We live in a world where it's way too easy to upset people.
This afternoon I received an email inviting me to share the creativity of the LGBTQIA+ community. (I had no clue either)
It just underlines the tightrope that we're all having to walk right now. Even J K Rowling fell foul of this, (yet I can't see 'M' for Muggle in that acronym.)
On that subject, during a dog walk I came across a small hole in the ground near a hedge, it was square, about a foot deep, and about 6 inches X 6 inches.
II wondered what I was seeing. Was it where the Tax Stake had been ? No.....
The post had been removed in case it caused a fence.
(I'll get my hat and coat now)
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What are my positives today:-:
1. HMRC have accepted what I'm saying
Earlier this week I wrote that the tax system of this country was rapidly becoming unworkable. HMRC have since agreed.
I'll explain - it is in the context of Class2National Insurance - 'the stamp'. The history of this is that when you became self employed in years gone by, you had to buy a special stamp each week in the Post Office. These stamps gave you entitlement to certain state benefits.
Fast forward to the early 90's and HMRC moved this onto the modern system of direct debits.
About five years ago they decided to modernise still further and simply add the annual cost (It's only £3.05 per week !) to the self assessment bill. Seems straightforward, all good IT systems took it on board, all good accountants simply dealt with it.
Except that from a very early stage it was always a bit hit and miss whether HMRC collected it that way. Often they amended a perfectly good tax return to remove it (irritatingly they wrote to the client saying they were 'correcting an error') , and then continued to collect by direct debit. And sometimes they just amended and forgot.
It has always been on the list of HMRC's priorities to get their software re-written to deal with this.
This week they have announced that a solution is "prohibited by cost and plans in place for the future of the IT systems concerned". For which read, "it's too difficult"
I rest my case
2. We have a new excuse for errors
Picture the scene in light of the above.
A tax return has been enquired into and HMRC have found some issues on it. And now they are discussing the reasons for those issues which may or may not lead to penalties.
'Dear Inspector, We tried really hard to get it right. But you'll understand the tax system is very difficult and time consuming. So we gave up. But that's OK isn't it ? Yours faithfully''
3. Funny typos still happening
Yes, yes I know that I didn't really mean to write 'Car scar-page scheme' the other day. It's kept you amused though, thinking what I might have meant.
But at least it wasn't on the same scale as an email today from a seriously important private bank writing to a seriously important client
'We are sorry that your card was declined today caused by the most recent payment not having been properly allocated.
This has not(sic)been dealt with and the card will be able to be used.'
What am I talking to clients about ?
Scams....they are getting more frequent and more believable.
A call I took today was on my mobile from a mobile. A recorded message told me that they had been monitorring my internet and detected illegal activity. To avoid being cut off forever I needed to press 1 - which presumably would have connected me to an expensive premium rate number.
Two clients have had calls from 'HMRC' this week referring to unpaid taxes (that weren't due), one said there was an FBI warrant for their arrest unless they paid the sum by card over the phone there and then.
Scary stuff, let's be careful out there ! If in doubt about contact from the tax authorities, give me a call.
Stay safe, stay positive
The rain last week really brought these fuchsias along.