Wednesday, July 04, 2007

It's All Very Taxing...

Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs says that "tax does not have to be taxing" but an informant tells me that since November 2006 around 1,600 pages have been added to the UK tax code. This means that taxpayers now have just short of 10,000 pages of legislation to consider and an increasingly oppressive system of fines and penalties for those who get it wrong (unless you happen to be an MP or the husband of a cabinet minister when special rules appear to apply.)With these additional pages, the UK now has the longest tax code. India is second with around 9,000 and the Federal US third with 5,100 pages. If you feel that this is all too much and want to cope with something smaller then try Germany with 1,700 or Sweden with 700. Best of all Turkey only has 350 pages or 3.5% of the UK's.

26 comments:

Jonathan Sheppard said...

Im just filling in something called a P11D which will effectively have lots of zeros on it. Ive been told I can ask to be exempt from filling it in next year - but they may make me - and again reeive a form mainly with zeros!

Excellent

PSJ said...

Broon has much more than doubled the length of our tax code, and yet he has just got promoted. With Nulab, the worse you do, the better you do, if you follow me.

ken from glos said...

All down to Broon ! he cant stop faffing about.

I have just had my tax bill for the last financial year.£1.58 !! Yes £1.58!! and they want it!! Just before christmas I will receive a brown envelope with 1/ A demand 2/two explanatory leaflets. 3/A posh white envelope pre-paid.

Last year it was 48 pence and I got the same demand etc.! The insane are running this Government!! Ten years ago any small amount was rolled over to next year but not now.Are they that short.

I know it costs me but i always send two cheques!!

overtaxed said...

Things will all be so much better, in a new spirit of consensus and reaching out to the public, now Gordon's not Chancellor.

RacerDon said...

If they didn't spend so much money advertising this claim then they wouldn't need to screw us more and more each year.

And how about this one? If your tax bill is more than a certain amount you have to pay two installments on account in advance for following January. So far fair enough, but if you mistakenly underestimate one of the payments (easy if awaiting third party information) they charge you interest for this underpayment (interest on a payment that isn't due for anothr 6-9 months, loan sharks would be closed down for less...)

Anonymous said...

My Self Assessment tax return was 166 pages long for the last tax year and I am expecting to have to send a further amount of information and updates to bring it up to around 250 pages.

I have seen the Jersey tax return -it is about ten pages long.

Anonymous said...

1,600 pages may have been added since November 2006 but over the last ten years the entire tax law has trippled. i.e ten years ago we only had approx 3,300 pages of tax law compared to 10,000 today

commodity broker said...

Blame Brown: big taxer...big spender.

It's called the endogenous growth theory, designed to give the appearance of prosperity in the short term to enable Brown to get into No. 10, but an economy fuelled by record levels of debt, and public spending is unsustainable and will burst before very much longer.

judith said...

If the Inland Revenue make a mistake in dealing with you, no matter how devastating it is for you, they cannot be held to account, according to a recent judgement.

However, under new rules, if they make a mistake and YOU, the taxpayer, do not bring it to THEIR attention within, I believe, 6 weeks, YOU will be fined!

Perhaps Chris Paul will tell us how that demonstrates what a godlike intellect Mr Brown has, and how lucky we are to be blessed with his Premiership.

Colin D said...

Is it as long as the bible? or a moral compass manual.w

Adrian Yalland said...

How much of Turkey's economy is 'black' - sorry, erm....I mean 'not declared'!

I like the fact that a famer just received a cheque for 'not rearing pigs'. Apparfently, he sold all his pigs last year, and decided to join a new Government scheme where farmners get paid you get paid for filling in forms rather than growing/rearng things.

I am thinking of going into the 'not rearing pigs' industry myself.

Adrian Yalland said...

god...my typing is getting worse!

St Gordon the patron saint of Tax Accountants said...

Look at in another way, how much time do you spend on trying to follow the income tax forms. Ae you spending more time on filling in the details?

McStalin could have chosen to help the poor by excluding them from the income tax system. The 'personal allowances' could be raised. The number of tax rates could be reduced. Another advantage could be the removal of the national minimum wage...

Osborne and co could consider something serious and strip out Broon's complexities. The present system is bad news for most families and a goodsend to tax accountants and off shore haven snake oil merchants. Camoron could make greater capital out of this, but will he bother?

Anonymous said...

I am much in favour of a tax system that has a Universal Benefit of £10K per annum paid to everyone tax free regardless of income (like the family allowance) and then after that everyone pays 50% tax with no allowances and no minimum wage.

A lot simpler to administer and a lot fairer on poor and rich alike.

mister scruff said...

very interesting article here comparing the estonian tax system with the UKs

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/09/04/nflat104.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/09/04/ixhome.html

while gordon brown has been adding more and more complexity , at the same time, eastern europe has been having a flat tax revolution. (and booming economies as a result..)

mister scruff said...

sorry. i should haved linked to it

here's the article

Andy D said...

Iain, I'm an accountant, and have to deal with over complex tax code on a daily basis, which is a struggle in itself if you didn't have the monster which HMRC to deal with (especially their call centres)....

If David Cameron really wants to help this country then I'd be more than willing to go through the code with a big red pen and save all of us professionals a shed load of time and stress.

peterholmes said...

I have run a small business for the last 6 years and in every one of those years there have been significant changes in the tax rules and rates - all courtesy of the arch-meddler Brown. God help us all now he's PM.

One small ray of sunshine amongst the gloom has been the £250 tax rebate I get for filing the annual PAYE return online. Especially so as (like Jonathan Sheppard in the first comment) the return is all zeros as I don't collect PAYE - but the return is mandatory!

Mr Angry said...

andy d

Even if they simplified the tax system to make your life easier, you accountants wouldn't be reducing your charges, would you?

Save you time and stress, eh? More time to be off spending the exorbitant fess you charge, more like.

Bloody parasites the lot of you. If there's one thing I hate more than *@#&*ing socialists, its *@#&*ing accountants.

bgprior said...

Anonymous 8:31PM, Your model is exactly right, but you won't balance the books at £10,000 per person and 50% flat income tax. That is a strong disincentive to employment/work, and you have moved up the Laffer curve, which means you won't increase your tax revenue as much as you think (possibly not at all). Try £4,500 per person (plus a politically-necessary supplement - £2,000? - for single-adult households) and a tax-rate of 43% (replacing both income tax and employees' NI contribution) to (a) balance the books, and (b) neither excessively penalise nor hand a gift to any particular group (necessary or it will be politically undeliverable).

I know it sounds so low one couldn't possibly live off it, but it's roughly equivalent to our current system, and there are practical reasons why we can't/shouldn't be more generous. The generosity is in not withdrawing the benefit and therefore enabling everyone to take on as much work as they are able.

That's before making any savings on the vast apparatus of government. Any savings (and there should be plenty) should go to dropping that tax-rate, which should be a self-reinforcing process, given Laffer-Curve benefits to tax revenue.

blink, she said, and yet I wanted to hear the gerrymandered mrs williams said...

The use of the word, federal, is key to your reference to the United States. I wonder how many extra thousands are added by the individual states. It's not as simple as you portray it.

gordon's wets said...

Watch outgoing incompetent braindead Brownite Dawn Primarolo, Paymaster General, architect of tax credits and head of Inland Revenue , run from responsibility:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyvsATYoZTM

jock junta said...

The disastrous (former) boss of HMRC Dim Prawn 'Red' Dawn Primarolo has just been moved (sideways and downward) to a new job as Sec of State for Health in the jockish Junta. Gordon's cabinet of all the talents includes those who have failed and failed again I guess? I warn (in the style of the Welsh windbag don't be ill, don't be old etc

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

The absurd complexity of the system we now have comes about through:

1) The general level of taxation, which is so high that it drives taxpayers to search for loopholes and governments to stop the loopholes up;

2) The government's misguided attempts at social engineering which prompts them to build incentives and disincentives into what should be a purely fiscal exercise; and

3) Gordon Brown's incorrigible addiction to tweaking and tinkering with the system.

It doesn't have to be this way. Why are the Tories not making this point, loud and clear, day in and day out?

Anonymous said...

The fact that David Cameron is not attacking Cyclops on this issue but rather is trying to cosy up to the Music industry with anti-consumer promises of extended copyright terms is extremely worrying. This government is a f****g shambles of the highest order and DC is doing a /piss poor/ job of opposition at the moment. He should rip Gordon a new one over the level of taxation in this country.
Zorro

Anonymous said...

The US found that their tax code was too long when it was the longest in the world.
Shame that lesson has not been learned here.