Post-holiday blues

I have been a bit quiet of late. You could understand that a number of developments in the UK tax world have pretty much left me speechless. We have had the Budget, largely flagged in advance with the capital gains changes etc. but the income-shifting fiasco has been put on hold. Unfortunately it is not a dead duck and will reappear not much changed, I suspect; a serious canard if ever there were one.

We tax advisers have a job squeezing our holidays in these days but we managed a couple of weeks in May in the steam room that is Florida at this time of year. Whilst I had my back turned, Darling had another Budget to compensate those who lost out from his organ-grinder’s announcement of the abolition of the 10% band – well, one of them – in the 2007 Budget. Everyone knew about what had happened last year, except apparently the Government’s own MPs. The give-away will apparently cost the Exchequer £2.7 Bn. This will be why the Government probably secretly welcomes the high oil price, at least in the short term, because of all that lovely extra tax it is collecting. After all it cannot really borrow any more, can it? Oh, well, I expect you are right.

Anyway, time is money for businesses, so I am especially upset at the problem we are having preparing and filing Self Assessment Tax Returns on-line for 2007-08. I said at the end of last year that the HMRC on-line system was much improved. So what happens? Wholesale change at the behest of Lord Carter and all the work and progress over the past few years has gone out of the window. I have lost time with the software not working, my supplier is over-stretched and work is not getting out of the door as I would like (any of my clients reading this need not worry; they will still get the same good service but it is just costing me more at the moment). If it ain’t broke…..

Leave a Reply