Member Since: 3rd Feb 2012
5th Feb 2016
I'm not defending his politics / capability in the unlikely event he were in charge of the Exchequer. I was merely saying that just because a gift aid deduction has not been claimed one can not infer that no giving has been made to charitable organisations and we need to be careful not to draw as firm conclusions what are really just inferences not fully supported by the facts.
Clearly one would expect the vast majority of higher rate tax payers to claim every penny but I expect a higher percentage don't than one might think. Because they don't claim 25% of their gift back from HMRC doesn't mean the charity has lost out as it doesn't stop them having ticked the gift aid declaration so the charity gets the 25% uplift.
As has been pointed out, we don't know his wife's tax affairs. If she is a higher rate tax payer they may have decided to route all giving through her for privacy and not have lost out a penny. You may be right though it could be that he didn't understand the system, but we can't be sure on the facts as presented Given how far left on the political spectrum he is, perhaps he feels by claiming gift aid he will be labelled a serial tax avoider by those in the PAC/media! That is all speculation, we can't be sure and need be careful not to make inferences beyond the facts else one strays over towards slander/libel. I.e. a few good old fashioned caveats would perhaps have been advisable on some of the 'conclusions' in this thread.
5th Feb 2016
Before getting carried away don't forget that just because one doesn't claim a deduction for gift aid doesn't mean one doesn't give to charitable organisations. Claiming the deduction is not compulsory, if his wife pays tax she may claim the deductions, not all charitable organisation qualify (e.g. overseas via his family connections with Kenya). Of course there are also other than financial ways of supporting charities; time / effort / lobbying.
While I don't know the details of his financial affairs I do know for a fact that his family supports financially at least one charitable organisation that I also support. I'm a long way from where he is on the political spectrum but please can we be careful not to make 1+1 = 3!
3rd Feb 2016
Further thought not directly related...
... but relevant to people who make large charitable donations and have children. The 31 January reference in the article being my tenuous link. If advising such people remember it is possible for them to consider 'flip flopping' their income so that some years they don't pay back child benefit.
E.g. Taxable Income GBP 70k with £10k gross gift-aid p.a. they can time the payments in year 2 to be before 31st January and pull them back into the year 1 tax return. So every other year they receive all their child benefit in addition to saving the same amount of higher rate tax. You can mix in pension AVCs as well but they obviously have to be made in year 1 where year 1 is the one you are seeking to retain child benefit by effectively getting the taxable income down to £50k. If they are prepared to make their giving more lumpy (i.e. bring forward year 3+ gifts) then higher incomes can be flip-flopped say every 3/4 years.
Of course this can only be done with the first filing as mentioned in the article!
3rd Feb 2016
Particularly relevant to churches etc
Thanks for the interesting article and illustrations, very useful, certainly something I will be sharing!
10th Aug 2015
The attachment looks more like a Budget impact assessment than being a factsheet on how the contracted out periods will affect the state pension.
What I was wholly unclear when they announced this, and I'm still unclear about, is:
If you get 40 years worth of NI contribution and you had 5 years where you were contracts out of SERPs. Does this mean you get a) a full state pension because you have 35 'clean years' of full NI contributions or b) mean you get some sort of 30/35 reduction for the top-up piece.
If the former, then presumably this won't have quite the impact on those with not many years of SERPs and who work through to retirement age.
23rd Feb 2015
If a company hasn't filed its returns for three years then it probably deserves to be skint and hopefully struck off the register as well. Don't forget these repeat offenders do actually absorb HMRC time as well so there needs to be some sensible level of incentive to get people to comply. The old £100 penalty disappears if no tax to pay didn't really work from what people have said.
18th Feb 2015
Re: Increasing penalties
Something like the CT late payment regime. So £100 first time, £100 second time, £500 third time you file late in a row. £100 sends the message that you should do this, if someone does this the second time then clearly they don't see this as penal enough. Therefore the third time they then deserve more, maybe it should then double each year after that but reset back down when a return is filed on time. The £500 and higher could then also attract some kind of points, perhaps count towards any tax geared penalty / general risk assets etc.
8th May 2014
That is what the 20% rate is meant to achieve....
... despite the best efforts of the PAC to put people off and of course they won't publically say that I'm sure.
This ought to be different to previous US deals where inversion didn't happen and so the 'synergies' of the deal largely meant UK job loses. Here the 'synergies' ought to mean US job losses to ensure the nexus in the UK is large enough to get around the US exit rules. Quite significant presence in the UK is needed to enable them to invert from being US parented to UK parented so there is opportunity here.
The politicians should now be focusing on how to convert this into more jobs in the UK than there currently are and to include high quality jobs. So there is significant opportunity here but sigh will they stop political bickering and actually concentrate on what increase in UK jobs will result?
30th Apr 2014
I appreciated it probably was... guess who will be rubbing their hands over the DOTAS changes... and taking money directly from people's bank accounts... maybe we are in the wrong profession :-).
You can't see the past schemes paying over a penny until there has been a raft of court cases over whether the legislation is valid... not to mention the counter claims re unjust enrichment of the government. While we don't quite have the concept of punitive damages I can see that there will be some level of damages that have to be paid where a scheme is upheld to actually work and HMRC has wrongly taken someone's money.
Hopefully this will eventually be done more sensibly. You don't have to pay over the tax to HMRC if you have a scheme under DOTAS but if you don't then the penalty regime will apply and be much more harsh if the scheme fails. E.g. if you don't pay over tax at stake then you risk a 100% penalty but if you do then there will be 0% penalty. That would seem easier to get through than some of the hair brained proposals that seem to be flying around at the moment.
30th Apr 2014
...like that would work particularly for something that was nearly 20 years ago. That would just make the lawyers richer as it would be tied up in the courts forever and ever. The government would probably lose and meanwhile everyone we want to invest in this country would have gone somewhere else.
The law has changed since the 90s so this is harder to do because laws have been passed by politicians to close these down. Of course some tax payer is always going to be ahead, but there actually seems to be a number of schemes recently that have failed so maybe some of the tide is turning somewhat.