Member Since: 2nd Oct 2002
27th Jan 2016
Hang on a minute
I'd rather you kept politics out of this johnjenkins. You seem to have forgotten you (England) were desperate for Scotland to stay because we had so much to offer you (sorry, Britain) and if that is by allowing a more effective opposition in the UK parliament then that is what you have
Desperate for Scotland to stay? Don't flatter yourself. As an Englishman, I would have loved to see Scotland go it alone. Never understood why the English didn't get to vote on it.
26th Nov 2015
Accountants have every right to have concerns given HMRC's record in implementing change and the complete lack of understanding policymakers have regarding self employment.
We haven't seen any substantive detail yet, but the phrase from the Autumn Statement press release: "self employed people will be required to keep track of their affairs digitally and update HMRC at least quarterly reducing errors through record keeping" is meaningless tripe.
Further twaddle was spouted by Jim Harra (HMRC Director General Business Tax) in the interview published in Taxation magazine with this great line: "Digital accounts will simplify and in many cases remove the reporting burden for taxpayers". Really? So quarterly returns (no doubt with an annual reconciliation as well) will remove any burden from dealing with HMRC. Great news!
The only possible way I can see this working would be through the introduction of some sort of flat rate expense deduction system (a variant on VAT flat rate) based on cash accounting, with quarterly tax payments made on this basis.
Alternatively and perhaps more likely, there is actually a grand plan to categorise accountants (see Taxation article 26/11/15) so that in reality only "approved" accountants will have the necessary "enhanced status" to access HMRC systems fully in order to facilitate this change.
So HMRC will be able to cut staff numbers and office numbers (already happening), wash their hands of understanding the absurdly complex tax system we have (already happening), focus their compliance work on agents and get quarterly tax receipts.
Some accountants may well be happy to play along, but other accountants may well take the view that being effectively coerced into becoming a quasi privatised part of HMRC wasn't what they signed up for and they'll consider other options.