Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday 22 September 2006

"Free at last!"

OK, so I take the good Martin Luther King Jr's cry during his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC in August 1963 a little out of context, but the sentiments are (in a way) just as heartfelt. Today I sent off my completed Tax Return for the tax year 2005-2006. Of course, this is only the very beginning of the saga that is taxation in the UK - I'll get the statement from the Inland Revenue in late November or early December with their calculation of my tax liability and the first instalment will be payable by the end of January 2007, with the balance to be paid by the end of July next year. However, at least by getting my return in before the end of September will ensure they are responsible for the calculations, based on the return I have submitted; of course I do my own separate calaculations as well, to cross-check with the figure they will send back in due course.

It's a bind, but I suppose it is one of the prices we must pay for the joy of living on Airstrip One (the designation for England [*] in Geroge Orwell's novel, Nineteen_Eighty-Four). I may refer to myself as 'an escapee from Room 101' in the header banner for this blog, but so far as UK tax is concerned, that ain't happened quite yet! A bizarre thing this year is that 'Tax Freedom Day' became three days later as a result of the 2005 Budget and now falls on 3rd June for 2006, which it just so happens is my birthday - of course I did celebrate my birthday this year, but perhaps not quite so heartily as usual! What this means is that the Government 'grabs' in tax what people earn in almost HALF the year. This is the latest that 'Tax Freedom Day' has been since 1988, which coincidentally is just a year before Labour were turfed out of power the last time. One can only hope that it will be a twofer!

The good news (immodest as usual - Ed.) is that I shall have a little more time to devote to blogging over the coming few weeks.

[*] He uses 'England' rather than 'UK' in his introductory paragraphs, so far as I recall; quite where this leaves Scotland or Wales is anyone's guess.

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