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The Positive Accountant - Vol 2 Ed 24

Updated: Aug 5

I miss Gordon Brown. "What !", I hear you say, "Has he taken leave of his senses (again) ?" Let me explain my logic...Gordon Brown liked the whisky industry.  And so whenever there was a hike of alcohol duty, whisky got frozen.  So to speak. Norman Lamont, incidentally, (some of you are now opening Wikipedia to find out who he was), used to drink a glass whilst delivering his Budget speech. In contrast, on reading the small print of the Chancellor's statement and associated material yesterday, I see that the two big measures aimed at revitalising the hospitality industry exclude alcohol. It didn't take a genius to work out that a £10 meal deal voucher wouldn't buy much, but the surprising thing is that the VAT cut to 5% only covers non alcoholic drinks.  So those running bars, restaurants etc are going to have to make sure their point of sale system identifies and charges the correct VAT rate, a straight percentage of takings won't be good enough.  No problem for the bigger business but a headache for the smaller.   Here's a thought.  Aside from being revolting, how does the likes of Kaliber lager stand (marketed as alcohol free but actually 0.05% ABV) ? It's enough to turn you to drink. Missed an edition ?  See them at What are my positives today ? 1.  Adam is up to date with his tax returns. It's fair to say that Adam hasn't been the most compliant of taxpayers. He's sort of accidentally in the self assessment system, all of his income is taxed under PAYE but for historic reasons he's needed a self assessment return.  And he was three years in arrears, with penalties mounting. During the lockdown he got organised and sent me the old (late) information.  And last week the 2019/20 bundle came in.  All done, dusted and up to date.  With a promise to stay that way. Anyone else out there feeling guilty ? 2.  I like large company illogicality Regular readers might recall my tale of using the lockdown as a way of leveraging my way out of a long term software contract.   I was delighted in March when the company concerned agreed to cancel the remaining 18 months on it.   What I hadn't twigged was the fact that the account manager had left at the end of December.  So what the new account manager did was rather than cancel the contract in March - on his watch - he put a cancellation date down as 31st December.  This means, of course, that accountability falls on the now departedex manager. Their accounts system noticed that, and decided therefore that the invoices raised in January and February- relating to an expired contract - were 'obviously' erroneous, issuing credit notes to cancel them And then someone in accounts sees that I've paid some money for no reason (as the invoices don't exist anymore), so refunds that to me.   Despite the fact I was unhappily using it in those two months. Marvellous ! 3.  We don't need calculators anymore I find most calculations that I do these days are done on Spreadsheet. Which is, perhaps, just as well.   Whilst sorting out my desk drawer recently (no, I wasn't bored, just fed up of not finding anything), I came across the old Casio calculator that I'd had for school and onwards.  It has quite some history, is very battered, held together by sellotape.  It still works - but only has eight digits. Which would make it a bit tricky to use to check the Institute of Fiscal Studies conclusions today (£40billion extra in taxes coming our way to cover half a trillion debt in this year and next). And on that note,  Stay safe, stay positive  Adrian 07917 338342

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