Tax Gathering

How I hate it – the annual struggle with the Tax Return as the January deadline looms.  In my pre-PAYE days, it was particularly terrifying.  But now it’s just the scattered fragments that remain after PAYE has done its worst.  I also think nostalgically of the distant past – a time when I could have a shiny car and depreciate it by 25% every year.   Now the sensible thing is to run a car which suffers no depreciation at all.   Roll forward, faithful Passat, whose value ebbs and flows by the phases of the moon, the state of world commodity prices and the time left until its next MOT.   Pretty much like myself, really.


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  2. How nice that Inland Revenue will do the sums for people who file early.

    On this side of the pond, you can usually have taxes withheld, and then you do the sums once a year and send in the form by 15 April or send in the extension form with a check for what you think you owe. If you are in college and don’t have any taxable income, you get to wait until May to send a form to the IRS (our version of Inland Revenue) to ask for a copy of your non-existent tax form and then wait until June when the IRS sends you a letter saying they don’t have a form for you, which you then take to your college financial aid office and say, “see I told y’all that I didn’t file” and the college decides how much federal student aide they are going to give you. Last year I just filed out a short form with a bunch of zeros and filed it and then gave the college a copy of the form (with IRS office drop off stamp on it) showing zeros for taxable income and saved the trouble of having to prove a negative.

  3. Have reached the stage of not knowing what day of the week it is. Sorry! What was lacking has been supplied.

  4. MOT did indeed mean Ministry of Transport when the test was introduced in the 60s but as far as I know there hasn’t been a Ministry of Transport for years. I think it’s now the Department of the Environment or something like that.

    The tax year in the UK begins on the 5 April and the Inland Revenue send out the self assessment forms about a week later. There are two deadlines, the 30 September and the 31 January. Meet the Sep deadline and the tax authorities do the sums for you. Leave it until January and you have to do them yourself. All of which explains why taxpayers spend either the last week in Sep or Jan in a back room fortified by endless cups of coffee. And don’t even think of missing the final deadline…

  5. I’m in trouble myself – LBB ??

    MOT – not sure. Maybe Ministry of Transport. Anyway it’s an annual roadworthiness test for cars over three years old

    PAYE – Pay as you Earn. Meaning the Government takes its tax dollars before you have even had them yourself

  6. PAYE?


    Would it be ever so possible to get a definition of Scotland-specific terms for those of us reading from across the pond (where taxes are due in mid-April)?

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