The UK government is financed with an impressive array of taxes that gather about £3.50 out of every £10 that the economy makes, and personal taxes make up a significant proportion of the total. In 2009/10, the total tax and NIC take was estimated at just short of £480 billion. At nearly £146 billion, income tax is the leading money raiser, followed some distance behind by national insurance contributions (NICs) at nearly £96 billion. Clearly taxes on income need to be taken very seriously by the taxpayer as well as HM Treasury.
Each year, the tax legislation changes, with a raft of new sections and paragraphs in the Finance Act – as well as reams of new regulations, cases and other provisions. Even people with relatively straightforward tax affairs can find it hard to keep on top of their tax position. The tax authorities are increasingly unforgiving of late returns, payments or mistakes.
If your aim is to pay less tax – and with tax as possibly your single biggest outgoing, this would not be surprising – the challenge is even greater.
The aim of these papers is to help you understand some of the key issues, so that you can develop your tax and financial strategy in partnership with us.