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The Positive Accountant - Vol 4 Ed 1

Updated: Aug 5

My phone rang this morning. Well,I say rang, but for certain clients I have assigned ringtones, and on this occasion it was playing the Jaws theme tune.

The caller, an old client I’ll call Hugh, is a larger than life character (just as well as he’s only five foot tall), who calls a spade a spade.

With some trepidation I picked it up.

‘Mole’, he drawled in his East London accent, ‘We need you. Your clients need you. The country needs you’

My heart leapt - I’ve always dreamed of an Obi Won Kenobi type appeal from Princess Leia, I guess this is as close as it will get ! At risk of mixing my film metaphors, I wondered where I’d left my purple tights.

But what brought this on ?

’Everything I read is bad news. Every TV channel tells us how bad things are. It’s about time you got off your arras and got some positive news out there’

Now, I didn’t realise that he was a student of Shakespeare (Hamlet, Act 3 Scene 4), so maybe he didn’t say ‘arras’ but something similar. Anyway, I digress...Hugh isn't the sort of guy to ignore,

So, here I am…the Positive Accountant being, well, positive…

What is there to be positive about ?

HMRC have promised to address their delays in dealing with correspondence. The official announcement is reproduced below

“We are working through the stocks of post that built up over the past year, as we prioritised delivery of the government’s COVID-19 support packages and the UK’s smooth transition from the European Union alongside the essential services that keep the tax system running. We are now beginning to see steady reductions in most of these stocks, and these reductions will continue in the coming months.”

“We understand the frustrations of customers and agents who are waiting for us to get to their individual enquiry, and we are sorry that we can’t get to everyone more quickly. In addressing our work queues, we’ve been prioritising our efforts where we can protect livelihoods and put money in the pockets of our customer groups in greatest need.”

I see that HMRC’s Deputy Chief Executive suggested at the weekend that it could take up to six months for service levels to return to ‘normal’.

So I was amused to find in today’s post a letter from HMRC.

It started ‘Thank you for your letter of 25th January. We apologise for the delay in replying’

It finished with ‘To avoid a penalty please ensure that we have your reply by the 19th November’. Mind you, they didn’t say which year…

Sales of electric cars are up. Latest statistics for September show that electric cars were 15.2% of the total car sales, and that was before COP26. That’s got to be a good thing ?

Every silver lining has a cloud, there is a hidden cost here. Fuel duty, VAT and road tax amounted to £37 billion last year. If we all go electric that’s a huge number, I mean, it’s half a furlough scheme. Tax that will be lost every single year.

On the basis that tax lost is tax to be redirected we’d better be ready for a battening down of the hatches.

(See http://

HMRC are readying for Christmas - those that run payrolls will be aware that it’s necessary to make an RTI (‘Real Time Information’) return on or before the date that a payroll is run.

Paying early - just before Christmas to avoid having to work between Christmas and New Year -has sometimes caused a problem. HMRC have just issued a statement saying clearly that where this happens the RTI payment date should be left as the normal date when payment should have been made, and the return can be made on that later date.

Nice to see that even the taxman can be positive about the Christmas holiday.

Speaking of holidays, last night I dreamed I was on a Caribbean beach.

The sun was shining, the palm trees were waving in the light breeze.

The sand was white and pristine.

The steel band was softly playing in the background.

The beach barbecue had the smell of chargrilled snapper in the air, and most important of all my rum and coke was nicely chilled.

I looked out to the ocean,- and to my horror saw it was a vibrant orange, sickly looking and bubbling.

Was it an omen of things to come ? A reflection of pollution and global warming ?

No, luckily I woke up, and realised it was just a Fanta Sea.

On that note, stay safe and stay positive.

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