My regular Saturday musing, followed by the links to some great articles.
Felix Dennis makes no secret in How to Get Rich about his pleasure in sending large cheques to the Inland Revenue to settle his tax bill.
An old Lefty, Dennis doesn’t mind doing his considerable bit for those who haven’t had the opportunity in life to overcome a drug and hooker addiction through poetry and tree planting.
Also, he sensibly points out that a big tax bill is a sign of success.
However it’s one thing to pay your taxes with a clear conscience and a smile, and quite another to find you’re going to be clobbered for more taxes for a year you thought was done and dusted.
Yet that’s exactly what 1.4 million UK citizens have woken up to today. Perhaps you’re one of them, who will be hit by an unexpected bill for a cool £1,500 in extra tax payments, according to the BBC:
Nearly six million people in the UK have paid the wrong amount of tax.
About £2bn was underpaid via the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) system in the past two years, with about 1.4 million people owing an average of £1,500 each.
But £1.8bn has also been overpaid and some 4.3 million people will get a rebate because they have paid too much.
A new computer system has allowed more discrepancies to be identified, but HM Revenue and Customs said the “vast majority” of tax bills were correct.
The number of people affected by over or underpayments is also higher than usual because HMRC is currently reconciling two years of PAYE contributions at the same time, rather than just one.
Watch your postbox carefully. You could be in line for a £300 windfall, or discover you’re £1,500 poorer than you thought.
For anyone without an emergency fund that’s a lot of money to find, though I suspect you’ll be able to pay it back through an adjustment to your PAYE code for 2010/11.
And they say investing is a risky business…
On the blogs
- Lottery winners and bankruptcy – Consumerism Commentary
- Tax on bond income outside ISAs/SIPPS – Fixed Income Investor
- ETF slam dunk – Investing Caffeine
- What you should know about the ‘bond bubble’ – MoneyWatch
- Why our jobs are getting worse – Simple Life in Suffolk
- Illusions, opportunity cost, and uneconomists – FT Alphaville
- A Keynesian theory of the mind – Psy-Fi blog
- The hangover – Bond Vigilantes
- The education of an investor – Early Retirement Extreme
- Advantages of a second income stream – Digerati Life
- Wages and corruption in cricket – Stumbling and Mumbling
- The 10 largest companies in the world – Dough Roller
- Finally, officially French – Simple Life in France
In the mainstream media
- The odd decouple: The US economy Vs. the world – The Economist
- Big game conservation in Africa – The Economist
- New homes data spells declining UK housing market – FT
- ‘Hidden’ funds distort performance – FT
- [IMHO doomed sounding] fund to combat volatility – FT
- [From July] Rich biggest defaulters on US mortgages – New York Times
- A dream [US] house after all – New York Times
- The best country in the world? – Motley Fool
- Time for a pension reality check – The Telegraph
- Time to give up on Japan? Or not? – The Telegraph
- With derisory savings rates, it’s time to take stock – The Independent
- 50 side businesses from home – The Guardian
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