A pharmaceutical specialist has lost her job, home and savings because of a tax error made by her former accountant.
Metro Uk reports that In 2016, Nisha Mohite from Mumbai, India, who has been working to develop anti-cancer drugs, applied for indefinite leave to remain in the UK, but was rejected under the ‘bad character’ clause by the Home Office for failing to declare her income.
Her accountant had not informed about both her pre-declared employment income, which she had paid taxes for, and her £15,300 self-employment income in 2010-2011, on the tax return forms. She told the Guardian: ‘It was a very clear error – why would I choose not to declare an income on which I had already paid the tax? – and was picked up straight away by a new accounted I hired in 2013.’ She added that she ‘paid the sum right away’.
The HMRC accepted her £4,089 amendment, but she was still served her with a section 322(5) by the Home Office. Nisha told BBC’s Asian Network: ‘They said that my character wasn’t good enough to settle in this country.’
She came to the UK in 2008 and has completed her masters in pharmaceutical analysis from the University of Stratchlyde. The scientist wanted to spend her life in the UK developing anti-cancer and anti-psychotic drugs. However, the rejection letter from the Home Office said: ‘We do not find it credible that a fully qualified accountant would fail to declare the correct earnings to HMRC.
‘Paragraph 322(5) is a suitable rule which may be used in a wide range of cases. Your caseworker has correctly identified undesirable conduct.’ According to the Home Office’s guidelines, section 322(5) is discretionary and should only be used in cases involving ‘criminality, a threat to national security, war crimes or travel bans’.
Nisha added: ‘It was a soul crushing moment for me to be honest. One moment you are earning quite good money. ‘The next thing you know that you have allegations of bad character and this section 322(5) where you have been compared with the national threat of security.’ Her rights to work and rent in the UK were revoked, so she has been left homeless and jobless. She tried to apply again, but was rejected a second time. Nisha said that she is now running out of options and feels ‘exhausted and sometimes suicidal.’
She continued: ‘I can’t go home with a 322(5) on my passport. I’ve got no choice but to fight. ‘But I don’t know how long I can fight for, or what I will do if I lose that fight – or what I will do when I run out of money, because I have so little left.
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