Member Since: 25th Mar 2013
27th Feb 2020
This entire situation is just another victory for big companies in convincing the government to make their employees eligible for the Employer's NIC they don't want to pay and the employment rights they don't want to honour. IR35 is a disgusting piece of legislation which runs roughshod over every existing piece of employment legislation.
Not at all surprised it turned out this way after HMRC's decision to pursue employees who knew nothing about tax law for the tax that should have been liable when they were told by their employers that they had to become contractors or get the sack.
29th Oct 2019
Isn't this likely just statistically expected given women have only started joining the profession in greater numbers in the last few decades and partners are often the people who have been in the profession longer? The fact that women are clearly over represented at manager level suggests any problem is already well within hand and at this point it's merely a matter of older accountants retiring and newer generations moving up the career ladder.
14th Jun 2019
Why did you invent a figure of £30k and then get aggravated about how the figure you made up out of thin air is totally unreasonable?
3rd May 2019
As Ian McTernan says - if you were to pick panelists completely blindly and at random with no information whatsoever on their background, sheer random variance would mean you would probably get a couple of all male or all female panels. Two panels out of somewhere between 30 and 250 are male?
Given there are mentions that there were multiple all female panels this reads more like a case of confirmation bias - looking for discrimination where there's no good evidence it exists.
My big problem with all analysis of this sort is consistently ignoring the breakdown of the statistics quoted - the ~50% gender split is true, but quoting that figure alone ignores the reality that amongst the older generations in accountancy there's a male majority and amongst the younger generations there's a female majority. In light of this it's not that surprising that the population of people experienced enough to be panelists has a male majority. I would expect that in ten years time the opposite will be the reality and we'll have more female panelists than male.
It's entirely possible that Heather is correct, I don't know enough about Accountex, but the arguments presented here aren't convincing to someone who hasn't already made their mind up.
30th Apr 2019
The mistake Mr Harrod clearly made was trying to be honest and own up to the mistakes he made. I've seen in my own relatively short professional life regular examples of crooked accountants who do things much more flagrant than this on a regular basis.
It's frustrating that we never see any action taken against blatant criminals. Instead it's people like this who were talked into doing something wrong and were honourable enough to admit it who get the book thrown at them. Struck off? Certainly appropriate here, but imposing these excessive costs on top of that seems unfair.
11th Apr 2019
In Northern Ireland at least nearly every professional I meet still wears a suit and tie. I'm fairly indifferent to it as I don't mind wearing a suit, but I wonder if it varies strongly by region.
Every time I think of casual dress though, it puts me in mind of the Casual Friday joke from Curb Your Enthusiasm:
8th Apr 2019
They realized they were in a dodgy scheme after appointing us as their accountant quite a few years ago. The thing is though, they were told to enter these schemes by local councils - I imagine you can well understand how someone unfamiliar with the tax scheme might think they had some assurance from that. They were inclined to think, "Well if the government is telling me to join this umbrella organisation it must be legitimate".
That's the biggest source of my problem with the way this has been handled. The government itself was probably the single biggest proponent of staff joining these schemes and now a different branch of government is treating them like criminals for obeying the whims of council finance departments.
The added complexity here is that while my client was within this scheme for 3 years after being pushed into it by her original council employer, social workers have seen first a massive pay freeze for the last ten years and secondly a massive net pay cut when IR35 was introduced. I was genuinely not exaggerating at all when I said that the letter my client received was for her to pay twice her current gross annual salary in the next 30 days - that's how badly social workers have suffered from being hit by all of these different government policies in succession.
5th Apr 2019
In the name of understanding let me give you an example of the only client I have caught up in this.
My client was a social worker employed by the local council for many years, she had no problem with this and was happy with her work.
However, after these loan schemes became popular, the local council decided that these were an excellent way to get out of paying Employer's NIC, sick pay and holiday pay (which are high in a job as stressful and mentally harmful as social work) and began pushing all their social workers to become self employed under the umbrella companies offering these schemes.
Our client then worked as a Ltd company contractor under these schemes for a number of years between various different councils.
HMRC then introduced IR35, leading to a cancellation of this type of employment and vast cuts in the salaries of all social workers in the public sector.
Right around the same time, my client received a letter from HMRC demanding that within 30 days of receiving this letter she had to pay them £60,000 of tax - twice what her annual salary now was after the public sector pay freeze, the cuts to local councils and IR35.
An individual with no knowledge of the tax system who was 100% happy being a council employee get pushed into a tax scheme by one government entity, central government then freezes her salary for ten years, passes legislation making her liable for the tax scheme another government entity forced her to be employed through and then on top of it passes new legislation forcing her to accept massive pay cuts to go right back to the situation she was happy in ten years ago!
Then sends her a letter telling her that she needs to pay up twice her annual salary within 30 days.
Can you understand why I might find the above to be a disgusting state of affairs?
27th Mar 2019
I actually tried to register a single client as a test to see how the system worked just yesterday.
The answer? Not at all, the webpage immediately froze as I tried to register them for MTD and it was impossible to proceed any further. If this isn't fixed by the time April returns are due, there are going to be an awful lot of people without any way to submit VAT returns at all.
27th Feb 2019
You must be living in an absolute fantasy land. I've had meetings with close to a dozen clients this week who are having their businesses directly [***] up by Brexit on how to deal with the fallout and have so far set up 3 Irish limited companies this week alone for people who have decided to move their profitable small businesses across the border to avoid the problems caused by this.