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Extraordinary items – Has the time come to pension off

Hate to get all downbeat but we’ve recently had our heartstrings tugged by (of all people) the Chartered Institute of Taxation. The CIoT has published extracts from dozens and dozens of letters from pensioners on low incomes who are confused, bewildered and often scared of the mind-bogglingly complicated self-assessment forms. The institute has established a Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) which is calling for the Inland Revenue to stop sending self-assessment forms to poor pensioners. One letter said: “What a useless way to spend retirement – filling in useless forms with the end result nothing to pay or be repaid!” Another wrote: “I’ve just (almost) recovered from a serious illness and feel a ‘pathetic old biddy’ – just willing to pay what I owe – but I object to all this harassment.” FD readers who have an interest in the welfare of their company’s pensioners may wish to contact LITRG chairman John Andrews on 01303 863965. After all, this is one Labour government that appears to be more likely to listen to the views of financial directors than those of 86-year-old Doris from Worthing.

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