What self-assessors could buy if they filed on time

Freelancers, the self-employed and other online self-assessment taxpayers are this year set to hand Revenue & Customs a staggering £180,000,000, purely from filing their 2011-12 tax returns late.

That’s because just 24 hours before yesterday’s deadline (Jan 31st), HM Revenue & Customs counted 1.8million of its customers as still having not settled up.

The automatic £100 penalty will hit such late-filers this morning and, when added up, the penalties represent more than double the amount HMRC took last year – still a cool £85m.

Cloud accountancy firm Boox explores what £85m might buy if the penalties were spent differently or, put another way, if self-assessors actually filed on time and collectively spent the money themselves:

1. Boeing 747 - £63m. The jumbo is favoured by the superrich such as the Sultan of Brunei, who is reported to have spent over £63m on a former Lufthansa aircraft, and fitted it with an extravagant interior including features such as solid-gold sinks and Lalique crystal fittings which should bring you up to budget.

2. Necker Island is reported to be worth a staggering £60m. Richard Branson's holiday home and luxury tourist destination has to be at the top of anyone's list.

3. Pick up 2.25 metric tons of gold for £85m.

4. Sovereign Super Yacht £85m - Join the exclusive Sovereign owner's club. The luxury yacht is based on the design of a limousine and comes with furniture designed by Armani, a swimming pool and golf green. You'll also find a glass helicopter pad, 10 guest suites, a private cinema and a nightclub on board. Alternatively, you could have your own built based on Roman Abramovich's old one, the Pelorus - worth a reported £82m in construction costs.

5. 0.3% of Apple. If you fancy owning a part of the world's most influential company you can buy you 266,932 shares for £85m.

6. Why not bolster your favourite football team's strike force? You can pick up Wayne Rooney and Luis Suarez, according to Tansfermarkt.co.uk, for £57m and £25.5m. Alternatively you could buy the entire Stoke City squad.

7. The world's most expensive painting, Edvard Munch's The Scream, sold at auction last year for £74m - time to make an offer.

8. All 198 apartments at the Grand Plaza, Hyde Park £85m. The serviced apartments will give you the independence and catering flexibility of your own home, with the comfort of a 4-star hotel.

9. Purchase the DeBeers Centenary diamond for £63m. The De Beers Centenary Diamond was classified as D level by the Gemological Institute of America. It's the highest grade of a diamond: colourless and internally and externally flawless. The diamond itself is 273.85 carats (54.77 grams) in weight, and is the 3rd largest diamond ever produced by De Beer's Premier Mine.

10. Make a sequel to your favourite blockbuster movie. Why not spend the money to produce Prometheus 2 - Ridley Scott spent £80m on the original!





31st January 2013

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