The Inland Revenue has risked the wrath of the nation during the last week by apparently targeting everything that most people hold dear. Certainly a nation of tea drinkers, many of us are also fond of football and golf. So events over the last few days would not have endeared the Revenue to the humble taxpayer. Firstly, it said it would clamp down on directors of small companies who charge their golf-club membership or football season tickets to their company. It had previously turned a blind eye to these perks - officially known as 'benefits in kind', rendering them tax free. The taxman's new hard line now means company bosses could face fines of up to £3,000 if they don't report perks on tax forms. Meanwhile companies providing free tea and coffee could be hit by a thumping big tax bill if they do not record it as a taxable benefit. The bizarre levy, which has been dubbed the 'tea bag tax' is one of a number of red-tape burdens highlighted by the Institute of Directors in its quarterly monitor of business regulations. One member of the organisation, who wished to remain anonymous, was hit for a £6,000 tax bill for not declaring six years of free tea - a benefit which is normally overlooked by inspectors. But ironically, full meals provided in a staff canteen are exempt!
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