MPs advised at taxpayers’ expense

Hazel Blears

Tax advisers found themselves at the centre of the ongoing revelations over
MPs’ expense claims this week, after a report that members of the Cabinet used
expenses to pay for accountants to complete their personal tax returns.

Chancellor Alistair Darling, along with fellow cabinet members including
Hazel Blears (pictured), Geoff Hoon and Jacqui Smith, have all allegedly claimed
for the costs of advice using expenses intended to fund their parliamentary and
constituency offices.

Under HM Revenue
& Customs
rules, most people are not allowed to claim for employing an
accountant to fill in a self-assessment tax form as a legitimate business

John Whiting, tax policy director at the
Chartered Institute of
, said, unlike in the US, the filing of an individual’s tax return
is normally classed as a personal expense.

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