A British man who emigrated to New Zealand was baffled to receive a tax bill for 2p from his former council – which they said he could pay in installments.
Alistair King, 49, left the UK in October to start a new life in the southern hemisphere with his fiancée Karen Tilt.
But he was shocked when he received a tax bill from South Somerset District Council for just 2p – and slammed council bosses for wasting public money.
‘Before I left, the lady in the council tax office gave me my remaining balance when I called, which I paid then and there by debit card,’ Mr King said.
‘When I got the letter, I thought it was just the confirmation that I had paid the original outstanding balance in full.
‘But when I saw the balance and it was still asking for 2p I was astonished.’
‘It would probably cost me three or four dollars to send the cheque over to them.’
Mr King who used to live in Crewkerne, Somerset, now lives in New Plymouth on New Zealand’s North Island.
And although he said his first reaction was to ‘laugh out loud’, Mr King added that he ‘shuddered’ to think of the cost of processing the demand.
‘What a terrible waste of money, especially when you bear in mind the measures the Government is making to save money,’ he said.
A spokesman for South Somerset District Council said that the tax bill was made in an error by an automated system and the process was being reviewed.