I was stunned when I read the opening words of Advocate General Bobek’s Opinion in Cussens.
Today we try to bridge the gap between the mundane world of the real and the rather more attractive realms of the ideal. We look at how we are taxed – and at how we should be.
When I applied for the job at the OTS a year ago now, one of the things I said to John Whiting at the interview (which didn’t seem to do any harm!) was that I’d been keenly interested in simplifying tax throughout my HMRC career.
Back in August I took a show to the Edinburgh Festival all about tax.
Not perhaps the most fertile subject for comedy – HMRC’s cock-ups aside – but I’d concluded that the dearth of media about such an important subject needed to be put right.
Why do most people stop at a red traffic light? Is it fear of punishment, self-preservation, because the law says you should (in other words, respect for the rules) or because society expects you to?
When I revamped my website I was persuaded that it would a good idea to invite the tax-confused to contact me with their questions. There’s a lot of them out there. No wonder, if you ask me.
I studied the law of international and European institutions at University. It was 1973 and the UK had just joined the European Community (as it then was). I was a committed European and, after I graduated, I hot-footed it to Brussels for a six-month placement with the European Commission.
It’s going to be a short blog post this month as I am absolutely knackered. The combination of moving house and rampant insomnia has brought dark clouds to my normally sunny disposition In the move I’ve lost the glass top to my Daum inkwell as well as six coffee cups and saucers with picture of human vital organs on them (a present from a Dutch friend who is an ENT surgeon). And I’ve broken my favourite teapot.