Paying tax is a moral duty[QQ] Your Leader (29 July, page 12) read: 'Many ( Labour members of the government) still seem to believe that taxation is a moral duty owed by companies to society.' Amongst other things, this is exactly what taxation is. Companies operate with the benefit of all sorts of government services: law and order, defence, transport, education, to mention only the more obvious. So companies have a moral duty to pay tax for these services. Like other taxpayers, they should be free of excessive or unjust tax, or inefficient tax systems, (which is what your leader is complaining about). Taxation, at proper levels, is clearly 'a good thing', morally good, or Accountancy Age would be seeking its abolition! According to The Independent, Rupert Murdoch's companies pay tax on profits of around 10% to 15% to world governments, rather than the 30% sort of level paid by many US/European companies. This is a failure of his moral duty to society. It is a sick and naive society that sees tax and the taxman as evil, and that regards a moral duty to pay tax as outdated claptrap. Yours very sadly, Philip Morgan CPFA Winchester, Hampshire Audit plan is not cosmetic I am surprised at the varying views regarding the raising of the audit threshold, which surely will go on for a long time. John Malthouse's view that the plan is 'cosmetic, irrelevant and dangerous' takes the prize. There are more financial disasters in large companies audited by the cream of the profession! The small entities are generally controlled by the directors; who are often compelled to back their enterprise to the hilt with personal securities and guarantees. David Gordon's view (12 August, page 9) is nearer the mark. I would progress and further protect third parties. A director-controlled company continuing to trade when insolvent should, for purposes of liability, be treated as it were a partnership. This would deter the outlaws! In addition, in the absence of an audit, accounts can be required to be lodged at Companies House within three months of the year end. The majority accept that £350,000 is a ridiculous threshold in these times. I am sure the small practitioner can continue to earn fees by focusing on something more desirable and useful to the small entity. In true English fashion, by the time the UK implements any change, Europe will have progressed further to something better and realistic for the millennium. Eric Robey, FAPA FAIA MIMgt, London Is the pen mightier than the spreadsheet? Are any of your readers as concerned as I am at the Revenue's current inability or unwillingness to respond to letters by letter? Given the ever-increasing volume of errors arising within self assessment I am writing endlessly asking for explanations. More often than not I receive back a compliment slip to which are attached 'View Statements', spreadsheets or other computer-generated junk. The good old days of an exchange of correspondence were halcyon indeed. At least you were dealing with people. I fear one day they may dispense with compliment slips. Then what? H Pullan FCA, London EC1 All letters should be sent to: The Editor, Accountancy Age, VNU House, 32-34 Broadwick Street, London W1A 2HG Tel: 0171 316 9236 Fax: 0171 316 9250 Or email us on: [email protected] Accountancy Age reserves the right to edit letters for space or clarity. Please include your title, company name and a daytime telephone number.
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