Loads of you will be going on holiday this summer, if you actually still have a job that can pay for it that is. If you are from the UK it’s safe to assume you will be going to Spain or Cyprus or some place hot like that, just like everyone else does.
Be sure to do one thing. If you are going to use car hire when you are on holiday, you should book now before its too late. Car hire companies across the board have reduced their fleet size over past months in an effort to see them through the recession. This year I am hearing of likely shortages in Spain and Cyprus especially, so if you think you are going to need to hire a car, you should book now before you miss out.
“Rental companies always try to look ahead and estimate demand for peak periods, but with finance in short supply and new vehicle prices rising, they can ill afford to have cars sitting around idle. There will be periods when demand outstrips supply. You wouldn’t go to an airport and expect to buy a ticket on the day you want to travel, and the same should apply to renting a car.” Source: The Telegraph
You don’t want to end up like this guy:
I know what you are thinking. I don’t usually talk about new lines of underwear, unless they are on sexy ladies. Anyway, I’m not so shup! Here is an awesome video for an awesome band called ‘FM Belfast‘. No they are not from Northern Ireland, they are actually from Iceland.
There must be something in the water up there, because they are not only renowned for volcanoes that ruin peoples holidays, but Iceland also has an excellent record of producing amazing musicians. I cannot think of a single Icelandic artist that isn’t amazing.
Anyway these guys look pretty awesome and this track “Underwear” sounds fresh and exciting and I could certainly hear it being played on Radio 1 any day now. Here is the track with an awesome video if I do say so myself.
Does anybody in this country actually know anything about tax? Does it really need to be this difficult to make money? I swear they have designed a system that is complicated only so that when you do overpay tax, it is so much hassle to get it back that you end up giving up!
I am not a big fan of the British tax office, or the tax rates. For the past 3 years I have been registered as self employed. That in itself need not be that complicated. But I was self employed whilst working full time in one job and part time in another. This then gets very confusing. I am paying tax for being self employed, despite earning under the threshold for income tax and national insurance, and then paying tax on the earnings I make in my other 2 jobs.
Yet when filling in my tax return online, I get nothing to tell me how much I should be paying or if I have over paid. In fact, last year I moved to Canada for 5 months, and on the day I got their I had a letter from the tax office telling me that my numbers were incorrect for my tax return 2 years previous. They claimed that I had not listed any of my employed earnings from that year.
For the tax year in question, I had earned £300 from my self employed work and the rest entirely from my employed work. Surprisingly enough, I did not forget to leave out 99% of my earnings as they claimed. I did in fact put everything in correctly and paid an extra £95 in income tax as instructed on completion of the return. If I had only listed the £300 self employed earnings as the Tax Auditor claimed, then I would not have to have paid anything.
When I tried to explain this to the tax office, after 2 months of them not answering the phone, I was told that they had no record of me paying anything for that year. Fantastic. It turns out that I actually agreed with the figures they claimed were correct, because they were the exact figure I used the first time. So I sent a letter agreeing that the figures were correct, however informing them that they have clearly lost 2 crucial bits of data from my original tax return of that year, my employment earnings that I did enter correctly and the fact that I already paid the tax due.
A month goes buy and rather than paying any attention to what I actually said they just sent me a new bill for £125. So here is essentially what happened for the first tax year where I was self employed: I earned £300, then paid £215 of tax.
As you can probably imagine, I am quite keen for the tax office to go and hide somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine, to put it very very politely.