Wishing You All A Very Merry Christmas
With most of us finishing for the holidays today, I thought I'd join the festivities and let you have some tax trivia ...
So, first up is how much we'll spend. The average British home will spend around £809 at Christmas. Food, drink, travel, decorations and gifts ... with the latter being 58% of the total cost. More useful trivia facts include:
- Tax on your alcohol in the UK comes to more than half the total cost. They are higher in Finland, Ireland and Germany, but we British pay more tax on our booze than most other European countries.
- The average cost of decorating your office is tax deductible as a running cost!
- Between 1709 and 1831, we had a candle tax and you weren't allowed to make your own without a license. Generations were condemned to darkness or to making 'rushlights' which were made by dipping rushes in animal fat. This didn't just happen at Christmas, but all year round. Of course, using rushes you could light them at both ends at once which is where we get the term 'burning the candle at both ends'. As you can imagine, it was deeply unpopular.
- A Snowball (marshmallow on biscuit covered in chocolate is, in fact, a cake so just like our beloved Jaffa Cakes, they are zero-rated for VAT.
- Only 13% of UK families attend church on Christmas Day, however, many countries in Europe have a church tax and this includes Austria, Iceland and Germany. Paying 8 or 9% of your salary to the church would be deeply unpopular.
- Over 10 million Turkeys are cooked in the UK each Christmas. Some employers offer a hampers with a turkey, wine and other treats in, but if that employee earns more than £8,500 per annum it must be declared on the form P11D.
- Millions of us will be exchanging presents and feasting this Christmas, yet over 1,600 people will take time out from the festivities to do their tax return.
So, let's hope Santa is kind to you this year (you have been good, right?) and let me round off this blog post by wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
If you'd like to find out more about anything I've written here, do call me on 0333 335 0427 or leave a comment below and let's see how I can help you.