Member Since: 23rd Jan 2005
15th Jul 2019
I am now retired but I really do sympathise with those brave souls who set up their own practices today. It must be nigh on impossible today to be a sole practitioner providing a comprehensive advisory services to small/medium sized clients.
There is no doubt that the real masters in this country - the senior civil service - follow an anti-SME agenda but instead of using the executioner's axe they prefer the more drawn out death by a thousand cuts.
This country is becoming ridiculously over-regulated, not least in the field of taxation. It really is about time the accountancy bodies used their influence - assuming they have any - to stop this ever increasing bureaucracy that must impede enterprise in this country.
We really are at the crossroads. We either go completely down the European style rigid codification , so eagerly implemented by our useless civil servants, or we get back to what made Anglo-Saxon (in the widest geographical sense) entreprise pre-eminent. There is no middle mashed up compromise available. It's either or.
So it would be refreshing indeed to hear the accountancy bodies tell the civil service, not least the HMRC, in strident terms that they, the civil service, do not have a clue on how to promote enterprise and the very best thing they could do would be to get lost.
7th Jun 2012
"...there are suggestions that the tax department does not have the skills or staff resources to cope with the vast quantities of data that mandatory filing is producing."
Well, what a surprise that is - not.
What is this collective illness that seems to afflict every senior public sector "executive" that increasing complexity somehow equals progress. The more data you acquire the clearer the picture? Of course it doesn't. That's ok for fractal imaging but it sure ain't any good for an efficient and straightforward tax system.
As usual with the senior civil service and the politicians in government, they are starting from the wrong end. Instead of taking an axe to the tax statutes and rationalising the system making it simpler, fairer, easier to collect and therefore more difficult to avoid/evade, they prefer instead to carry on down the road constructed by the Complexitiser-General Brown and making the system ever more opaque and therefore more difficult (and expensive) to administer.
And this is why Osborne got himself into such a damned mess in the last Budget. Even correcting obvious anomalies such as VAT on what is or what is not hot takeaway food, or the gross abuse of foreign charitable donations by the super rich, become problems of Gordian Knot proportions, instead of straightforward procedural corrections.
I can understand why the senior civil servants want to maintain the complexity of the system - the size of their empires are in inverse proportion to the efficiency of the organisations they command, after all - but, for the life of me, I cannot understand why a so-called Conservative Chancellor allows this situation to continue, and, in fact, deteriorate.
19th Aug 2011
I am quite certain that some smart alec in HMRC has come up with the idea of turning penalties into a profit centre.
I don't know about the PAYE regime but I do know that we had more than one Corporation Tax returned several weeks after submission. Penalty notices (and threatening letters) followed shortly thereafter. In the end, all the penalties were appealed successfully but what a complete waste of time and money from everybody's standpoint.
11th Jun 2007
It's naive to expect MP's to be bothered by red tape for real world businesses. They have far more important matters to deal with - such as totting up £150,000 non-accountable tax free expenses, making sure their gold-plated pensions are intact and, most importantly, making sure they keep it all confidential from their bosses (us). They just don't have the time to deal with less consequential matters like red tape, so please don't bother them again unless you want to discuss their next richly-deserved pay increase.