Someone Sent a Promised Land

In the press this week, was a report that the DVLA thinks that they have lost £200m in road tax revenues since introducing the new disc-free tax system.  It caught my eye because, about a year ago, the Chancellor announced how they will now do away with paper tax returns and replace them with an online tax account.  Many of us wondered at the time how the IT would work.

In the 1970’s (I know I don’t look old enough) I recall how we all thought computers would do away with almost all mundane work, and we would live lives of leisure, and only do the work that humans must do.  It was a Promised Land, delivered by second class post via Royal Mail (like most government mail), it seems.  Is Government trapped in a 1970’s time bubble, desperately doomed to failure, yet hoping to save costs by computerising our lives?  Or does government have a long term strategy?

Continue reading “Someone Sent a Promised Land”

Mother, should I trust the Government?

Houses of Parliament

 

Not for the first time in my professional career, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs appear, in my humble view, to have failed the trust test.  I do not wish to make any false accusations, so I will use words such as “may” and “appear”, and will leave it to the reader to consider the evidence.  The irony though, is that HMRC is an organ of government, yet there seems to be evidence that it is not averse to pulling the odd fast one, however much it may bleat about nasty taxpayers who are happy to use the law to avoid tax.

Today I saw a new notice of coding for a client.  This client, like most entrepreneurs, has a salary from his company and pays out excess profits, if any, by dividend.  He has been doing so for some years – most years he pays a dividend.  Some years he has not made enough profit to do so.  Each year, he files a tax return which takes account of his employment income, other bits and pieces and his dividends.  He has to make payments on account each year in accordance with the rules for self assessment.  I doubt anyone will find this unusual.

Continue reading “Mother, should I trust the Government?”