Avoiding tax and creating Rip Off Britain?

#RipOffBritain #IanCalvert #SA #ServiceAddress

The amazing thing that is called bureaucracy seems to grow from day-to-day, yet is this good or bad – a help or a hindrance?

Whilst it can be a good to help define and control things, it can also be a factor in holding back progress and growth too…..

With today (Wednesday 19th March 2014) being Budget Day here in the UK, another day where we will have:-

  • the Government shouting from the roof tops about how well their Fiscal measures are doing
  • the Opposition shouting how they would do things better
  • Advisory/Accounting companies proving how valuable they are by coming out with data that does really mean anything for the ordinary person in the street – justifying their own existence and important
  • Financial experts giving their opinions as to how this will impact, what they should have done and how they would have done things
  • oh and then the Press trying to put their spin on things based on a) their Political objective and b) justifying how great they are and why you should listen, watch or read them….

We will have promises of these savings – few of which will impact us straight away – and investment; all have which will put more money in our pocket or help us to feel better by the thought of possibly buying our own house or how company improving by been able to do more by investing and extra sales generation.

But does this matter?

Back to the old “yes” and “no” question….

Yes – because we want a job, more security over employment and better wages. The ability to save not just for now about our future with our pensions. Opportunities to allow us by saving to hopefully buy our own house and start securing our future….

No – well this is the real big one…

Whether the Budget is good or bad, the only people who actually do well out of any Budget is the advisors, experts and Accountancy companies/firms who are advisory companies and individuals on telling the Government, companies and individuals; what to do with regards to reducing liabilities – or as many consider to be called Tax Avoidance or Tax Evasion.

Looking at information taken from The Inland Revenue site showing Income Tax rates and Allowances it could be said that based on the figures for 2013-2014, the tax is:-

– less that £32,010, you will pay 20% tax on everything you earn

– earn over £32,010 then you pay 40% on everything you earn over £32,011

Confused? You should be as where is the 10 pence tax band they keep talking about in the medium that is called an informative Press? Some say that it is in place and others say it isn’t and others say:-

– earn over £32,010 then you pay, 10% to £2,790, 20% on £2,791 to £32,010 and then 40% on everything over £32,011

How can the ordinary person in the street, wanting to earn a fair wage and pay fair taxes. But the one thing that is totally in common, speak anyone for advice or information, they just say, speak to a bookkeeper, accountant or an accountancy company/firm and they will be able to help. Are these the same people who said this when George Osborne asked for help in reducing the complicated structure of tax – yes! Guess what, effectively, they said they couldn’t simplify it!

#GeorgeOsborne #Telegraph #SA #ServiceAddress #Budget #TaxMP’s shed doubt on George Osborne’s tax-avoidance blitz

TREASURY SELECT COMMITTEE SAYS TREASURY CALCULATIONS OF POTENTIAL INCOME ARE “INHERENTLY EXTREMELY UNCERTAIN”

 

So surely, does The Chancellor of the Exchequer have the BALLS (excuse the pun Ed Balls) to stand up to these mandarins in the Treasury, HMRC and especially the big accountancy firms and say, right, all allowances are now axed and we are going to have a simple taxation system that applies to everyone, whether they earn £5,ooo, £50,000 or £500,000 – it is a complete level playing field!!

Why should high-earners be allowed to offset things to reduce their tax, set up companies and be paid by them at a lower rate or pay into schemes that allow more off-setting against tax payments? Can it be right that they high-earners pay less as a percentage pence in the pound as a lower earner?

Would a simpler answer be to say do something like this:-

  • £0,000 to £5,000 = 0% Tax
  • £5,001 to £10,000 = 5% Tax
  • £10,001 to £20,000 = 10% Tax
  • £20,001 to £30,000 = 15% Tax
  • £30,001 to £40,000 = 20% Tax
  • £40,001 to £60,000 = 30% Tax
  • £60,001 to £80,000 = 35% Tax
  • £80,001 to £100,000 = 40% Tax
  • £100,001 to £125,000 = 45% Tax
  • £125,001 to £175,000 = 50% Tax
  • £175,001 to £250,000 = 60% Tax
  • £2500,001 to £500,000 = 70% Tax
  • £500,000 plus = 80% Tax

Wow – what a shocker – people would all be in the same position of:-

  • Not just having to pay tax but no way avoiding it
  • Living with in your means, so you have to be like every person
  • Create a situation where when you want a mortgage, then everyone has a mortgage based a simple philosophy of say, every one can have a mortgage but it is based on no more than say 5 or 7 times your gross salary and this can’t be fixed or falsified
  • No methods of off setting items to reduce your tax
  • No methods of setting yourself up as a company to pay yourself in share dividends to avoid tax

But wait, the shock horror, two major issues will stand out….

Issue One….Estate agents….

This industry will go mad as they will actually see house prices been priced correctly and not driven up by false demand!

Housebuyers gazumped in deals with NO rival bidders: Unscrupulous estate agents are persuading sellers to raise prices days before exchange of contracts

  • ‘Ghost gazumping’ sees sellers increase house price days before exchange
  • Some paying additional six-figure sums to avoid finding another property
  • Comes amid fears of a property bubble – which some say was fuelled by Government’s Help to Buy scheme

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2582323/Housebuyers-gazumped-deals-NO-rival-bidders-Unscrupulous-estate-agents-persuading-sellers-raise-prices-days-exchange-contracts.html#ixzz2wPKmU0rm

No wonder people are finding it hard to buy houses if this is happening! Also, with many people leaving Estate Agents and setting up on their own, these people will want to make a living, so they all will be promising Sellers and Landlords better returns so this will keep driving up prices and rents…

Issue Two….Bookkeepers, Accountants, Accountancy Companies & Firms….

Why are they needed? Do we need so many and charging so much? If someone wants to start a business and be a Limited Company, straight away, this could add £1,000, £2,000 or more to their operating costs just to do end of year returns depending on their size! And that is without monthly accounts, payroll etc…

The whole concept of introducing ways to off set items against your tax has so spiraled out control, that like the article mentioned above, even this industry can’t work out a way to simplify it! So, by removing all these off sets and allowances, it will make everything so much easier for everyone to be on the same level playing field!

Just think how much more tax would be generated and thus paid into the economy thus making things so much better for everyone…

So, Mr. Osborne and fellow Politicians, isn’t time you actually stood up and start listening to the country and actually create a level playing field that will help so many to raise up and be able to say we aren’t being ripped off by companies, goods and services are at a fair price and hopefully we could lose the tagline of “Rip Off Britain” ?

These are just a few thoughts for you and you most likely will have a view even for or against and if you feel you need to comment or voice an opinion, either contact myself here or complete the form below:-

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Hey Chancellor – Controversial for you but maybe what the Public wants?

Are you really wanting us to believe you?

#Politicians #Lies #Truth #Honest

Seriously can we trust you?

With less than 48 hours to go (Wednesday 19th March 2014) until our next Budget, yesterday we saw on The Marr Show (Sunday 16th March 2014), the presenter – Andrew Marr – being all over the place with his interviewing, The Shadow Chancellor of the ExchequerEd Balls – talking lots of wonderful stories including spending the same money over and over again different projects and The Chancellor of the Exchequer – George Osborne – not really telling us much but dropping hints that are what we need plus having to take action due to what was inherited…

The weakness of allowing Politicians to get away with so much on television, is just so demoralising to so many of the voting Public and hence they are losing interest in voting. The Politicians that are being really being backed by the Public are the ones who actually speak and stick to their guns! The downside is that you don’t see them in either the Cabinet or Shadow Cabinet as they stick to their principles unless they are just after high office….

So many Politicians enter all full of good intentions but soon get their wings either clipped or get overcome by advisors or donors….just look at many of the MP’s or even your own! How often did they say this or that, promise something, then next thing they change their tune or never speak to you or visit you again unless it is Election time?

These Politicians are all full of good intention (no better place to see this than when in Opposition) yet as soon as they have the power – nothing really happens at all…..

Take Income Tax for example, each and every time there is an election, all parties say they will cut tax, introduce higher rates and then when elected it all changes with more allowances brought in to help cushion the tax issues, help some pay less tax, put taxes up at high rate and then only find it wasn’t a good deal, so change it back again…..

Another example is saying they are going to change Government, cut bureaucracy and get rid of advisors, but guess what, they hire advisors to study this, reorganise and replace groups with new groups and committees and all done after paying lobbyists and advisors lots of money….is this saving money? NO…….

So, we could vote with our feet and choose not to vote, but what will that achieve? Not a lot as it! Will it help things to change? No, things will remain the same due to the hardcore of voters actually voting like they always do, so change will not really happen…

If the Government was run like a business, so much money could be saved, so much could be done to advance the UK and so many groups, committees and individuals would be removed saving the Country lots of money…

OK – yes, maybe the top jobs need top people, but do we need to pay so much money? Why do Heads of Schools, Colleges, Councils or Hospitals, Health Trusts etc, etc be paid so much more than the Prime Minister?

What can really be done? Can anything? Just look what will happen come Post-Budget…..

  • The Papers and Media will slaughter parts, most of or all of the Budget
  • Ed Balls will say George Osborne didn’t do this, they would have done this yet no evidence provided or nothing will be costed
  • George Osborne will say that this is needed to rectify the debt the Coalition inherited when they took over from Labour
  • The Public will be moaning or cheering but in most parts it will be the former…..

So, here’s a thought or two Mr Osborne…….

  • Firstly scrap all the allowances….
  • Remove all the tax breaks available…….
  • Stop people being able to class themselves as a company so they employer can pay them through a company to reduce the tax they pay..
  • If people are a company, make sure they pay the proper tax, not find out ways to pay less – i.e. if your company can pay you £60,000 a year – then you should pay the same tax as someone you actually earns £60,000 a year. There is no difference….
  • Stand up and do these – not be told by advisors, accountancy companies etc etc that you can’t do this – yes you can….

If this was done and then another Budget done in say September or October with an update, the Public would actually start trusting MP’s so much more as they would see that everyone is being treated the same….

Just a few and no doubt controversial points for you to consider and discuss……let’s see what people will say……….

These are just a few thoughts for you and you most likely will have a view even for or against and if you feel you need to comment or voice an opinion, either contact myself here or complete the form below:-

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Flooding…….is London and the South contributing to part of the problem?

With the issues surrounding all this flooding, previously we have heard from Gardeners and Landscape Designers/Consultants about these issues, yet whenever they mention they thoughts on the matter, people listen for two minutes and agree then they ignore what has been said.

Many say that a lot of the flooding is due to more of the landscape being covered over, thus having no where for the water to run – i.e. most front gardens are being converted from garden to a place easier to maintain with slabs and stones or covered over as extra car parking spaces. Is this because we are now relying more and more on car ownership due to us having to commute to work each day beyond the realms of local public transportation facilities…..

Some say that the issue is down to the Government – both present and past – not investing in the Environment Agency enough to actually adequately plan, prepare and make sure flood defences are in place. Could it be said high wages and fancy offices plus advertising campaigns are taking too much of their yearly budget?

Others say that farmers are to blame for the run off from their fields entering the dykes, streams and rivers bordering their land. Or is because Councils and British Waterways aren’t dredging and maintaining these dykes, streams and rivers. Maybe it that we need a policy of cleaning all these out removing the build up (and yes the same could be said for canals too) but this is a long-term project that even if started now, enough miles may not be cleared if another case of flooding occurs?

So, if all these issues are contributing to being part of the problem, let us have a look at The South of the United Kingdom (UK) and use this as an alternative possible starting point……

There is much discussion over:-

– creating a third runway at Heathrow
– building more social accommodation which is normally without a garden or if it has one, very small and mostly slabbed over, as people don’t want to take garden waste/rubbish through their house due to having no rear access to the property
– key-worker accommodation which tend to be Multi Dwelling Units (MDU’s) which are two to five storey’s of accommodation and again with no gardens or communal recreation areas of any real size
– more house building with no gardens to really speak of
– more roads being created to try to elevate the congestion created by people commuting into London and The South
– more business parks and estates being created to try to accommodate the amount of people moving to the south because they believe that is where the work is

The above being examples of situations that are occurring in the south of the country more and more which is creating the illusion that the south is becoming centric to the business world. Hang on, the south is not the centre of the universe but so many believe this and companies are not helping the situation.

The rise of more people moving to The South to study, live and ultimately try to work, is creating the main problem. All of which creates a knock on effect:-

– people need to somewhere to live
– more housing is needed
– land is becoming less and less available
– when land is available, the price is so high
– to get a return on the purchase, many houses or MDU’s are creating to generate maximum return
– with the above happening, lack of green space is made available
– to afford these properties, jobs are required
– businesses are required to allow people to work to afford the accommodation
– these jobs tend to manual labour to help develop and build the businesses and accommodation but can’t afford the prices so they have to commute
– thus more infra-structure is required which requires workers who in turn have to commute as mentioned above
– once the businesses are created, mostly are retail which need staff who can’t afford live locally so they can’t walk to work or use local transport due to the cost of living/accommodation
– these key-workers have to commute but from where? Often a greater distance thus travel will impact on these people’s lives, so an 8 hour working day can end up being away from home for up to 11-12 hours a day
– with less time being spent at home, people want low or non Maintenance properties, so gardens become irrelevant

Is there a solution which may help with these issues that are said to be part of many contributing factors but why want people open their eyes to this issue? Simply, stop and look at the rest of the UK!!

With the decline around the UK of manual manufacturing over the last 50 years as technology develops to make manual working more efficient by automation, surely we have a solution here…..

If we look many parts of the UK, there is lots of business areas where buildings have being lying empty for a number of years but nothing has been done, so, surely, if these areas are re-developed and also used for house-building surely this will help with some of the flooding issues?

We have just seen the re-generation of parts of Manchester to create the Media City facility in Salford (yes the Press have complained about the huge amounts of money spent providing travel and accommodation from London for staff and presenters) yet this still hasn’t created the huge number of jobs that projected – yet why? Is because the media has to be based in London?

With so much talent and skill based all around the country, we certainly need to take a wider looking things not just say that flooding to based on the lack of investment in the Environment Agency, no flood protection, etc, etc, the list can go on and on…

Isn’t it time we decided to reclaim not only just the High Streets but also consider the changing way of Retail and Manufacturing and see where we can re-develop and make use of empty shops and space above these shops? If you look at parts of Amsterdam for example, areas of the “Red Light District” is used by financial and high-tech companies during the day so it is completely used. Yes people may say this is due the fact that The Netherlands is a lot a smaller, but is this really a valid excuse?

Just take a look at “The City of London” or the “Square Mile” with Canary Wharf etc for example. Whilst this is the major financial heartland for use during the day, it is not really used at night and like a ghost town at weekends. Surely dual use should have been considered here? People may say that accommodation is there already, but this is vacant at weekends because of people returning to their main homes hence why it is quiet…

Nothing can be a quick solution (or fix) but what is needed is a complete mind-set change over the fact that London and The South is not “the be all and end all” of life as we know. We have many other parts of the United Kingdom many will are better for living and bringing up our children and also valuing and using the wasted talent we have around the country.

So, whilst the headline could be attention grabbing using the recent flooding issues, we are not helping ourselves and society by thinking that London and The South is the centre of our universe that we call the United Kingdom. Let us start looking re-developing parts that have lost manufacturing and where we have lost retail to out-of-town developments and maybe we can all help to save and protects our communities and the environment……

This is an abridged version of a blog posting that will or may be coming out shortly but with a covering such a vast area of topics, it may have to broken down in to several bite size chunks or into various topics…..

To learn more about myself, either contact myself here or complete the form below….

 

 

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No mortgage? Blame the banks or are Estate/Letting Agents that are to blame?

Should I buy or rent but how?

#Buy #Rent #Home #Flat #ServiceAddress #TSP #TheSocialPiggy

Where do I get the money from?

We all hear the issues of people struggling to get deposit’s together to buy houses and then banks are not willing to lend as they feel these people can’t afford them – really?

In essence, we have two major issues here and these need to be addressed in two very simple easy steps by the Government and the Bank of England…..but neither have the ‘Balls’ to does this! (So to speak!)…..

To rent a place….

Firstly, you need to be assessed by a reference/credit check per person! This can be as much as up to £195 per person and then you may also have an application fee of up to £250 and in some cases, some agents may even charge for children! Now whether you can get this for less or not but let’s say all in for £250, here is the start…

Then you need a deposit and this can be dependent on results of the above ranging from a month, six weeks, two months or three months….

Then you may also need a month up front too….

Say, let’s say the rent is £1,000 and you are couple plus they want two months deposit this could cost you £3,000 plus say the application of £250, that is a total of £3,250 even before you walk through the door!

An important thing to remember is that the application is not a Passport! So, if the place fall’s through and you can’t find another place, you then move to another agent and you have to pay an application fee all over again! Potentially, if you can’t find a place, you could go through to two or more agents which means at least £500 or more and with no house…..

Buying a house….

OK – the days of 100% mortgages have disappeared but if you are lucky you may get on a Government scheme to help you to buy or a shared purchase and failing that, you may need to find a deposit of 5% (if you are lucky) or in most cases 10% and above…..

So buying a house, let’s say (if you can find one) around £150,000, you could need to find anywhere £7,500  but in most cases £15,000 and above…..

Plus with changes to finding a mortgage or arranging a mortgage – you will need to involve a broker which could be £1,500 and above before solicitors and survey fees! So, you have just kissed goodbye to possibly £2,000 and that is before stamp duty/taxes (if applicable) and removal fees!

Then dependent on your credit history – the choices of getting a mortgage may vary, thus meaning a choice of interest rates based on your credit rating with the High Street lenders. Failing them based on your report, you will have to choose another lender and in some cases if your credit history is poor, you will be placed with Sub-Prime Lenders who charge more than double High Street Lenders!!

And here is the issue……

  • Renting can be classed as dead money (and yes here in the United Kingdom we want to own our own place, more than anywhere else in the world) and the cost can be so high with rental payments being more than mortgage payments!
  • If you have bad credit, you don’t get the best mortgage rates on offer and tend to go higher thus meaning higher interest rates which means higher mortgage payments

In both the cases above, the situation creates the issue of debt increasing and people getting into financial trouble as they are being forced to pay more money than they need to.

Thus, high rents means you struggles to pay bills, so you juggle your money to pay the rent and then other bills in order of importance and this then affects your credit rating. Now these rents are high and it could that these rents is driven high by agents asking high prices and in a lot of cases, the rent can be more than double the mortgage!

So with Letting/Estate agents driving up prices whether be for rental or purchasing the property, how can people afford to rent or buy as a realistic rate these days without getting into debt?

Here is an example for you to consider……

I was speaking to the cashier in my Building Society recently and she said she was moving. I commented that no doubt she got a deal on her mortgage with Building Society with staff discount and she said no. It transpired that with what her and her partner earn, the best mortgage they could get was for £138,000 and they would need at least a 10% deposit. Yet, as she said, there was no where within traveling distance of where they both worked, they could buy for that amount. 

Now here is the kicker……

She then explained, that the rent they were paying for their flat, if this was changed to a mortgage payment, they would be paying for £320,000 mortgage! Now explain if that is fair……

In summary, yes we could blame debt issues on people not paying their bills when they are due. Yet what are their paying for their rent or mortgage? Is this at high rates which is creating their bad debt position? Are banks/building societies charging too wider range of rates which is fueling this bad debt issue…..

or….

Furthermore, could the issue be created here with Estate and/or Letting Agents? We see more and more of these opening each and every week – how many do we need? With more and more appearing, they all need to earn wages and pay for the running costs of their business – so this doesn’t help at all. Have you noticed that Estate and Letting Agents are normally always on the High Street or very prominent positions – thus meaning they are paying very rents for their offices! With them all trying to get business, they will be quoting higher sales prices or rental rates to secure the business and thus the seller or landlord wants the most money too, so they choose the Agent offering the most…..

So in summary, are Estate/Letting Agents responsible for driving up prices which create high prices for people wanting to rent or buy the properties or is it the banks/building societies both offering such wider ranges of rates which then create high rates and making/creating debt issues…who do you think is to blame……

And just to give you something extra to think about……..

Britain’s smallest £1,000,000 home up for sale… … …. – Monday 10th February 2014

UK’s most expensive parking space sold for £400,000… … …. – Thursday 13th February 2014 

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