Life is tough on the front line of accountancy. For more than five years, our intrepid correspondent has been bringing us news and views from a typical West Country practice.
More Budget queries
Looks like I was right, it's the company car tax changes that are getting clients exercised. I was amazed yesterday when a solicitor called by the office to sort out some estate papers to discover he had obviously beed studying the car benefit small print too - I suspect he's in the market for a new car!
There are some pretty nasty changes in the company car benefit tables, some harsh changes to the 5% and 10% band, and a lot of marginal cases who are going to see big hikes in their taxable benefits over the next three years if they don't change car. If capital allowances are brought into the mix too, buying before next April looks like a smart move before the CO2 limit for the special rate capital allowances pool is dropped. However, many clients are still going to get caught out because cars stay in the capital allowances pool they qualified for when they were purchased, but the benefit in kind applies to the rates applicable each new tax year, they are not fixed in the year of acquisition! Seems a bit unfair to me, but then who ever said tax had to be fair? It just has to be collectable - as the Child Benefit changes in the Budget amply demonstrate!
My car is due for change at the end of this year, so this is an area I'm looking closely at too. I'm trying to persuade Mrs P that it's time to try out a double cab pickup, but I'm not sure she's keen on parking one!