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More in sorrow than in anger – Jobcentre bully

I heard something this week in the course of business that really upset me, and it has spared you, until I get around to it, a commentary on what activity might constitute trading and what might not.I saw one of my clients this week to collect her books and those of her husband as they are both self-employed. Mrs. Y works with children. Times have been hard and generally people do not want to pay for luxuries and extras even for their children; hence Mr & Mrs Y as I shall call them have both been struggling … Continue Reading

Credit where credit’s due – HMRC v Annabel’s

HM Revenue & Customs has claimed that it has struck a blow for lower-paid workers in the form of restaurant and nightclub staff. As many of you will know, there is a common system in restaurants where tips are collected whether through cash or as additions to credit card billing and allocated to a member of staff, the troncmaster, who is responsible for delivering shares of these gratuities to his or her colleagues. Normally the person who has the distribution responsibility deducts PAYE as appropriate which is dealt with separately from the normal wages. Yes, some cash tips go straight … Continue Reading

Taxpayers as customers and the service they receive

I, in common with most other taxpayers, resent being called a customer of HM Revenue & Customs, when there really is no choice of supplier. We are captives of the system and we cannot take our business elsewhere. This is an old saw, but if we are customers, we have to ask what we are getting in terms of service; value for what we pay is another matter, and one of a political nature.HMRC, or at least the Inland Revenue as they were called, did once upon a time provide a service to individual taxpayers, prior to Self … Continue Reading

Online issues and January procrastinators

I do not normally use the HMRC online software to do Tax Returns as third party is much less hassle. However, I did have occasion to try it recently and found that in dealing with lettings where there is a loss in the year and a loss brought forward the HMRC system is unable to aggregate them and carry them forward. When I telephoned the helpline and finally got through I was told it was a known issue and I should make a diary note of losses brought forward for 2008-09. I would have thought that this loss … 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

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……again

Most people probably have only a vague understanding of the meaning of the word “domicile” and even fewer realise that it is a distinct legal concept, and one which may affect a number of people considerably in determining the amount of tax they pay.So, what is domicile? Domicile is essentially a legal concept which is also recognised in those countries who have inherited their legal system from Britain, and that includes the USA in this case. It is something everyone has, that one is born with, and is hard to change. Domicile is … Continue Reading

Income shifting: the Government’s paper published in December 2007.

The document “Income Shifting: a consultation of draft legislation”

is the Government’s response to the defeat of HM Revenue& Customs in the Arctic Systems case, Jones v Garnett, which concerned a “husband and wife” company where the wife received a substantial distribution of profit as dividend by virtue of the share in the company for which she had subscribed. The Revenue had sought to assess the husband on the wife’s share of the income under settlements legislation dating from the 1930s.

Despite the so-called consultation period, this is another example of legislation on … Continue Reading