At Riley the purpose of the tax services we offer is:
– to ensure that the taxes our customers pay are kept to a minimum;
– to keep them fully informed about their choices;
– once the choices are made to ensure they understand what taxes they have to pay and when.
Tax may be ‘the price of citizenship’ but everyone accepts that it’s a real pain for both individuals and businesses. That’s not just because of the amount of money that you have to part with, but because of the effort involved in complying with the tedious record-keeping rules that are imposed on us all.
Our tax services have been designed to enable you to comply with your tax obligations with the minimum amount of pain.
That means that we’ll work with you to help plan your finances so that you pay the least amount of tax possible. And we will work with you to collect the information we need to do that with the minimum of fuss.
As a country, we seem to have an almost schizophrenic attitude to taxes.
When pollsters ask if we believe that taxes should rise to fund extra spending on health, education or pensions, we readily agree. Yet we ┬ácomplain loudly about taxes on petrol and many apparently see nothing wrong in evading tax when paying for services in cash or buying smuggled tobacco or the odd alcoholic beverage. Do people scurry past the Duty Free shop muttering ‘No, I’d rather pay the tax if you don’t mind; I know the government will spend the money more wisely than I would’? I think not.
In truth, although politicians play Party games with starting rates of tax and other headline grabbers, we do have to hand over to HMG a major part of what we earn. More than 40 per cent of total national income falls into their hands.
Consider the average employee. The firm they work for is taxed for taking them on through employer’s national insurance. Then they have to pay income tax and their own slice of national insurance on everything they earn. But it doesn’t stop there – there’s tax on their savings, Council Tax, VAT on about half of what they buy, tax on insurance, the full range of car taxes awaits them together with stamp duty land tax on their house purchase, duty on tobacco, alcohol and on betting too – oh yes, and there is now tax on their pension fund and of course inheritance tax when they die.
The position is just as bad for businesses, and the array of taxes on enterprise reduces the ability of entrepreneurs to expand by digging into the retained profits they need to invest in new assets and to fund working capital.
So while taxes may be the price we pay for a civilised society (or perhaps a wasteful government) they do take away our right to choose how we spend a major part of our personal income, and they act as a drag on business growth. For these reasons tax planning – arranging matters so that you pay the minimum of tax – has long been accepted as a legitimate individual right and a key part of the financial strategy of any business.
If you are interested in specific information on any topic, please contact Bernice Constantine.