Friday, 26 August 2011

Tax demand

I received a tax demand today from Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (the UK tax authority) for the princely sum of £12.30 (14€, $18) for fiscal year 2010-11.

Money very well spent, IMO, as the "subscription fee", as it were, to be able periodically to write to UK (and Scottish soi disant) Government Departments who annoy me saying "Though resident in Portugal, I remain a UK tax payer ...". (In fact, when I first did the calculation myself, it appeared I would not be paying any UK income tax at all for 2010-11 which was a matter of some chagrin to me. I was having to console myself with the fact I pay UK VAT and excise duties on booze and petrol when I'm there in December/January each year. But in the end, I just slipped under the bar of being an income tax payer.)

Anyway, I shall be writing to HMRC tomorrow with my cheque telling they can have it with my pleasure provided they spend it on something deserving like a by-pass or an aircraft carrier but under no circumstances are they to give it to anyone to buy a community woodland with. And especially not the crowd who said on their website:

"A necessary element of land acquisition funding is the raising of a proportion of the price paid by the community itself ... It is proposed that the community contribute approximately [5%] of the acquisition cost from sources such as:
* Charitable trusts - there are a number of grant giving charitable trusts that have supported community land initiatives in the past.
* Local fundraising - this can include fundraising events (sponsored activities such as walks, swims etc.), ceilidhs, raffles, bring and buy etc.
* Private donors - many of the large community land buyouts have been assisted by sizeable donations from private individuals ..."

So, apart from the fun-run and the raft race ("Right, so we've got sixpence!"), your idea of contributing to the price yourself is not putting your hands in your own pockets but scrounging it from charities and donors?

"So all we have to do is buy a raffle ticket, yeah?"

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