Post 101

January 2, 2013

I see that I made 100 posts to this blog in 2012 – a profound thank you to anyone who made it through all hundred with me, and welcome to the next 100!

So now, in the spirit of the season, here is my New Year’s Wish List for the tax changes I’d like to see in 2013 – does anyone know when the window for Budget Representations opens this year?  The Budget will be on March 20th and there’s usually a few weeks beforehand when you can send in your ideas.  Anyone with more or better ideas, please add them in comments.

1. Abolish tax relief for private schools 

Because, seriously, how can we possibly justify giving tax relief to Eton College with its hundred million of investments  when the state school of which I’m governor can’t afford to get the windows fixed in the classroom with the damp problem?

2. Employ 150 lawyers to litigate the HMRC backlog

As ARC proposes:

Additional legal resources, 150 trained lawyers and 50 legal assistants, to accelerate litigation of the Tribunal backlog and accelerate yield. Cost £35m. Projected yield £2000m.

which seems to me a no-brainer.

3. Abolish the concept of domicile and move to worldwide taxation on the US model

The US system starts by taxing all its citizens on the basis of their worldwide income.  But then it goes on to tax all the people who are resident in the US on their income generated within the US.  This seems to me to be eminently sensible and if you agree with me, please add it to your own Budget representation.

4. Stop messing with AIA (annual investment allowance) and set it at 100,000 permanently

Or, really, just pick a number and stick with it.  

5. Shift tax thresholds up

Because, come on, no-one on minimum wage should pay tax, and no-one on less than 60k is “higher paid”.  Seriously.

6. Remove the difference between revenue and capital tax rates

Or, in other words, cut out areas of manipulation and avoidance by making the tax rates for income tax, capital gains tax and corporation tax the same – with the same thresholds.

7. Show some backbone over employment and self-employment

This probably needs a longer post, but honestly you’re never going to get agreement on what constitutes a contract OF employment or a contract FOR employment.  So get together a Royal Commission to devise two standard contracts that cover tax, NI, H&S… and make it a simple binary.  Are you on a version of contract A (employment) or contract B (self employment).

8. Show some backbone on the mansion tax

The main argument against charging an annual tax on people with homes worth over £2m seems to be that it would need an expensive new revaluation of the entire domestic property market.  Erm… why?  Charge the tax on anything valued over £2m the last time they were valued, and on anything that changed hands for more than £2m since then.  There.  Job done.  You’re welcome.

9. Make your mind up whether people are individuals or family members

And hurry up about it, because having a tax system that works on an individual basis (unless you get tax credits or child benefit) and a credit that works on a family basis (because Universal Credit is coming) is a recipe for disaster.  And, hint, people are individuals.  The child benefit is for the child – the clue is in the name – so they should get it whether their parents earn fourpence or four million.  But it should, of course, be a criminal offence not to spend it ON the child.

10. Look up “insurance”

And, particularly, “National Insurance” – and then read this article about care for the elderly.  And then extract digit and get on with it.


  1. […] you might think that, as I have already suggested a wish list of ten changes to the tax and benefits system I’d like to see in 2013, I would simply be sticking a link to […]

  2. […] you might think that, as I have already suggested a wish list of ten changes to the tax and benefits system I’d like to see in 2013, I would simply be sticking a link to […]

  3. […] may remember my wish list of ten tax changes I’d like to see this year.  I had an exchange on twitter immediately afterwards where a […]

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