So I’m assuming all of you are in agreement when we say that you don’t really like paying tax. And almost everyone can see the need for taxation to pay for public services. (Okay, I’ll admit that we’d all have different ideas about what the right level of tax should be, and what should be paid for by taxes, but that is a discussion for another day).
What I wanted to highlight was the number of different taxes that we pay in the UK. Let’s try and list them: Income Tax, Council Tax, VAT, Vehicle Excise Duty, National Insurance, Inheritance Tax, Corporation Tax, Stamp Duty, Business Rates, Capital Gains Tax… I could go on. And then we have the countless exemptions and loopholes which exist; the most obscure of which include whether food is hot or cold, or a cake or a biscuit, determining whether or not it qualifies for VAT.
So what’s my point? Well such a confusing tax system is a sign of how we like to operate things in this country. It sometimes becomes so confusing that we get bogged down in the details rather than seeing the bigger picture. And if you run a small business or are an entrepreneur, then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Be it taxation, regulation or something else, sometimes the laws end up being less about what they are aiming to help or prevent, and more about becoming a complex minefield.
Are you a small business owner? What are the most obscure taxes you and your business have to pay?