Tax: More Taxing Than You’d Think

Benn: Gunna Get Probed!

Benn: Gunna Get Probed!

Following on from Monday’s revelations about the help being given to numerically-challenged cabinet MPs in the form of tax-payer-payed accountants, last night the Telegraph reported that their own chat with the tax man was quite revealing.

The BBC summarises:

Revenue officials are investigating if MPs have broken the law by not paying tax after claiming personal accounting costs on expenses, the BBC understands.

Nearly 40 ministers were reimbursed a total of at least £25,000 for help with tax returns, the Daily Telegraph said, but such fees are not tax-deductible.

[..]

The paper, which has obtained the expenses claims of all 646 MPs, also reports that nine cabinet ministers and 30 junior ministers used allowances meant for the running of their offices to pay for personal tax advice.

It said MPs had been given specific guidance from the taxman in 2005 that advice on self-assessment tax returns could not be regarded as a tax-free expense and were in effect a “benefit in kind”.

A Revenue and Customs spokesman told the BBC: “It’s a general principle of tax law that accountancy fees incurred in connection with the completion of a personal tax return are not deductible.

“This is because the costs of complying with the law are not an allowable expense against tax. This rule applies across the board.”

David Grossman, of the BBC’s Newsnight programme, said tax office sources had indicated they were looking at MPs’ previous tax returns to see whether they had complied with the law.

[emphasis added]

The piece also contains this scandolous allegation:

Business groups have expressed concerns said MPs might be being “treated differently” to other taxpayers.

If entrepreneurs sought professional tax advice, they had to pay the fee themselves and offset it against any profits on which they paid tax, it has been claimed.

“MPs being “treated differently” to the rest of us!?”, shrieks Tiberius,  “Shame on you for even thinking such a thing Mr. I-Should-Mind-My-Own-Business group!”

See also:No Account-Ability; Fabian Vs Satire; Feed Your MP; From Gravy-Train To Bread-Line

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Published in: on May 27, 2009 at 5:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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