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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45339
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have recently been charged £800 by Gateway to submit a tax

Resolved Question:

I have recently been charged £800 by Gateway to submit a tax form for a tax bill of £135.

I did this in error as the web site was very misleading and I thought that it was the official HMRC site.

What can I do now.

Siobhan McCormick.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Is this the site you used:

http://taxreturngateway.com

Customer:

Yes

Ben Jones :

What was misleading about it?

Customer:

When I searched google this was the top web site. I suppose the word gateway confused me as it is used by the government.

Customer:

However on looking at the site again today it is clear that they do charge for their services. The amount is disproportionate.

Ben Jones :

I can see it may be confusing but there are unlikely to be any violating factors that would allow you ti claim a refund.


 


Whilst you may have searched Google, just because this was the top result does not mean it is the correct one. Also the word ‘gateway’ is not exclusive to HMRC – anyone can use that term, even I it is to do with tax returns.


 


The main piece of legislation that would apply here is the Distance Selling Regulations that deal with the provision of services over a distance. It is likely that this will be covered and there is also a 7-day cancellation period for these types of contracts. However, there are certain exceptions where you agree for the service to begin immediately or before the expiry of your cancellation rights. The law states that "Where you have supplied the required durable information before the service starts and the consumer agrees to the service starting before the end of the usual cancellation period, their cancellation rights will end when performance of the service starts". On the company’s website in their terms they clearly state that the service starts immediately and by agreeing to their terms you would have agreed to that so the cancellation rights will not apply here.


 


Next, there is misrepresentation - that may be difficult to claim too - they had clear terms and conditions, a specific fees section and a notice on the home page that says they are a private company registered with HMRC, that they are not connected or affiliated with HMRC and that "if you would rather deal with HMRC directly and submit your tax return at no additional cost, click here to access their official website".


 


So I am afraid you do not appear to have many options to legally demand a refund in this case and the message really is to carefully read what you sign up to, before hitting the 'accept' button. I am sorry

Customer:

OK. Thank you. I did hear on "money box" on the radio that quite a few people had complained about this company. could trading standards help ?

Ben Jones :

well one thing is for sure - there is no harm in contacting them, but whether they can or will do anything only time will tell

Customer:

Ok thanks for your help.

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, all the best

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45339
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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