The tax collector no longer sits in his booth on the street corner. At this time of year he appears instead on television and the radio urging us to complete our self-assessment forms before the end of September. St. Matthew’s day is now conveniently set as a reminder of a key date in the fiscal calendar. Tax, we are told, doesn’t have to be taxing.
Tell that to my eldest son, who is setting up his own business not far from here and who is making the painful discovery of just how much of his earnings the government will claim by various means. Tell that to thousands of people like me who put off filling in their tax forms to the last possible date. In my case normally the last week in January.