Taxing tax advice for ministers

They must be wondering when it will stop, but the Daily Telegraph shows no sign that it is letting up. Yesterday we had revelations that ministers claimed on their expenses the fees they paid for tax advice.
This includes chancellor Alistair Darling who, more than anyone else, should know that such fees are not an allowable expense against tax for anyone else in the country. The rest of us have to pay our accountants and be happy the fact that we won’t see any of that money again.
Now the question is whether the taxman should get involved to decide whether they need to recover tax on those fees. Oh dear, the shambles that is MPs expenses will just not stop and at every turn not did MPs appear to think they could take the public for a ride, but the rules seem to allow a tier system for tax – one for MPs and one for the rest of us.
Well, that’s clearly not on and this latest debacle will only demonstrate further that when the expenses system does get round to being fixed, politicians will need to sort their tax affairs out too so that they no longer advantages over the rest of us.
A last word on this. A spokesman for Hazel Blears, the communities secretary, issued a statement over the weekend saying she used accountants HW Fisher and that they were recommended because they dealt with many MPs. In fact it’s understood HW target MPs with a marketing campaign for their services when their is a new intake to the House of Commons. No rules broken here, but how painful to be a professional services firm caught up in the furore and at risk of being tainted by it.

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