Leicester-based activist Subhash Varambhia is calling for a reality check on the newstrade. He says: "I have just come out of my end-of-year ritual with my accountant, which was stormy water. He started to grill me on the low profitability of my newstrade. I was not amused."
The accountant was adamant that newsagents make a clear profit of 25% from news and magazines. "And I am sure the tax man thinks the same," adds Subhash. "Every year the profit erodes and the tax people are working on extremely
old figures."
Subhash has supplier Smiths News in his sights. "They produce paperwork showing a 25% discount. This is grossly unfair and gives a totally false impression.
"The truth of the matter is that we make about 18%. This is because we are levied the dreaded carriage charge that drags our profit from 25% on paper to 18% in our shops."
Subhash's accountant has agreed to include a disclaimer on his accounts which will hopefully persuade the tax man that he is not trying to diddle the government.