Doing Business: A Sledgehammer to Crack a Nut

in business •  14 days ago


Time and time again I find myself helping entrepreneurs navigate complex and tricky rules just to go about their business and do the right thing.

These rules are typically introduced to stop the unruly 1%. As soon as some opportunity or loophole emerges, in go the 1% to try to abuse and milk the system.

So we end up with a slew of new rules and regulations aimed squarely at stopping the 1%. Meanwhile, the remaining 99% have to endure the additional cost, time and effort of having to abide by the new rules aimed at the 1%. This is often just to achieve the intended outcome of the relevant opportunity or tax incentive or whatever.

The problem with introducing new rules to stop a particular practice or event is that this introduction of new rules indirectly legitimises the validity of the abusive practices.

The 1%'er says:

So you say that it is now a taxable event for me to be paid in fine wines (rather than cash), in that case I'll get paid in fine whiskys! You didn't legislate for "whisky" did you....? Ha! Gotcha!
Now a new set of rules get introduced to stop whiskys and so on. Each rule stacking on the former rule. Making it more and more complex.

In my world of tax law, there are volumes of tax legislation that stack up desk high with each page as thin as tissue-paper.

Navigating UK tax law for entrepreneurs is a mine-field. Often for startups that are looking for minimal red-tape and to get their businesses flying, they have to navigate often arcane laws and practices. Just to do what they want (and the world wants) them to do.

The innocent often get caught up in the red-tape and have to structure things in a way that would otherwise be counter-intuitive commercially.

Rule upon rule, making business more and more difficult.

Often it is a case of a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

[rant over!]


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