Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Don't forget a charger and pay the tax man

My intention today was to get Hubby to ride to work on his bike rather than rely in me driving him (yes, he says he is too old to learn to 41 years old!) as I return to work today after a bout of sickness.  That didn't happen because he had a flat tire.  Part of me wonders whether he popped it intentionally.
Anyhoo, I digress and what I wanted to discuss was a couple of stories I heard on the radio on the way home from dropping Hubby off.
Firstly, the move to check all electrical equipment has a charge before boarding a plane. 
Typically, the UK has followed the US change in protocol and while I do not think that is a bad thing I couldn't help but wonder at the size of queues there will be in airports all over the UK and of course the US.
Firstly, who packs the charger to their laptop in the same carry on luggage?  It's not like you can use the charger on the plane. I would think that most would pack it in their suitcase. 
'Hello, Mr Security Man.  Yes of course I have a charger.  Now whereabouts did I pack it?  Oh yes, under all of my lingerie.  Just let me move it out of the way....' Mmmmm.
However, you would think that initially the laptop would have some charge in the battery and the same for cameras and phones etc.  Will that still be the case when they arrive at their destination airport?  I know for a start that I would take my iPad and Kindle on any flight, and especially on a long haul flight.  Not having been on a plane since my Honeymoon but I am guessing that they are not like Virgin trains and have plug sockets so you can recharge the equipment.  So I would get to the US and have no battery power in my iPad.
A spokesman for Heathrow Airport said the new checks would happen at the gate, not the airport's main security area. Which means that you get all your equipment checked at security and then your electrical equipment again at the gate - that will be fun!
So after twittering for so long with an example what am I getting at and what was the main thing I was thinking about when listening to the news item on the radio?  I am still wondering whether airports are prepared for the number of people who will need to demonstrate that their equipment isn't a bomb and have a wealth of plug sockets that passengers can use to demonstrate their equipment has power.
I very much doubt it.  Cue the queues.....
Secondly, tax avoidance schemes used by celebrities.
Guidance states:
  • Tax avoidance involves using whatever legal means you choose to reduce your current or future tax liabilities. Tax evasion means doing illegal things to avoid paying taxes.
  • Despite whether you feel that celebrities should be paying into the tax pot in a normal manner they are not doing anything illegally.  Granted Her Majesties Revenue and Customs (HMRC) seem to be finding a way of recouping that money but what should happen is that HMRC and the UK Government take action and change the loophole in the law that allows them to use tax avoidance schemes in the first place.  If you don't want people to do it then change the law!
    I am sure that there are a lot of business owners around the UK and potentially other countries (if their law allows it) that are doing the same thing but on a smaller scale and you don't see them splashed all over the papers do you?
    If I had millions of pounds I don't think that I would care that I paid the correct amount of tax and I would probably be too busy shopping or being pampered in a spa constantly to tell my accountant to find a tax avoidance scheme. 
    Although I don't necessarily agree with it I can see why some use tax avoidance schemes - the tax rate is 50% for people over a certain earning threshold and if there is opportunity to not give up half of your hard earned money to the Government then I can see why some people do it....50% of your earnings is a lot to give up. 
    As an example; if I earned a £1m and had to give up £500,000 of that I am essentially giving the tax man the price of buying a mansion in the UK countryside.  When you put it that way I can see why some people would be loathe to give that much up.
    So, stop making examples of celebrities that are relying on their accountants to look after their money and may be thinking that the amount of tax they may be able to avoid will help their families and instead change the bloody law!
    There, moaning over.  Normal service at work resumes this morning.  Booooo. 

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