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Be responsible and pay your tax

Last Spring I wrote a piece entitled “Render unto Caesar…” which pretty much sets out my view concerning tax avoidance and those who are reluctant to pay tax. For the record I reiterate that I have no objection to people taking sensible uncomplicated steps to pay less tax. That is no different from choosing to fill your car with petrol, diesel or gas at a particular establishment which charges a little less than the one down the road. Daily essentials everyone buys on price because the value is the same. Complicated and artificial tax avoidance schemes really have … 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

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

The lighter side

I would not want people to think that I spend the whole time moaning about the government’s fiscal policy. The trouble is that I started this blog at the time when there had been announced a number of ill-considered policies. But, hey, let’s not say it is all doom and gloom.

As a tax practitioner I have to say that HM Revenue & Customs’ online filing system has been working well this year, at least for Self Assessment Tax Returns. I do not use the online filing for other purposes sufficiently to judge. … 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

Dickering Darling delays amending capital gains reforms

What are we to make of Alistair Darling’s delay in the announcement of any amendments to his proposals on capital gains tax “reform”? He told the Commons on Thursday that he was postponing any decision on change until the New Year.

In my view, commentators tend to hang too much on what might be motive. There was, I am sure, genuine concern from the Chancellor and the Government that they had put their foot in it and made a serious misjudgement, and I am sure that that Treasury Civil Servants will … Continue Reading