Summer 2006 Newsletter


Brave New World

Business Not Pleasure

Summertime Blues

All That Glitters...

Casting The Net

Trust Gordon?

It Ain't Over...

One In The Eye

Keep Your Nose Clean

Foreign Affairs

When Is A Car...

Don't Walk Away

Avoiding, The Issue

Brown Is Anti-PC

VAT's Up Doc?

Fuel's Gold

An Age-old Question?

That's Unfair!

Year In Year Out

How Hard To Try?

It's A Rip-Off!

Outlaws Win

Show Some Restraint

Not Our Problem

They Cannot Be Serious?


Pension Disappointments

Brown Is Anti-PC

Personal computer, not political correctness: the Budget abolished the tax exemption for computers provided by an employer to its employees for private use. There was no warning of this, and a lot of people were caught on the hop - one government department was about to put a "home computing initiative" in place for its own employees.

Fortunately, a computer that was provided before 6 April 2006 remains exempt - and one that was promised in writing before that date but not delivered until afterwards. But what happens when that computer is obsolete and has to be replaced? It seems that you either have to do without, or demonstrate that private use is completely insignificant, or pay some tax.

HMRC have a number of reasons for this change. They say that computer equipment is much cheaper than it was when the rules were brought in, which is true - so if you have a £1,000 computer which you use 50% privately, tax will only be charged on £100 a year. But that makes it hardly worth collecting. They also say that people were using the exemption to buy games consoles - that may be true, but surely the problem could be solved by tightening the rules rather than abolishing them.

Unfortunately, we now have to get used to the new position. If you provide computers to your employees at home which they are able to use privately, we will be happy to discuss the tax treatment with you.