It's been an odd week this week.
With the news headlines all about something that's going to be happening on Saturday, the thought would be that everyone knows what the rules will be.
But to illustrate that all of this is being made up as we go along, I was meeting a publican this morning who was bemoaning the fact that when she reopens tomorrow she needed a register of who was attending her pub. And how that is going to make it difficult for those conducting illicit trysts...
Only for a text to arrive saying that the rule had changed so that only one name was now needed. With just over24 hours to go.
Meanwhile Boris has said today that gyms 'might' be able to open in 'a couple of weeks or so'. Businesses love certainty, it makes itsoeasy to plan !
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What are my positives today:-:
1. I've become an expert in Islamic Finance.
It was mid afternoon and I was working my way through a set of tax calculations. Or maybe I was dozing off, the sensations seem so similar.
Jolted to consciousness by the ring of the phone, it was long standing client John who wanted some advice on what he thought was a mortgage.
What you need to know is that John is as white and Anglo-Saxon as they come, confirmed Christian, he has a buy to let and was refinancing it. The broker had found a deal that was attractive, and the papers were all ready to sign.
What nobody had told John was that the deal was a Diminishing Musharaka.
'A what ?' I hear you say.
Google is my friend, I've now become an expert.
Islam prohibits charging interest but allows shared ownership. A Diminishing Musharaka sees the house in question having its ownership transferred, and each time John makes what we would call a 'mortgage payment', he gets a fractional ownership transferred back.
Except that until he has - in common parlance - repaid the mortgage, the property ownership under UK law is registered with the land registry as being owned by the bank concerned, with all the risks that entails. Especially when the bank concerned has a negative Balance Sheet !
The deal was signed off as compliant under Sharia Law by a panel of sage and learned Islamic clerics, but was stopped by the advice of a solitary, middle aged Chartered Accountant.
2. And Australian tax ?
Half an hour later the same tax computation was disturbed by the phone again. Matilda, equally long standing client, has a son who worked last year in Australia. And has an Australian tax return to do. Could I assist ?
'Er, no. I think we need to get an Australian accountant.'
There's a small problem, given the time difference they are all shut.
'So call them tomorrow ?'
'But the deadline to submit is today'
I love Google...
3. I renewed my Data Protection Registration
Now, come on, why's that a positive ?
It just kind of tenuously links to a topic that is going to become real.
If you hold personal data about someone, it needs to be held subject to the GDPR, and you must have a registration with the Information Commissioners Office. And, of course, is subject to data subject access requests
So, our publican - who doesn't think she holds personal data - now by law holds a register with personal details (name and contact details), associated with a date of attendance.
Covered by the GDPR ? Yes. Registration needed ? Absolutely.
If in doubt, see http://www.ico.org.uk
Enjoy the weekend, thrive in the queues, stay safe, stay positive
This is a 'restaurant'. For those unfamiliar with the concept, you go there to have food cooked for you and served to you by people in surgical gowns and facemasks. Whilst inside you are regarded as a 'risk' to be 'managed'. It costs rather more than Tesco, but the great thing is that social distancing means you don't even have to pretend to enjoy being with the person you are sharing the table with Here's an interesting fact you wouldn't have known. I proposed to Debbie in this restaurant. If that happened nowadays, following the 2m rule, it would have to be done by text...