Portsmouth man pronounced dead by HMRC says '˜I've not gone yet!'

A PENSIONER from Portsmouth was shocked to open up a letter from HMRC '“ which claimed that he had died.

Ronald Pomeroy, 83, from Southsea, received a letter from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs informing him of his own demise, and asking to review tax repayments.

Mr Pomeroy says he was shocked that HMRC believed him to be dead '“ but even more so when they stopped paying his pension earlier this week.

He said: '˜There was a letter addressed to the estate telling us that I had died, and wanting to see if I owed them any more tax.

'˜It hit me quite hard, knowing that they don't think I exist. I'm 83 years old but I've not gone yet!

'˜When I had got over the initial shock of it all I started to get quite worried '“ I was concerned that somebody might have stolen my identity or something like that.

'˜I think it affected my wife even more than it did me; she was stunned that we had been given a letter like this and it has placed an awful lot of stress on us both.'

Since the government pronounced him dead, Ronald has lost almost everything '“ from his TV licence to his pension.

He said: '˜My pension was stopped the other day and that has had a huge impact.

'˜I don't know when that will be coming back, so that has been a huge loss to me.

'˜It is a very distressing situation to be in, not knowing if your pension will be reinstated and whether you will even get that money back.

'˜HMRC has told me that they are sending somebody round to see me '“ presumably to check my pulse.'

HMRC told The News that it cannot comment on individual cases.

Mr Pomeroy himself was left waiting on an apology, which he didn't receive until yesterday afternoon.

He believes that HMRC could have handled the situation better, and says he would like to see them handle similar scenarios differently in the future.

The 83-year-old said: '˜All they said was that they would take a look at things '“ I only just received an apology and that's rather sickening, given the circumstances.

'˜Apparently it was an issue with the registrar's office '“ but I don't quite understand how it happened.

'˜The situation hasn't exactly been handled delicately; if I didn't have my naval pension there would have been nothing to fall back on, and it's just been so much hassle to get everything sorted since I 'died'.

'˜It's been quite the ordeal so I am glad that things are almost at an end.'

Both the local and national registrar offices have been contacted by The News, but were unable to provide further information.