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.
What is it with cars?
For reasons I haven't been able to work out, the hot topic on the phone this week is company cars.
I have had several calls so far this week from clients who have previously run their own cars and claimed a mileage allowance from their companies, asking for advice and tax calculations so they can decide whether to buy their next car through the company. And they have all been talking about expensive cars: £40,000-£160,000 is the range so far! It doesn't take long to convince them that expensive company cars are very bad news on the tax front. Successive Budgets have made it very clear that the Government doesn't approve of expensive, high CO2 cars! I suppose they may be viable from a tax point of view if there's very high business mileage, but in my experience you don't hammer a £160K car on business - you use a van or a 2 litre Mondeo for that and keep the expensive car for the weekends.
I have no idea why the sudden onset of sunshine in the South West has made cars the number one topic though. You certainly don't want to be driving one around most of our roads for the next few weeks, especially if they meander anywhere near the coast.
Thankfully the Met Office says things will start to get back to normal by the weekend - wet and cooler. Maybe we can get back to tax returns and accounts then and forget about company cars.