Wednesday 7 January 2015

Tax planning for fat cats

The Western Mail is reporting that the pay-off being considered by Carmarthenshire County Council could cost it £446,000. Interestingly, the paper also reports that Mr James would like the deal to come into effect in the tax year beginning on 1 April 2015, although the council's severance scheme ends on 31 March.

This would not be the first time that Mr James has sought to exploit the system to reduce his tax liabilities. Last year the council was forced to withdraw the controversial pension opt-out scheme after the Wales Audit Office ruled it was unlawful. Mr James later told council staff that the scheme had been withdrawn "for now".

Prior to that it came to light that he had paid himself around £20,000 immediately before the end of the 2011-12 tax year in his capacity as Returning Officer, even though nominations for the 2012 council elections had not closed.

No doubt other staff who have applied to leave under the council's severance scheme will be wondering whether they will also be offered ways of reducing their tax bills.

And all of this in a Labour-led council.


Anonymous said...

Oh no, what are they teaching you in Welsh schools?

The tax year begins on 6th April and runs until 5th April the following year.

Is it any wonder the tax take in Wales is so low? Sack all the teachers right now and bus Welsh kids to England for education. It's the only way this country will ever see any improvement in its fortunes.

Cneifiwr said...

I think you are right, but this is what the WM says:

"It is understood he has asked for severance to take effect from April 1 2015, the first day of a new tax year. But the council’s severance scheme ends on March 31."

caebrwyn said...

Aside from any tax implications, if the scheme ends on the 31st March then the only person with the delegated power to extend it to April 1st happens to be Mr James himself. How convenient.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

The trouble is that despite the fact no one wants Mr James to benefit - the council is stuck with Pay & Condition Rules which I am sure Mr James would happily sue the council if it failed to comply with . So despite no one wanting him to receive a penny if he retired he is entitled to take his local govt pension lump sum & annuity income. If his job is redundant , he is entitled to a redundancy payment . If he was to drop down dead which some people would like , his estate would be entitled to a large death in service benefit and his widow a substanial
annual income - so there it is he wins either way so perhaps it is best to see the back of Mr James and start a fresh with someone less power hungry . Councillors will not have much choice - damed if they vote for and damed as they have no real power to stop him getting his hands on the cash He is staff member and there are national agreed rules and regulations which Mr James is only too well aware

Anonymous said...

The main point is,a Labour run council,the so called party
of the working class,April the 6th is on a Monday who cares.This chap is raking it in while people are struggling
to make ends meet disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Labour group are not going in the way you predicted.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 08:10 -"what are they teaching you in Welsh schools?"

I'm sure they will be teaching that, by concession, HMRC treats accounts that end on 31st March, or any of the first five days in April, as matching the tax year.

Anonymous said...

The ruse is not to avoid tax on the severance package for Mark James because as has been correctly pointed out the tax year commences on 6th April. No, it is to spread the total cost of the severance payments for all personnel over TWO financial years ; 2014 - 15 and 2015 -16. Mark James' redundancy costs would not go through the books until the next financial year and would not be reported on until well into 2016 by which time he will have flown to the West Country.

Anonymous said...

When the Mark James package has finally been 'agreed',
we will finally be able to label his motivation by removing the letter A.