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Well you would, wouldn't you? (Tax)
Posted: 16 January 2013 00:37:44(UTC)

Joined: 09/03/2011(UTC)
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I've just been reading an article about the Goldman Sachs traders who have been criticised for deferring their bonuses until 6 April to benefit from the lower 45% rate that kicks in next year. Well you would, wouldn't you? There is so much hypocrisy over tax and it is all entirely in the government's hands to resolve (and quite easily in my view).

There are so many 'mixed messages' sent out by the current system. On the one hand, the press would like us to be easily scandalised by the GS traders and companies which aren't perceived to pay their 'fair share' of Corporation Tax, and on the other we are offered ISA's, EIS, VCT's, capital allowances and offsets which we and companies all use. That's what they're there for. How many of those who claim to be scandalised by these things use ISA's? Anyone who has used ISA's since their inception will have a 6-figure and maybe a 7-figure sum now outside the tax net. Pot/Kettle?

This government (like many others) promised to simplify the tax system. As ever, they haven't, they made it worse. A truly simple system would solve all these problems at a stroke and, coincidentally, would raise significantly more tax (that is tax actually paid to the Exchequer rather than the high marginal rates beloved of politicians). A Flat Rate system is fair, easy and cheap to administer, and the more you have, the more you pay (which is certainly not the case at the moment). The key to it is that when you introduce that system, a) you set a sensible level below which no tax at all is paid (what's the point; it only gets paid back in benefits?), and b) you also sweep away the whole raft of reliefs and allowances which form the bedrock of the current avoidance industry, including the distinction between income and capital gains (and, yes, that includes your house).

We've just received our first winter fuel allowance and travel passes which we don't need. I saw the campaign to get better-off pensioners to give it back and I thought, no, it's not my job to second-guess the system and decide my own tax and benefit rate (the Starbucks principle!). It's ludicrous that we are taxed on the one hand and then given back part of the money as benefits on the other, and it's up to the Government to sort out the system. In the meantime I, like most others, will organise my affairs scrupulously and legally to pay all the tax I am required to and no more. If the Government don't like it, they know what they should do about it.
8 users thanked jeffian for this post.
Tricky on 16/01/2013(UTC), Clive B on 16/01/2013(UTC), Guest on 16/01/2013(UTC), Guest on 16/01/2013(UTC), Guest on 16/01/2013(UTC), snoekie on 16/01/2013(UTC), Henry Barlow on 17/01/2013(UTC), Jack Belfitt on 20/01/2013(UTC)
Clive B
Posted: 16 January 2013 13:36:52(UTC)

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Of those who complain about Goldman Sachs, I wonder how many would dash out and fill up their car's petrol tank if the government said that duty was going up by 10% tomorrow.
4 users thanked Clive B for this post.
Guest on 16/01/2013(UTC), Guest on 16/01/2013(UTC), Jeremy Bosk on 16/01/2013(UTC), snoekie on 16/01/2013(UTC)
Lucy O
Posted: 16 January 2013 15:25:28(UTC)

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When I watch 'boyfriends' -who do not live with their 'wives' so they can both access benefits -returning every morning to their homes having spent the night around the corner in my patch of the London woods, and see troubled families housed in £1 million plus houses at the taxpayers expense, etc etc etc, I do not blame Goldmans one bit. I believe in a flat rate tax too. Simples.
1 user thanked Lucy O for this post.
colin wilson on 20/01/2013(UTC)
Jeremy Bosk
Posted: 16 January 2013 16:13:57(UTC)

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Means testing is expensive to administer and always leaves somebody relatively poor out of pocket because of high marginal claw back. Better to give everyone a basic income high enough to live on comfortably. But have it as taxable income so that if basic income plus earnings crosses the tax threshold, tax is payable on the extra income at basic rate. Just get rid of all the tax allowances other than personal allowances. This would save a fortune in tax calculations and accountancy fees.

I just wish my income was high enough to pay any tax at all :-(

James Park
Posted: 18 January 2013 11:27:48(UTC)

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There's been a lot of banker bashing and with a lot of justification. However we must not forget that, whilst they somewhat responsible for the current economic woes, they were not in charge of government spending. This was the sole responsibility of politicians.

I wonder if those responsible for government spending would be prepared to forego their wages and fat fees they are now enjoyoing.
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colin wilson on 20/01/2013(UTC)
Posted: 21 January 2013 23:01:54(UTC)

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Just imagine, spending all day thinking about money, most of it other peoples, and how you can make more of it. Surely a soul destroying job that cannot be rewarded by any amount of cash. Imagine the party conversation:
- What do you do
- I make money for other people by sitting at a computer all day and get paid £200k plus bonuses. And what do you do?
- I save lives working nights (and weekends) in a hospital and get paid £30K

Sod the money, give me an interesting life everytime!

Clive B
Posted: 22 January 2013 10:08:48(UTC)

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regardless of the pay, I'd imagine that the complexities of making money was an interesting occupation (plus, "interesting" doesn't pay the bills !).
Posted: 22 January 2013 22:52:47(UTC)

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@ Clive B
All occupations have an element of tedium attached. Its a personal view that 'working the markets' for a living (even a very good living) is not worth the time cost. There is so much to do that I find so much more interesting. I have some money that 'works for me', and I keep a weather eye on that to ensure there are no disasters, but as a JOB, FULL TIME, not for me.

(I don't pay anyone to 'look after' my money either)

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