Spokesman discusses grassroots cycling’s dilemma, and business...

SPOKESMAN: Domestic disturbance?

Cycling continues to receive press coverage, not always what we hope for, such as the announcement that road racing has been stopped by the police in Wales. Another race, The Archer Grand Prix was not run because of lack of sponsorship. (Club secretaries obviously did not know that the Bike Hub had £100,000 up for grabs.) All forms of cycling should have a promotional effect on the public eye. The Tour of Wessex was cancelled following some row over police funding. As the report says, it is bizarre that a sport that brought Team GB its first gold medals in Beijing and has sponsorship from Sky and Sport of England cannot run its own domestic programme.

A contrast that Piers Morgan who sat next to Victoria Pendleton at a function was moved to say: “Victoria you’re brilliant” in his weekly newspaper article. This was after watching her win the gold at the Worlds then crying with the joy at the win. She told him that she could not celebrate her Olympic win until she had won the world sprint championship. How great is that for intensity, I think we all shed a tear for her? Marvellous.

As mentioned above, Bike Hub has £100,000 up for grabs for any budding plan, but it will require some match funding, not all, (just a little). So any fantastic ideas that will get people cycling could be worth bidding for. At last Bike Hub is beginning to have results apart from the funding of cycle officers, which have been able to get kids riding to schools. It all takes time.

Watching Vince Cable on a recent TV programme about taxes, it is so easy for Inland Revenue to look at small business for tax evasion. To investigate large companies takes too many man-hours, sometimes with a nil result.

I know of two companies that have had investigations and the stress went on for well into a second year. This has quite a dramatic result on the persons concerned and ultimately the business. Questions can be asked of spouses, they even visit the home to get a feel of the standard of living. Questions such as where was the new carpet purchased and how was it paid for? How come cash was paid for that holiday in America to Disney?

Once they find something a little dodgy they are like ferrets, burrowing into the receipt of the smallest purchase such as cinema tickets and restaurant meals,
on the company. Even if you are as straight as a die, it has to be unsettling. Every phone call could be that little taxman/woman with another question about a purchase made months back. Apart from a bloody good accountant, how many of you have a really good one or just a bookkeeper? A tax specialist solicitor can cost you as much as a couple of grand, frightening. Was the financial year-end stock guessed or actually counted?

Have you got tax investigations covered? If you are an ACT member it is part of the subscription. Could be worth looking into. It could save a heart attack if you ever get that tax visit. The independent shop businesses are such easy pickings.

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