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Stirring the pot

I watched with interest the interview on the Accountancy Age website with Dave Hartnett, Permanent Secretary for Tax about the New Disclosure Opportunity (NDO). To quote HMRC, “the NDO will allow people with unpaid taxes linked to offshore accounts or assets to settle their tax liabilities at a favourable penalty rate. It will run from the 1st Sept 2009 until 12 March 2010.If you have unpaid tax linked to an offshore account or asset to declare, to benefit from the terms of NDO you will need to notify us AND disclose (tell us the details, … Continue Reading

A week of curiosities and a valuable reminder

It has been a strange week. On Monday I went to see a client to collect his tax papers, only to find that they were in a locked cabinet to which only his wife had the key, and she was out. It was a short meeting as a result, and I did wonder why my client had not telephoned to save me the journey.Two less eventful days ensued, and I went to my monthly local meeting of tax practitioners on Thursday. “Tell me, everyone” I said, “what do you guys do in the way of marketing?” Six … Continue Reading

Blearsy-eyed!

We read here that Hazel Blears is to pay £13,332 on the sale of a second home. How is she going to do this? Presumably her accountants or tax advisers got the documentation right so that she successfully avoided a liability by making the appropriate election. The only way she can get HMRC to accept the money is by saying she made an error or worse, deliberately misled them. She will not be happy if they charge interest and penalties in addition to the CGT.Perhaps she thinks the way to pay this voluntary tax is to just … Continue Reading

Render unto Caesar…

One of the problems we tax advisers have is in dealing with people, generally as prospects, who simply don’t want to pay any tax at all. Somehow, the current climate of cracking down on tax avoidance (legal) as well as tax evasion (illegal) seems to have passed by these people. Usually they go further: “Why should this Government get their hands on this money? I did not vote for them. They won’t spend it wisely. It is immoral how much they try to take.” Now many of us have these sentiments, but those of us who are law-abiding and understand … 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

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