According to George Osborne, our recently appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, Britain’s tax system is one of the most “complex and opaque in the world”. It is so difficult to sort out that he has likened it to a bowl of spaghetti. Most people would agree with him, and we can all breathe sighs of relief at his announcement that he will simplify it.
Our Complicated System
It’s currently bad enough for the bookkeeping professionals to keep their heads around it, so there’s not much hope for the rest of us if we try to go it alone. You only have to glance at the home page of the HMRC website and see the lists of tax areas for individuals, employers and businesses.
Notice that the last item of every list is a link to more topics. We have to get every one of those areas right or be liable for hefty penalties.
The Job of the Tax Simplification Office
Sorting out the mix, while ensuring the treasury coffers can do their job, will not be an easy task for the Chancellor’s team in the Office of Tax Simplification that he is setting up. It will take a while, and won’t happen all at once.
We can probably expect rafts of ongoing changes over a long period of time. So how do you cope with that, and what do you do in the meantime?
Who is on Your Team?
The answer, of course, is to have your own team. But do you want to employ people full time to spend all their days keeping themselves up to date on the regulations as they change, and making sure you stay compliant?
You’ll find it much more cost effective to have outsourced bookkeepers and tax advisers on your team. They will keep up to date in their own time and only charge you for the hours they spend assisting you.