It depends on your point of view. Tax or Mortgage?

Does anyone remember the scene in Dead Poet’s Society when Robin Williams asked one his pupils to describe what was on the desk at the front of the class? And then told the boy to stand on his own desk and asked him exactly the same question again? The boy argued back and said that he’d already told the class what he could see but then realised, by literally changing his point of view, he could see things on the desk that he couldn’t see before.

What’s that got to do with tax and mortgages?

Every time a self employed person or contractor claims a business expense that perhaps wasn’t really related to his business he reduces his profit and pays less tax. Or structures his financial or business affairs with the sole aim of reducing tax – which seems to be what Donald Trump has been doing for the past 15 years. Less tax is great isn’t it (or no tax in POTUS’s case) but stand on your desk for a moment and look at it from a different point of view.

Your profit affects your borrowing ability. So lower profits might mean less tax but also a reduction in your borrowing ability (and the value of your business). So be sure of your point of view.

And treat yourself – watch Dead Poet’s Society again. I love the scene of the boys learning how easy it is to conform to what everyone else is doing.

– Glyn Lewis-Jones

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