Taking Stock – Self-assessment forms.

Government minister Lord Mcintosh of Harringay has rather generously refused to refer to taxpayers struggling with their self-assessment forms as ‘idiots’.

Discussing details of how the government is changing self-assessment to make it less confusing, the man ousted as the former leader of the Greater London Council in the 1980s by current mayor of the city ‘Red’ Ken Livingstone, was tackled on the issue by ex-Tory chairman Lord ‘on your bike’ Tebbit .

He asked if ‘it would be helpful to publish an “idiot’s guide” to these matters’. Lord Mcintosh replied: ‘I do not believe the Revenue would presume to address its main source of income as “idiots”.’ But maybe the Labour peer had a personal reason for his view.

Lord Mcintosh considers himself very clever for having sent in his self-assessment by 30 September as the Revenue calculated his tax liability for him.

But he was forced to admit his attempt to send it electronically failed because he had forgotten that, as a minister, his tax details were kept in a secure category which prevented internet filing. Presumably he didn’t want to find an ‘idiots guide’ to self-assessment specifically addressed to him!

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