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Springfords LLP blog

Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.

Blog Power

03 December 2012

Girl Power has come and gone, and the power of the media will be shackled if Lord Leveson has his way (although our Prime Minister appears to have different ideas) ... but blog power rules.

Only a few days ago in my last blog did I mention in passing the prospect of very recognisable names being impacted by revelations of their UK tax contributions, and here we have one of them opening discussions with HM Revenue & Customs.  It seems there is a wish to determine whether there is scope for contributions being increased .... and all because of my blog!

What is less clear is whether that wish is on the part of Starbucks or HMRC. Might there already have been a discernible backlash from the great coffee-sipping public? Has HMRC detected an opportunity? Or is it simply another deal being done?

Half-price Groupon offers would suggest that a change in buying habits is at least anticipated and is being headed off at the pass.

If only the rest of us could open discussions with HMRC before we decide how much tax we would like to pay. At Springfords, we find it's not quite as easy as that. We work hard to help our clients self-assess their tax liabilities, applying the principles that I mentioned before.  After that HMRC have their say and, if they don't like what they see, they will make chase ... and look to charge interest and penalties before we cross the line if they feel aggrieved.

We should maybe have a closer look at the tax return forms, and ask the question of our software provider, to find the box that we haven't checked:

"We've not filled out this very long and complicated looking form but we'd like to have a chat - over coffee - and think about what we'd like to pay."

Hmmmm. It must be there somewhere.


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