A year ago today I attended a meeting (remember what they were ?) in Devon. It was a two and a bit hour journey (Cessna rather than BMW), mainly on instruments due to the grim weather in the morning which as forecasted, cleared as the day progressed.
On the way back, unexpectedly low cloud blew in off the North Sea, stopping me landing in Suffolk - I had to divert into Southend, following a 737 landing. An expensive taxi fare home and that was an exciting day over.
How things have changed in a year. We don't have meetings any more, general aviation is grounded, there aren't any 737's operating out of Southend and the skies are blue. Every day.
But the days can still be exciting, albeit for very different reasons.
Remember, if you have 'missed' any previous editions, they can be found at
What are my positives today:-:
1. We didn't have venison for supper
Walking the dogs, they were off the lead and there was a commotion in the undergrowth. Was it a rabbit ? A pheasant ? Local swingers ? A member of the paparazzi ?
No, they had scared a deer.
Fortunately the boys realised that in a contest of spaniels versus deer the spaniels might lose, they backed off. So no venison but no vet bills either.
2. We have a milkperson
When we started to have milk delivered it felt a bit quaint.
But in the current crisis it's great to wake up in the morning knowing that the day's cafe latte supplies are secured.
Ours is more like Santa than Ernie - he knows when you are sleeping (for goodness sake - it's 2 in the morning), he knows when you're awake (that will be the clink of the bottles)...
3. Tax Refunds are speeding up
This might be coincidence but it seems that where tax refunds are due on 2019/20 tax returns going in, HMRC are processing the repayments quicker than normal. About seven-ten days seems the norm.
Unfortunately not all tax returns have refunds though. Personally I blame the accountant
(Like everyone else does)
And what am I talking to clients about today ?
Planning Year Ends, If your business is presently affected by the shut down, but you had a good result (ie tax to pay), to say end December or March, it's worth thinking about an extended year end.
Basically the rules allow a kind of averaging - to a greater or lesser extent, and exactly how depends on whether you are a sole trade or company. So the poor period can reduce the better period's tax bills earlier than would otherwise be the case.
Rarely do you have to make your mind up too early on this, I'm finding with many clients that we're preparing things to final draft but leaving them unfinished. Then at some point later when we know how long the lockdown is for and its impact, we'll revisit.
All perfectly legal and perfectly legitimate, just using the rules to your advantage.