWO whole tax years!
"When you were employed was it self-employment?"
"Yes. And my accountant sorted everything out and had me fill in forms that informed you I was no longer-self-employed when he did my last tax return"
"And what did you do?"
"Childminder." (How on earth is this useful and why are you not panicking at my imminent financial collapse and ensuing disgrace at being a tax-dodger Alastair?)
"I'll just put you on hold a minute if that is ok?"
"I suppose it wi(CLICK as the phone goes mute) ll have to be..."
"Right then, I have checked it out with my supervisor and there seems to have been some error. My screen is showing that you are no longer self-employed and that all the appropriate documents have been signed and filed."
"Wait. So this means I do not have to have anything returned to you or paid out by January 31?"
"That is correct. You are not due to fill in a tax return for this year or for last year."
"Thank you Alastair you have slowed my heart rate considerably. Now, would you like one of the children I already possess or would you like me to make you a new one?"
(It is not that I don't trust the deep and true relationship that Alastair and I established but I documented everything including what time we spoke straight on to the tax demand and have it pinned in plain sight until I am sure things are resolved. That may be sometime around June at this rate!)