That's a big number.
What am I talking about ?
- Is it the number of snowflakes per square metre in our front garden ?
- Is it the number of fish who, in a YouGov survey said they were happier to be in British waters post Brexit ?
No. (And it's not my average golf score either.)
It's the number of tax returns that should have been filed by 31st January that weren't filed by that date. Double the previous year's number.
Wow. And when you think about it, (smugly, knowing that your's was in on time), what is astonishing is that there were ten months after the end of the financial year to get them done. 301 days. Pandemic or not, that's a long time to lose receipts..
By comparison, the US, who sensibly have 31st December as their fiscal year end, only normally give three and a half months.
But I think the best answer is that of Germany. With a December fiscal year end they give seven months to file. But if you engage an accountant you have until 28th February of the subsequent year - 14 months !
So next time I take longer than you think I should (I mean, like that's ever happened), just be thankful that I'm not German...
Was sind in diesem Sinne meine positiven Aspekte ? *
1. Edward isn't in jail
Edward (name changed) rang me this morning in a bit of a lather. He'd just taken a call with a recorded message. It told him that there was an arrest warrant for him for 'Federal Tax Fraud' and that he must press 1 to be connected to HMRC and settle his case. If he failed to do so he would be arrested within the next 30 minutes.
Of course, it was a scam. There are no 'Federal Taxes' in the UK. And HMRC don't contact people like this. Suffice to say he didn't press 1, he isn't in jail, there isn't any outstanding tax.
There are some bad people out there - please be a ware (which will make a change to being a lert)
2. Annette's VAT return isn't late
Annette (name changed) was one of the pioneers of Making Tax Digital and has her online Quickbooks file all linked with HMRC for electronic filing.
She filed her VAT return all in good time and was able to go back to her yoga/carpentry/plumbing business (according to which TV advert she was featured in)
Except that for the December quarter, due 7th February, the link with HMRC fell over. For no good reason at all. She didn't notice this for a few days...in fact until the morning of the 7th.
Why ? What had she done ? Was she a bad person ? Should she have pressed '1' after all ?
The answer is security - HMRC turn the link off periodically, requiring reconnection. That isn't too much a chore, but it emphasises that simply pressing a button isn't enough, you must make sure that the software is recording the filing as acknowledged.
3. It snowed !
Let's face it, we're all big kids at heart, but there are few things as pleasant in life as wandering round fields with drifted snow. Accompanied by two middle aged spaniels who think they are puppies again and two teenagers who forget that they are supposed to be cool and are happy to indulge in snowball fights. To make it home freezing cold, ready for a steaming mug of hot chocolate.
And it snowtable how the headlines have been dominated by weather rather than their normal fare.
And on that note,
Stay safe, stay positive
* According to Google translate, this says 'with that in mind what are my Positives ?'
I've never been good at German, so I might just have written 'Thank you for the goldfish, where are my underpants ?'
I like to engage my audience, but in December was told that my Caristmas Quiz was too difficult. To redress that, let's have a spot the difference competition