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Salt, windows, beards, playing cards: they’ve all been taxed at one point.
Even a ‘cowardice tax’, or scutage, was levied against the subjects of Henry I who decided that they didn’t quite fancy fighting in any of his wars (Pay As You Shirk?).
But now’s the time to let the government know what you’d like to tax. Or not tax.
It is seeking views on what taxpayers would like to see in the Budget which is due to take place on Wednesday 8 July. It ‘welcomes original and innovative’ ideas, although any submission must be made before next Friday (5 June).
Personally, I’d like to see a levy imposed on folk that walk and text at the same time. My definition of ‘text’ would be wide: checking Twitter and uploading pictures of their morning coffee to Facebook would be a ‘taxable event’. If that’s not a goer, these pedestrians should, at the very least, be obliged to wear a (tax-deductable?) one metre tall yellow hat so that you can see them coming. You heard it here first.
On a more serious note, I can’t help thinking that a simplification of the tax system would be helpful.
The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS)
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