Malcom Smith’s article ‘Old habits die hard’


March 7

Dear Editor

I refer to Malcolm Smith´s article in last week´s CBN, titled “Old habits die hard”. I know Mr Smith used to live in Altea but I can only assume he has relocated back to the UK. I confess to not always reading his stories so I have obviously missed this information. My assumption is based on the fact that he is able to register online with HMRC for self-assessment.

I am an expat living in Spain but still required to complete a self-assessment return in the UK. According to the HMRC website, and also confirmed by a personal enquiry, a non UK resident is unable to register online without a UK address. Apparently the system cannot adapt to a foreign postcode or address.

I bring this to your attention because readers of Malcom´s story, who, like me, are liable to self-assessment, may believe they can now complete their tax return online.

Finally, I always enjoy reading the letters to the editor but am disappointed in the number of letters printed each week. They used to take up a whole page – sometimes more, but for many months , since the pandemic I believe, we are lucky to see 3 or maybe 4. Is this due to lack of letters or lack of space?

Best Regards
Wendy Macdiarmid

Read more in this week’s print edition or go to e-paper


  1. With regard to the article old habits die hard, Malcolm Smith was writing about the experiences related by his retired son on life in the pandemic in the UK. This should have been obvious from the postscript to the article, if not the opening remark.


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