* You are viewing the archive for November, 2008

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

Government and Data Protection – Security, schmecurity?

Last year’s membership list of the British National Party has leaked into the public domain and there will be many politicos who will take great pleasure in leafing through the names to embarrass certain individuals. At the same time there is a great deal of schadenfreude amongst senior politicians. In political terms this is understandable, and few reading this (and the writer) will have any sympathy for the views of the BNP, though in some ways their political ideas seem anachronistic as well as unpleasant.

The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, succombed 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

Funnily enough….

Whilst we complain about the time it takes to process tax returns, I asked the local HMRC office recently to process a Form 64-8 authority for my firm to act, and issue a new reference number. They turned it around in a week. Well done, and take a bow, South Essex Area! Sefton, take note.We need to remember most of the inadequacies of the Revenue are not the fault of staff we deal with day to day. They do their best. Mind you, please don’t call us customers. As if we had a choice….

Ulterior motives and deadline woes

Well, the deadline for submitting paper tax returns for 2007-08 has passed with Halloween, and with it the Government’s trick or treat. The trouble is that this messing around with deadlines really is a trick. We have until 31st January 2009 to submit Self Assessment Returns online, and the real reason for the earlier deadline for submitting paper ones is to force online submission to save costs. HM Revenue & Customs probably hoped that people would not get their acts and papers together by the end of October, and would be forced to investigate the online process, either doing it … Continue Reading