Because I am self-employed, they want their money upfront before I’ve earned it, based on what I earned last year. This is, of course, unfair and makes us all wonder: why don’t they go after Google’s ginormous gains or Amazon’s amazing profits or Starbucks’ big bucks, instead of the peanuts I haven’t even earned yet? I know, I know, perfectly legal what those big guys have done in tax avoidance – but if I had their money, I wouldn’t mind coughing up.
So I was pleased, in a way, to get a right old rant from Amjid Mohammed, who runs Glenmavis Stores near Glasgow. He had a Vatman visit in 2007, which was fine. He had another last year who concluded that Amjid must be working on 20% gross margin.
“We worked on 15% in 2010,” he says, “in 2011 it was 13%; in 2012 it was 13.5%. He says we should be doing at least 20%.” The tax man now wants £98,000 in undeclared Vat for the past three years.
“I’ll go to tribunal if I have to,” says Amjid, and he has called in specialist firm CTM, and an ex-HMRC inspector, to deal with it.
Amjid sells a lot of cigarettes –more since times got harder – and we all know what kind of margins those bring. I suggested he gets his symbol group to write with collective evidence. And I throw the question out to everybody… how are your margins these days?