I.T. writes: I invested more than £12,000 with Dow and Jones Limited in wine which appears to have been overvalued. In 2015, it persuaded me to buy a case of Chateau d’Yquem 1999 at a cost of £1,995, and in 2016 I was pressured to purchase a nine-bottle case called the Bordeaux Duclot Collection for £10,200.
I have since had the first investment valued at £950, but Dow and Jones says it has increased in value by 15 per cent. However, when I asked it to sell it, it declined.
Let me start by stating the obvious, which is that Dow and Jones Limited is a tiny sales operation registered to an address in Sidcup, Kent. It is not even distantly related to the rather better known Dow Jones Index, which measures the performance of American stocks and shares.
The vineyard at Chateau d’Yquem
There is nothing to stop any wine merchant from charging high prices. But Dow and Jones sells wine as an investment, with the prospect of a profit for its customers – and you could wait a long time for your Duclot Collection simply to break even.
I am no wine expert but it took me only a few minutes to find the same nine bottles on sale for just over £5,500. At a stretch, you might see someone charging up to about £7,000. But £10,200? No.
According to Companies House, the boss of Dow and Jones is 28-year-old Anthony Collins. I invited him to comment and I asked where he gained his experience of dealing in wine.
He offered no comment and no answers, but you received a phone call saying the firm had consulted its lawyers. Whatever legal advice was offered, I can only say Collins has not passed it on to me.
Cheers: the Duclot Collection
But here is a funny thing. The title of the Dow and Jones website actually shows up as D&J Vintners. At the same Sidcup address as Dow and Jones, there is a separate wine company called DJVintners Limited.
The man behind this is Gerry Anyiam, 29, and he is in my files already. In 2011, Anyiam was part of a gang convicted of defrauding the National Health Service by submitting false invoices which were approved by a friend in a hospital finance department.
He was sentenced to 40 weeks in jail, suspended for two years. I made clear to Anthony Collins that I knew of his links to Anyiam, but again, he offered no comment.
Perhaps Collins has other things on his mind. Dow and Jones was due last month to file details of who really controls it, but according to Companies House it failed to do so. Unless it corrects this quickly, the company may be struck off. I would drink to that.
Red faces at Revenue as interest is taxed twice … then refunded twice
J.D. writes: For four years, when I was lucky enough to be able to invest £50,000 in a joint account with my wife, the interest was taxed at source and then taxed again through my PAYE code. Each year my wife had lengthy telephone conversations with Revenue & Customs, resulting ultimately in the tax office agreeing I had overpaid by about £2,000.
Error: The double taxation went on year after year from 2011 to 2015
To refund me, I was granted an extra tax allowance to be applied against my pension. I had no control over this, which led to the Revenue telling me I had underpaid tax by £650. How can I resolve this?
There are red faces at the Revenue over this. First of all you were taxed twice on the same income and now you have been refunded twice. The double taxation went on year after year from 2011 to 2015.
You were then given a refund, but at the same time your tax office gave you a more generous PAYE code number for the year 2015-16. You have two pensions and the code was applied to both instead of just one.
Officials at the Revenue head office were quick to say sorry, but cannot cancel the tax as it is legally due. But they have sent you £25 as an apology and they will let you pay off the £650 over three years instead of all at once.
If you believe you are the victim of financial wrongdoing, write to Tony Hetherington at Financial Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TS or email email@example.com
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