David Gordon FCCA
Member Since: 14th Sep 2010
17th Jun 2021
Dear Charlie Carne
Constructive Dishonesty may be defined as where the person or group of persons, engage in acts which each act in itself may be honest, but the sum total amounts to dishonesty.
It is not for HMRC to dictate how each person (Natural or Legal) keep their business records. Especially to dictate that they must be digital.
It is for parliament. In the case of Ltd Co it is set out in the Companies Acts.
Any increase in cost whether money or time, in complying with HMRC diktats, is in effect additional tax.
The observed factual reasons for this imposition on otherwise perfectly competent business persons is not to improve the tax system per se, it is to reduce the direct cost of operating the system to HM Treasury, and pass this cost on to the Taxpayer.
This so that HMRC may with po-face claim that they are being more efficient.
If this was not so, why do we have in the words of HMRC, several hundred software houses trying to sell us their tax products?
Reducing, as a one-off, the payment credit period is a blatant attempt at filling a hole in the purse.
A similar event happened when Self-Assessment was introduced. Thousands of taxpayers end up paying two years' worth of tax in one twelve month period.
No one is telling us the true cost of this exercise, including accounting fees an software costs.
The perceived attitude of the persons in substantial control of HMRC is that the taxpayer is there solely to pay tax and obey instructions. That earning their livelihoods come second.
I remind you that the oft quoted statistic is, of the total tax take 85% of taxpayers pay 15%
the other 85% of tax is from only 15% of taxpayers.
So all this disruption and costly exercise is mostly for 15% of the UK tax take.
For very cogent reasons we do not let the police make civil and criminal law.
For the same reasons we should not allow HMRC to in effect make tax regulation to suit its (un)civil servants.
I still smart over the bare-faced cheek of the then head of Inland Revenue, that Inland Revenue would not allow the cost of preparing tax returns because the system is designed so that a taxpayer may easily prepare his/her own return.
I would be inclined to describe this latest MTD business as Horse-feathers, except that Horse-feathers are at the least useful for helping roses to grow.
In the year 2000 the Tate gallery acquired a work of art by artist Piero Manzoni, entitled "Artist's [***]". It is a 30 gram tin of that product. Tate reputedly paid £16,000 for this. (I cannot exactly remember whether it also included the model men's urinal. Look it up on the Web)
I am not qualified to comment on the artistic judgement of the Tate's then trustees.
After sixty years in the profession come this October, I sure as **** am qualified to know when my clients are being sold a copy of Piero's work of art.
12th Feb 2021
Please, think as an accountant.
The matter of tax regulation and interpretation has nothing to do with the current world situation.
As an accountant you should know better than most, for someone to receive someone else must pay.
As an accountant you also know that there is always a point at which the prospective payer will tell the payee to "Get lost" - I put it politely.
Thank Heaven I am not in the position of having to make the choices. I am sure from 50 accountants you would get 153 choices.
So far we have not had people rioting in the streets. Neither Q-Anon nor the Corbynistas.
So far, not good, but not a disaster.
Unless as an above average educated person you really thing you may do better, please calm down
The notice on my interview room wall says:
"If you are so clever, why are you not rich as well as good looking?"
11th Feb 2021
Some of you, it seems, do not work for these small companies.
Through my clients, I directly know of at least four major companies, inc two PLCs, who will subcontract only to small ltd companies and will not entertain self-employed persons.
Of the four one is a substantial PLC which not only prefers small ltd co, but will not use any sub-contractor registered for VAT. Taking into account extra fees incurred in producing both Ltd Co acs and an ITR there is really very little tax advantage except and unless the earnings are substantial.
Also with a Ltd Co tax is paid when you know what the liability actually is, rather than pay an estimate in advance.
Scaling up from my small practice there must be thousands of similar clients. Including highly skilled engineers, entertainment back-of stage, and suchlike. Not all s/c are hod carriers or muck shifters.
One of the main reasons is an increasing volume of work in this country is time or project related, or may be done from "Home".
Many major employers really do not want the hassle that goes with direct employment, and which in any case is not appropriate to the work
Please excuse me but I must return to a previous comment.
It is inappropriate for accountants in practice to slag off self-employed persons or status.
Firstly, you may be sure that persons of ill-will will pick up your comments and use them to justify onerous rules or legislation
Secondly, we pay our grocery bills from fees earned from self-employed persons. My father taught me that a paying customer is a valued customer. If you do not subscribe to that philosophy you are in the wrong business. How would some of you feel if a person advised your clients of your denigratory posts?
Thirdly is it just plain bad manners.
If you do not appreciate a particular paying client, there is an obvious way to sort it. Send the client over to me.
Unfortunately tax rules have not caught up with actual 21st century working lifestyles.
10th Feb 2021
Dear time to retire:
There are no morals in Tax law.
Us the electorate have chosen them, the MPs to collectively administer the collection of funds we the electorate deem better dealt with by a central authority. For this the MPs delegate administration to our Servants, HMRC.
What should be taxed and who should pay the tax is an entirely political decision.
For this clear regulation is required.
As we know to our professional cost, the first thing MPs do at the start of any parliament is play with the rules.
It is (Pardon the language, ladies) or appears to be, mostly male MPs' way of showing how big their private parts are. Unfortunately 98% do not know what effect a tax rule would have even if you shoved it up their collective backsides.
10th Feb 2021
It is not just "Reasonable" it is law supported by decision of the court.
Inland Revenue commissioners v Duke of Westminster 
Every man is entitled.. to order his affairs so that the tax attaching under the appropriate Acts is less than it otherwise would be. If he succeeds ............he cannot be compelled to pay an increased tax"
Notwithstanding the Ramsey principle ( setting aside a transaction having pre-arranged artificial steps with no commercial purpose other than to save tax) the above dictum holds true.
Every HMRC officer, treasury official and MP should have that notice stuck to the wall of their loos, so that they see it on a daily basis.
Tax has no ethics or morality. The rules are what the rules say. Whether you are a professional footballer or a bus-driver with free travel for your family, the rules are the rules. No more no less.
Getting on the political bandwagon that says do what I think you should do and not want the rules say, is a "Cop out".
9th Feb 2021
A former chancellor is reputed to have said,"Tax policy consists of so plucking the goose that it makes the minimum amount of fuss"
The "Self-employed" have no unions, no industry lobbyists, and no wealthy donors to political parties, no ability to move business to the Cayman Islands
So, if you were in the chancellor's position what would you do?
8th Feb 2021
Maybe forty years ago the Head of the then Inland Revenue was asked "why do you not employ qualified experienced accountants?"
His answer was "We believe the training we give our officers is suitable to the task"
This comment has stuck in my mind for four decades.
The reality is, it has always been the (Un-) Civil Service, and the Treasury officials' viewpoint that "Self-Employment" is not quite "Kosher".
This has deepened since the advent of "Digitisation" wherein, according to the above persons, the person must fit the system.
A lighter shade of the Communist Party of China, which is bent on perfecting that principle.
If you substituted the words "Jew" or "Black", or "Muslim", for "Self-employed" in some of the pronouncements of HMRC and or MPs and or Treasury, a member of one of our minorities would instantly recognise the slur.
As the emperor Hadrian said, I am not anti-Semitic, I just don't like Jews.
More to the point, those of you who have publicly posted denigratory remarks about self-employed persons;
Do you speak like this in front of your clients?
Please think about your public pronouncements.
2nd Dec 2020
But do not blame HMRC.
For excellent reasons we do not permit the Police to make law. (If you cannot think of at least ten reasons, put yourself in a corner wearing a Dunce's cap)
A police officer has only to break wind in the wrong direction and some parliamentary or legal person will jump on him.
Sadly those same parliamentary persons and or legal persons would rather eat worms than properly supervise HMRC.
The consequence is HMRC is in daily practice a law unto itself.
We should rather be relieved that HMRC executive restrain themselves to a great extent.
See above comment re Police and Law.
2nd Dec 2020
And this is a surprise?
HMRC interpret the law according to their needs.
On behalf of clients we interpret it according to clients' needs.
Often the two interpretations agree, but if you have a query it always pays to look at the Regulations,
Otherwise there would be no point to Tax Tribunals.
26th Nov 2020
This was not an unexpected event. The WHO have been warning about the likelihood of a pandemic for years.
within the latest ten years there have been at least six outbreaks of disease qualifying as incipient pandemics.
Fortunately, thank Heaven, they were controlled in time.
There is a reason it is called Covid-19 or Sars-2.
Over fifty years I have been a regular airline passenger, and I still insure myself, even though the risk is one in several millions.
The risk is known, and calculable.
As is the risk from disease.