Money is beyond my comprehension

You really have to love this country to work here. I have just learned that my request for the refund of a not insubstantial sum of IVA (VAT) that I am due from August last year (see diary entry for 3rd September 2007) has just been turned down, this time because the bank didn’t manage to file its guarantee in time. Quite why the bank needs to provide a guarantee when it is the Ministério das Finanças that owes me money is beyond my comprehension but it has taken two months for the bank to issue its guarantee! The next window to reclaim the money is in August, exactly a year after I was first notified that I was due the reembolso (refund)!