The Institute are so far up their own backsides that they can't see the greater picture. The crime was to bring the profession into disrepute but Mr Singleton was fined by the Institute, ergo the Institute equals the profession. The whole concept of a subscription based organisation imposing a monetary penalty on its members is wrong and demonstrates that it is done to raise revenues.
The fact that they agreed to reduce the (internally generated?) legal costs by 32.5% shows that the figure was arbitrary in the first place - on that score they are the ones bringing the profession into disrepute. I'm all for a disciplinary process which has some sort of warning system for less serious offences and membership removal for the worst cases but arbitrary monetary penalties will merely result in more members jumping ship as I did.
It's interesting that apart from one contributor most people seem to agree.
Yes, he shouldn't have acted that way but how many of us have had a bad day and said or done things that we regretted afterwards. I can't see the point in small practitioners leaving themselves open to the Institute's disciplinary processes (and it's usually the Institute rather than the Association that we seem to hear about). As someone who left the Institute 13 years ago I've certainly got one less thing to worry about.
Agree with you entirely First Tab.
That seems a bit harsh - the inference is that they're damned if they do and damned if they don't. These cases are not always easy to get convictions due to slimy defence barristers e.g. in the Lunn case.
Save your breath Ann - I agree entirely with you. From my 53 years in the profession I've seen most of it, if not all. I shan't shed a tear for any of these people but do agree that HMRC should have been more proactive a lot earlier.
They'd rather spend their time challenging a few agents about their tagging processes for company accounts (see recent post on the subject).
I also found out yesterday that umbrella companies are still alive and kicking. You know, these are the ones that pay a load of money in the form of motor running and subsistence to enhance the contractor's take home pay.
I also sleep well at night knowing that all of my clients are paying the correct amount of tax without creating fancy trusts and artificial loans. There again most of my clients would be delighted to be paying higher rate tax.
A good article as always from Neil Warren and shows that he's actually read the OTS report, unlike Sift's business editor who came up with the headline "VAT cut proposal stokes MTD fears for SMEs".
The earlier piece said that "the blockbuster recommendation is to drastically lower the VAT threshold from its current level of £85,000 (one of the highest in the world)".
It then said "the report doesn't make an outright recommendation .... " - OK so which is it?
"The possible options of a lower, higher or same threshold" - wow, that's brilliant.
Just as brilliant as their recommendations on IR35 some years ago now - amend it, leave it the same or abolish it.
The OTS - the biggest gravy train in recent times.
Maybe they've done the maths and decided that to purchase a state pension for £148.20 per year is a bargain for the taxpayer.
I must be atypical of small practices inasmuch as I never have problems with fees, pitching them as I do somewhere between the cut-price brigade (who likely don't have the requisite technical expertise) and the high street (higher overheads) practices.
I must confess that I'm not clear how the hypothetical conversation would go.
Prospective client: "I'm a plumber turning over £55K. How much would you charge to keep me legal"?
Me: "How much would you like to pay"?
Prospective client: "Well £100 per year would suit me fine".
Me: (Gulp) "Er, I don't think I could manage that".
Prospective client: "Well, you did ask".
An excellent article but "HMRC staff are trained to look for a covering letter"? If my experience is anything to go by the covering letter will soon become separated from the return and lost. My advice is to number the covering letter "1 of 2" and the return "2 of 2". At least these trained staff will then be unable to deny receiving it.