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MPs and labradoodles

Jun 30, 2009, 18:30 PM
Authors : Rufus the Taxation hound
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Post date : Jun 30, 2009, 18:30 PM

What’s all this I hear about MPs queuing up to pay tax voluntarily to HMRC then? Why on earth would someone want to do that?!

It’s like the labradoodle isn’t it? It just ain’t natural. Well perhaps we’d better not go there, bearing in mind my parentage.

But I digress, it’s still not natural; if this sort of thing caught on, it could be curtains for all of us in the tax profession.

And let me tell you that those curtains would definitely not be on expenses! I mean to say, people paying tax voluntarily?

Next thing you know, HMRC will be making tax repayments without asking! It would be like, um, me feeling affectionate to cats; urgh, the very thought. Anyway, I got him indoors to contact HMRC: where exactly were all these MPs’ cheques actually going?

He showed me the reply:

‘We cannot discuss the tax details of named individuals. Unsolicited payments are remitted to the Exchequer in the normal way. Any such payment would not be offset against another tax if the taxpayer specified the tax to which they believe the payment relates. If it isn’t clear what the payment is for we will contact the taxpayer for clarification.’

But this is interesting isn’t it, especially as ‘the tax details of named individuals’ cannot be discussed.

So if I had an income tax liability on, say, my consultancy income, I could gaily wave a cheque in the air, say I am voluntarily paying some tax, send it off to HMRC and, unless I specify what it is, it gets set against my income tax liability. Brilliant!

Then again, supposing I say that it is capital gains tax? But I haven’t got a capital gains tax liability (my dog house being within the curtilage of his main residence).

So presumably I now have an overpayment of tax that I can claim back once things have died down and I’ve either retained my job as an MP (‘mutt or pooch’) or I’ve gone into retirement and no one’s interested anymore.

I suppose the answer would be to disclaim the main residence election so I really have got a liability to set the payment against.

Hmmm... but if you can do that, what about anyone in negative equity doing the same thing if they are thinking of selling up? Wouldn’t they then at least have a capital loss to carry forward?

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