“Tax doesn’t have to be taxing”, or so HMRC’s strapline goes. However, it has emerged that self-assessment tax is more than taxing, it’s a bloody nightmare for the self-employed and anyone else involved in the whole spirit-demolishing process.
The 14,000 page online form with it’s accompanying guidance notes, recently voted most boring publication in existence since J.P. Thirlwell’s 1978 partwork “Relative tensile strength of galvanised steel under stress when used in suspension bridge construction in countries regularly experiencing extreme weather conditions: volume 4”, has never been filled in completely accurately by anyone, ever.
A statement from HMRC, which appears to confirm recent findings, admits that even the team that devised the form got bored halfway through and started making bits up. “No one knows which receipts to claim VAT back for, or how to work out the depreciation in value of their stapler. Clients are advised to make a wild guess, but without taking the piss too much.”
The deadline for submitting your tax return for the period April 2017 to April 2018 is looming on the horizon like the flesh-incinerating pyroclastic flow from a volcano you were warned about months ago, so if you get to work now, hopefully 31st January 2019 will come and go in a sweet haze of self-satisfied relief.