Tax-Free Living

There seems to have a been a rise recently in people writing books about crazy things they did. From Yes Man (saying Yes to every proposal) to The Year of Living Biblically and Round Ireland with a Fridge (you figure it out) it's a fun way to have an adventure, write a book and make some money.

It's given me a new idea for a book: The Year of No Tax

Unfortunately I can't write this book (you'll see why later) but I am happy for someone else to take up this idea and run with it, and maybe even make a good (taxable) income from the resulting book.  Whoever that person might be, the premise is that the author has to live for a whole year without paying tax. Not just income tax, but other taxes too. Here's the demographic of the person who might be able to pull this off:
  • He would have to have earnings of under £10,000 per year, or whatever the current tax-free allowance is. (That rules me out.)
  • He couldn't run a car. From road tax to fuel duty, motorists pay lots of tax.
  • If he bought a bicycle instead, he'd have to buy it second-hand privately to avoid paying VAT (sales tax).
  • He'd have to buy his clothes from charity shops, boot sales, etc. There's no VAT on children's clothes but there is on new clothing for adults.
  • Similarly, he'd have to buy paperback books. There's no VAT on print books, but there is on ebooks.
  • When shopping for food and other groceries, he'd have to choose carefully. Bread, milk, eggs, fruit, vegetables and the staples and essentials don't carry VAT, but "luxury products" like cakes and ready meals do. (If you look at your till receipts, items marked with a star are those which include VAT in the price.)
  • "He" would have to be male. Feminine hygiene products are classed as "luxury" products and so we women have to pay tax on them. I've been complaining about it for years.
  • He couldn't buy any home insurance, or indeed any other kind of insurance.
  • He couldn't move house or invest money in an interest-bearing account.
I've run into a few problems with my premise, of course. Unless the author heats his home and cooks using logs from his own trees then he's going to pay a tax on whatever fuel he uses. And then there's Council Tax, which covers the cost of your local council's waste and recycling services, local police, etc. So there may have to be some exceptions to the rule.

Anyone up for a year of tax-free living?


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