Thursday, 24 July 2008

That reminds me...

Mark Lee explains here (it's a PDF)why he gave up giving tax advice.

A bit over a year ago I met Dave Hartnett with other Essex-based tax practitioners, and was disappointed by the degree to which he saw all of us as the enemy. There seemed almost a paranoia that we were all trying to do HMRC out of tax which was rightfully theirs. In reality, mostly what we do is ensure proper compliance by our clients and prevent their paying to HMRC more than is rightfully due to HMRC; these are entirely different matters.

I find repressing the Stalinist attitude in modern government when the goal posts are constantly moving and there is legislation on the hoof like some sort of Band Aid culture rather than a serious attempt to make the whole environment of law making better. True, there are consultations, but then the feedback is usually ignored and the Government departments go ahead with their original proposal. I wait with trepidation the next dog's-breakfast proposals on income shifting. The Treasury is like a dog with a bone in that it will not leave impractical and unfair ideas alone. We are bound to have another ill-conceived attempt in this area.