Christmas crackers

Dog kennel

Tis the season for end-of-year lists so here’s mine, the highlights of 2011 for a tax warrior.

Firstly, the personal ones:

In July I received confirmation from HMRC that investors in my friend’s gym could claim tax relief under the Enterprise Investment Scheme.

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It looks like a booby trap, Sarge

'I love Botox' bag

In April this year I went to Melbourne for the wedding of the son of a school friend.  After partially completing my mission of consoling my friend while she lost her only son and gained a daughter I decided we needed a pick-me-up.  So we tootled off to the Barossa valley to visit the wineries.

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Here be dragons

Rusty ship on land

‘If regulations are not clear and orders are not thoroughly explained, it is the commander’s fault.’

(Sun Tzu quoted in the Shih Chi (‘Records of the Grand Historian’) by Ssu–ma Ch’ien)


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Red Queen Syndrome

Red Queen and Mad Hatter

‘Well, in our country,’ said Alice, still panting a little, ‘you’d generally get to somewhere else – if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.’

‘A slow sort of country!’ said the [Red] Queen. ‘Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!’

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A sting in the ale

Cornish brewer Foodswild is facing a backdated excise duty bill after HMRC concluded that its Cornish Stingers nettle beer was not, in fact, a beer.

The stumbling block for this niche product, which is presumably more palatable than its name suggests, was the absence of malted barley or wheat in the brewing process.

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Saving a stamp



Any business that registered or should have registered for VAT after 31 March 2010 has had to submit its VAT Return online and pay electronically. The only exception (in new regulation 25A(4) Value Added Tax Regulations 1995) is for businesses run by those whose religious beliefs prevent them from using computers. So faith doesn’t just move mountains…

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