We had one VAT enquiry for a client where they came in with a real attitude looking for £30 or £40K - the reason was that the VAT Return to the year end showed a different figure to the VAT liability in the accounts.
The client was on cash accounting for VAT but with large debtors and creditors being brought in at the year end along with the accompanying VAT.
It took many phone calls before someone in the VAT office recognised the issue and accepted there wasn't a problem.
I don't see this intrusion going down too well with some clients and don't like the whole big brother feeling myself.
Most of the problems have arisen because there are too many options. It should have been simple - everyone pays gross, the amount is a percentage of gross pay (without all the options of it being a percentage of NI able pay or pay without bonuses etc) and everyone is in whether they like it or not.
What we have are some providers only accepting gross payments, some will take either, most employers don't understand anyway and no-one wants to pay for help.
This could all be a massive scandal when the treatment of contributions by some providers is looked into. We are aware of 3 employers where the wrong direct debits have been taken (no correlation to the correct pension submissions), staff members inquiring and being told there are no contributions received for them (when there are) and no one in the provider able to produce details of the funds and contributions for individual employees. It's all being sorted apparently!
Once people have moved job a few times and switched schemes it might be too much of a mess to sort out.
If individual partner's details are "exposed" I presume that as a sole trader, my staff will also be able to see all my tax information and details if I set up my agent record. I think i'll be making a report to the Information Commissioner!
Surely this has to be changed and changed now.
And the issue with this is that it is seen as the small end of the wedge and those who think like this will move.
I heard today of a business which has one office in Scotland and one in England and they are now actively looking to close the Scottish operation and move to England, setting up a second English office. This is solely due to the direction of the tax changes and the political climate. Again, there may not be many people involved but there are multiples of 6 figures in tax heading out of the Scottish Government straight into the hands of Westminster.
I know several companies who can't get talent to move to Scotland for fear of higher taxes and the constant threat of Independence. I also have several clients who are actively looking for a move South including one who will be taking a 6 figure tax bill with him: how will that one person's tax be balanced in the budget?
Tax divergence is not a positive move in any way shape or form and I think there is plenty that could be done before divisive tax differentiators are put in place. I would happily pay for my prescriptions and similarly would be happy to pay £5 or £10 to visit the doctor.
Other issues such as removing rates exemptions for private schools is purely pandering to those the SNP see as their core voters. However what will this actually do? What will be the cost to the local authority if a private school has to close and they have to find 1,000 school places? The politics of envy are in full flow here and targeting the better off is sending a message that they aren't wanted in Scotland when the truth of the matter is that everything would collapse without their support.
If this were a UK wide tax policy then people wouldn't consider moving except in exceptional circumstances (like the lunacy of the tax rates in the 1970's which drove many millionaires out the country forever) but the fact is, it is only a 100 mile drive from the Central belt to a part of the UK where the persecution doesn't feel so personal.
I am actually in favour of higher taxes but only if everyone's paying them. Auto-enrolment increases are coming this year, on top of tax increases which will inevitably lead to upward pressure on wages making Scotland a less attractive option for business than the rest of the UK.
I see nothing "simple" in introducing a different set of rules for certain taxpayers who may not understand the importance of appealing the assessment in time.
Why can't NMW regulations be changed to allow averaging over a year with a strict calculation being done if someone starts or leaves in a year.
I have a lot of sympathy for JL and HMRC in the time they are having to waste on stupid red tape.
Employers have a lot to contend with these days and small employers in particular do not need the added expense and complication of trying to prepare payroll weekly when it is much cheaper and easier to calculate a salary based on the number of hours over a year and divide it by 12.
Someone with some common sense needs to change this massive waste of time.
The payments JL are now going to have to make will go to the employees to compensate them for the 31 day months when they only got paid for an averaged 30.4 days, with no compensatory redress for the months the staff got overpaid.
I will leave the morals and rights or wrongs of the NMW alone but this type of bureaucracy is just a waste of everyone's time and could easily be sorted.
The Scottish Government have advised that the Scottish Parliament is currently scheduled to agree the tax band fro Scottish taxpayers in the week commencing 20 February.
Only when those bands are finalised will the software developers be able to finalise payroll products for 2017/18.
That is simply not good enough and shows again that Politicians have absolutely no idea how their decisions impact on others: they are not fit for purpose.
Let's hope the software houses have everything set up and it's just a matter of changing parameters.
A ridiculous state of affairs to have tax powers devolved. It can only lead to unrest and movement of people: the ones that move will be the ones with money and that will be to the detriment of Scotland. The increases in Scottish Stamp Duty have resulted in a 25% reduction in tax take and have skewed the property market. When will Politicians learn?
Looks like dividend payments are going to have to increase with salaries being reduced below the higher rate band which will just reduce the Scottish Government's tax take further.
Tax changes like this could be implemented in an independent Scotland but not one which is part of the UK and the Scottish people voted to remain in the UK.
It's utter madness and political for the sake of it.
It was the granting of the powers to raise tax (outwith the original ability to vary the basic rate by 3%) which was shuffled through quietly. There was little discussion on the merits of the Scottish Parliament having these powers which were granted by Westminster in the 2012 Scotland Act.
A lot has been talked about it since but the powers were already granted so it made no difference.