A message from Finnish tax authorities issued earlier this month reminded part-time Santas about their tax obligations, a matter of law which raised heated discussion on social media.Some wondered whether the tax administration might have more important things to do than hunt down white-bearded, potential tax evaders.Many families across the country hire a red-suited local to hand out gifts on Christmas Eve and pay the costumed guestThe Tax Administration's senior advisor Minna Palomäki said the agency regularly receives inquiries about the legal implications of greasing Santa palm for a personal home visit."That's why we decided to issue the reminder. It's nothing new, one is not permitted to work off-the-books," Palomäki said.But starting next Christmas - following major adjustments to the country's tax system in January - families who pay for the cheerful visits will be required to notify the national income registry about how much they paid the ersatz St. Nick."The only … [Read more...] about Even Santa needs to pay taxes in Finland
Why pay taxes
Council tax bills in North Somerset could be on the rise again next year as the authority reveals it needs to make further savings of £5million. During an executive meeting on Tuesday (September 4) the man in charge of finance at the council, Malcolm Coe, said “significant progress” had been made to balance the books but the financial climate was still a challenge. Mr Coe said the biggest challenges to the council’s budget are adult social care and children’s services. In this year’s budget a total of £65million was put aside for adult social care - the largest part of the council’s budget. Children’s services came in second with a budget of £27.6million, but this had already been maxed out and there is an overspend of £2million. Last year the government stepped in and allowed local authorities to increase council tax by a further “precept” of three per cent if it was ring-fenced for social care. North Somerset … [Read more...] about Why council tax is likely to rise in North Somerset
A SUGGESTION from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, that wealthy families should pay more tax to help the poor are no doubt well-meaning – in a Robin Hood sort of way. His comments come in a new report he has co-written that declares Britain’s economy to be “broken”. Key proposals include: Higher capital gains tax and taxes on dividends, netting up to £27billion a year; a £13billion-a-year corporation tax hike; and the creation of a £186billion Citizens Wealth Fund by 2030, by increasing tax for people like you and me. The report also calls for inheritance tax to be replaced by a limited “gifts tax”. So rather than inheriting your parents’ house when they are dead, they can only give you a maximum of £125,000 over their lifetime — and nothing tax-free when they are dead. Which seems bonkers to me. I have two major problems with the Archbishop speaking out on this matter. The first is that he is … [Read more...] about It’s not Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s job to get involved with politics — stop ‘picking our pockets’ and make Church pay tax
When Julia* arrived in Germany from Poland, she declared on her registration form (Anmeldungsformular) that she didn’t have a religion. Like so many lapsed Catholics, Julia was baptized as a baby but hasn’t been to church in years. “I don’t identify with any church, so I answered this registration form question with total honesty,” says Julia. Unfortunately for her, “lapsed” or “non-practicing” aren’t words that the German tax authorities understand. Unless you have formally disavowed your faith in Germany, you are still considered religious. And if you are still religious, you have to pay church tax. Today Julia lives in limbo, not paying any church tax but still technically a member of the Catholic Church. She is worried that the authorities might catch her out and demand a whopping back payment. What is church tax? Church tax, or Kirchensteuer, is a tax that religious communities charge their members to finance their … [Read more...] about Crossed wires: why church tax is causing extra stress for expat tax payers
PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:34 21 July 2018 Carl Lamb, managing director of Almary Green Picture: Almary Green Archant Financial advisory firm Almary Green explains when and why some pensions are taxable. Q: I’m due to retire early next year and should get a full state pension as I’ve been working all my life. I’ve been working for the local district council for about 25 years so will get a decent pension from their pension fund too. I thought that when I retire I won’t have to pay tax but a friend who has retired recently tells me she is paying tax on her pension. Is that right?A: Yes, that’s correct. When you reach state retirement age, you stop paying National Insurance even if you are still working (unless you are self-employed paying Class 4 contributions) but you will pay income tax if your income is more than your Personal Allowance.The Personal Allowance for this tax year (April 6 2018 to April 5 2019) is £11,850 (provided … [Read more...] about Ask the Expert: Will I have to pay tax on my pension?