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Taxing the Brain

Apparently over eighty per cent of British folk don’t understand the taxation system (and I’m willing to bet the other twenty per cent pay someone else to understand the taxation system!) and have no idea how much of their hard earned goes towards taxes each year. To be fair what with the various rates of income tax, the various types of savings accounts such as Cash ISA’s and Bond ISA’s and then the additional taxes such as National Insurance, Value Added Tax, flight tax, car taxes etc etc you probably need a doctorate in economics or be a solicitor trained in tax law to have the slightest clue I think. Not sure I understand any of it nor do any of the visiting escorts I have spoken to.

What is a more staggering and damning statistic is that one in five does not understand that you spend an average twenty two per cent extra in tax AFTER income tax has been deducted. Clearly VAT and the like is an invisible tax for some. How many know that national insurance is over ten per cent? Or how much in the price of a litre of fuel is actually petrol duty and payable to the Chancellor?

The findings are the results of a poll carried out by the Association of Chartered Accountants. Two thousand one hundred people were quizzed about their taxes. Chas Roy-Chowdhury of the association said of the poll “It is alarming that as a nation we know so little about something that most of us regard as so important. Most of us just assume that we don’t need to understand it – we just have to pay it.” Actually I’m not sure why he used the word ‘alarming’. I assume he means isn’t it alarming that these folk do not pay us accountants to give them advice and to look after their cash, and he may have a point, though most of us do not have enough money to warrant our own accountant I’d wager.

Surely the vast range of taxes and rates of tax is no accident? It’s a conspiracy to confuse us so that we just keep forking out endlessly. There are very few things that don’t attract tax, like children’s clothes and books. I think there should be more luxury and fun stuff on that list, like alcohol, comedy movies (being taxed on a serious or sad movie seems about right, but on a comedy?) and anything to do with dating. Taking out beautiful blonde escorts? Tax free. Taking your date out for a meal, tax free. A trip to Chelmsford, Basildon, Romford or the West End? Tax free. Surely there has to be some fun in life and after all the government wants people to procreate do they not? After all every new sprog is a tax payer down the line somewhere...

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