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Budget 2010 – I am not going to say “me too”

One usually annual problem for tax practitioners is that we are expected to have instant knowledge of every bit of information announced in the Budget almost straight away. There was in fact very little of substance in the March Budget of 2010, which is not surprising given that we are having a General Election probably on 6th May, and what Chancellor would announce anything unpleasant and painful in such a situation?There is no point in publishing here a commentary on the Budget announcements. The newspapers have covered what there was in depth, and for a more insightful examination … Continue Reading

Dodging the Excise Men – encouraging a tax evasion society

In my business we frown upon tax evasion. It is our duty to uphold the law through helping our clients in their self assessment of their income, profits and their company accounts. We have to tread a firmer line than Joe or Jo Public, though unrepresented taxpayers may make mistakes in the Revenue’s favour as well as their own. It is my experience that they do.This week we have seen further hikes in taxation, principally through National Insurance and more obviously the return to 17.5% VAT. Personal Allowances are frozen for next year, so there will be some … Continue Reading

New tax amnesty and old habits

We are starting to hear a little more about the new tax amnesty in the UK, called by HM Revenue & Customs the “New Disclosure Opportunity (NDO),” which follows on from the 2007 amnesty. Now we know that since the original amnesty, which followed on from HMRC’s victory in the Courts over the UK banks defending unsuccessfully their Channel Island branch customers, HMRC has come by a lot more information. Indeed I can infer from what I have heard on the grapevine that the acquisition of information concerning the Lichtenstein accounts has borne fruit, and will continue to … Continue Reading

Property flipping and knee jerk reactions

I must admit that the publicity about some Members of Parliament with two or more residences changing their designated main residence to one they are about to sell has me a little concerned because of all the publicity around it, and because of the public’s ire. The principal residence capital gains exemption is there for good reason, and whilst as with any rule it might be possible to exploit it to one’s advantage, the main purpose of electing as to which is the main residence is actually to prevent hardship or difficulty. Often people acquire a second property through the … Continue Reading

Exorcising ghosts

Whilst on the subject of Hamlet’s father’s ghost, in my post “As ye sow” on 13th of this month, I mentioned the spectre of income shifting legislation and was worried that it might be sneaked in whilst we were looking at the drastic measures being introduced to save the country from ruin. No, it’s not funny.In the PBR we were told:”The Government firmly believes it is unfair to allow a minority of individuals to benefit financially from shifting part of their income to someone else who is subject to a lower rate of tax, known as … Continue Reading

A hard taxing week, Horatio!

Readers of this column know that I am not a great fan of the Government’s economic and taxation policies, so may well be expecting me to take another swing at the Chancellor and his organ-grinder boss. However it is true to say that my disappointment at the content of the Pre-budget Report given last Monday by Mr. Darling is not because I would oppose any of his policies on principle, but because I truly believe that the measures announced are not the right ones, and that they are again treatment of the symptoms of the economic malaise, and not of … Continue Reading

As ye sow…

It is always difficult to write in advance of the Pre-Budget Report, though we understand that it will be happening shortly. In some past years the PBR has been in October, but the Government would say it has had other things on its mind; in other words the “credit crunch” and the apparent impending recession. Of course, it depends on what business you are in as to whether you think there is a recession now, and the effects will bite on different people and businesses at different times. However, clearly the collective spending power of the nation will be affected…. Continue Reading

Domicile puzzles

Then again, what are we to make of the so-called reforms relating to the taxation of non-domiciled residents in the UK? This was one of the policies the Government has pinched from the Tories following the policy announcements at the Conservative Party conference. The Tory proposal proved that the Government does not have the monopoly on misguided (did I hear you say daft?) policies. So why borrow this one except to trump the Opposition?

During its ten years in office the Government has discussed several times changing the rules concerning non-domiciled … Continue Reading