X cients at £Y00 per head
If they are going to target accountants using an X clients at £Y00 per head approach, they need to sort out the current situation where I keep trying to delete ex-clients on their website, but they never go away.
As for lawyers, it might be a safe bet that those facilitating avoidance, would be using every means at their disposal to minimise their own liabilities.
I can see a logic in HMRC taking a dim view if many of my clients persistently miss filing deadlines, as maybe I'm part of the problem, but no way am I carrying the can for the perennial poor payers.
The ones who get way behind with payments to HMRC are probably a thorn in my side as well, as they are bound to be the ones I have to chase for money, too.
As has been said above, suddenly we will all get very picky about who we take on / retain, and yes, it seems damn nigh impossible to get people I haven't seen for years removed from my online client list, so I'm stuck with their reputation even when they've gone AWOL. At least, under the current system, the persistently chaotic clients are still submitting returns, for HMRC to chase payment from, good luck with that when they no longer have the likes of us to badger them to get their figures in on time.
Blind eyes for profit
Many years ago, as a new graduate on a training contract, I was with an audit team for a national accountancy firm (later absorbed by one of the big four) at a large industrial client.
I found some invoice that just didn't seem right, for a very large sum, and when I asked about it I was referred to the MD's office. Being young, naive and cheeky I went there, and chatted up his rather attractive secretary. Next thing I had photocopied backup documentation from his safe, that proved something fishy was going on.
My superiors were appalled. It turns out it was some illegal artificial device to circumvent an EU minimum steel price agreement which I had unearthed - basically a false invoice to pay back thousands of pounds paid for materials over and above what they were really prepared to sell it for. Scared of losing the valuable job, no doubt, I was told by a senior partner to shut up about it, and promptly moved back to bean counting in the back office.
I didn't stay long after that.
I acted for a lady who was an escort, she came to me saying her previous accountant had a very judgmental attitude towards her that made her uncomfortable, She was from eastern Europe, and had registered as self employed as soon as she came here.
We put 'escort' on the SA Returns as her self employed occupation, as she did 'home visits' we kept a mileage log, and we went over what expenses were 'wholly and exclusively' for her business and what would not be allowed. Absolutely no problems, from plod or HMRC, and when she eventually got married and retired from escorting, she got a mortgage partly on the strength of her agreed self assessment returns, together with P60's from her current (non - related) PAYE earnings.
Speaking of dubious charities
Atlantic Bridge anyone?
The Atlantic Bridge Research and Education Scheme was an educational charity founded in 1997 with Margaret Thatcher as its President to promote Atlanticism, a philosophy of cooperation between the United Kingdom and the United States regarding political, economic, and defense issues. It was set up by Liam Fox, former Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom. Cabinet ministers, Michael Gove, George Osborne and William Hague and Chris Grayling have previously sat on its advisory panel, as have American senators, Jon Kyl, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman. The organistion's principal staff included Catherine Bray (US Executive Director), Adam Werritty (UK Executive Director) and Kara Watt (Operations Director).
It was dissolved in September 2011, following a critical report from the Charity Commission the previous year.
A plague on both your houses
I think that if we could have 'None of the above' on the ballot, that would win hands down at the moment.
Last time I tried the Lib Dems as a protest vote I'm afraid to admit, and that didn't end well....
Anyhow, George must know a loophole or two if he doesn't pay tax at the highest rate. Actually he said 'on the last tax return I submitted' which will be 2010/11. As he is now on £134K and has rental income on top I think he was being slippery when asked if he would personally benefit from the 45% rate.
If he wants shocking he should go and ask Lord Ashcroft (a) How much he earns, and (b) How much UK tax he pays.
As an economics graduate, never mind present employment, it galls me that I am better qualified to be chancellor than someone with a 2.1 in Modern History who has only worked in politics, unless you count folding towels in Selfridges.
'The appellant was required to complete a tax return until she was notified to the contrary by HMRC.'
Is that correct? If she ceased to be self employed in 2007/8, told them so on her return and really received no notice to file for 2008/9, then I would have thought that, in the absence of psychic powers she behaved quite reasonably.
A legal precedent?
Obviously Mr R was entirely innocent, because the jury found him so.
However, if, say, Contractor C were to pay Subcontractor S £2,000 per month via an offshore account, could one now argue that this was a long term investment in S' business (or S' dog's business), and not actually a payment meant to avoid tax?
Good luck with that....
If my cat opens an offshore account, will he need a pet passport?
Cash or cheque?
Many of the small businesses I see cannot justify the cost and inconvenience of a chip & pin reader and monthly Streamline charges, and therefore take payment in 2 forms - cash or cheque.
I cannot imagine that HMRC would have been too happy for many of these businesses to suddenly have become 'cash only', perhaps with the odd bit of barter thrown in, especially given their past attitude to existing cash based businesses.
At least cheque payments leave a paper trail, unlike a roll of used notes.