Saturday 23 April 2005

Mr Brown's Britain

I had a day off work yesterday and decided to finalise the employer’s annual tax returns for my own company. This is a very small organisation although I’m pleased to say that I am far more solvent than General Motors. The tax authorities sent me the usual P35(2004)(2) form but not the P14(Manual)(2004-05) forms that need to be sent back with the P35. Needless to say, I wasn’t sent the P11D(b) form that also needs to be completed. These forms can be ordered from the Inland Revenue (now renamed HM Revenue and Customs) but I wanted to do it now and get the damned thing off my desk. The local tax office is only a few minutes walk away and so I set off. Last year I was told that I could avoid the large queue of folk waiting to be interviewed and go directly to the back office and pick up the necessary forms.

When I reached the front door of the tax office yesterday I noticed a man standing outside having a quick smoke. One of the staff, I assumed. Not so. The automatic door opened as I approached and an Inland Revenue “worker” held up his hand and pronounced: “Because of Health & Safety Regulations you can’t come in until some other “clients” leave.” I explained that I merely wanted to collect some forms and he agreed to take my list inside but I wasn’t allowed to enter.

After a while another “client” left and the smoker was allowed into the building, telling me: “This is what we pay our taxes for.” I observed that the “Health & Safety Regulations” had resulted in his having an extra cigarette! Eventually I was allowed into the hallowed premises and was given the P14 forms. The P11D(b) form proffered was for the 2003/04 tax year and I was told: “Just alter the date and it “should” be OK.” I expressed doubt and was then asked: “Have you ever used the Internet? You can download this year’s form.” Off I went only to find that the advice was wrong. The Revenue website still only allows access to the out-of-date form. The P35 and P14 forms have now gone off in time to meet the 19th May deadline and I await postal delivery of the P11D(b), which must go back by early July. I confidently expect to fulfil my historic role as the last private sector employer and employee in Britain.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

Chris A
Britain may be doing well economically at present, but imagine how well we could do if businesses weren't inundated with complex tax systems? 
Personally I think the Westminster Parliament should devolve business taxation powers to the Soottish Parliament. Scotland is one of the lowest growing regions of the UK, as it stands now. Plus, advocates of Scottish independence use this as a reason for Scotland being a sovereign country.

24 April 2005, 14:06:03 GMT+01:00