* Posts by Velv

2657 posts • joined 21 Jan 2010

IR35 tax reforms for UK freelancers glide through committee stage: D-Day set for 6 April 2021

Velv Silver badge
FAIL

"HMRC reckons that only one in 10 contractors in the private sector who should be paying tax under the current rules are doing so correctly."

As advised by its consultants who have a vested interest in supplying contractors to both Government and Commercial projects.

Contact-tracer spoofing is already happening – and it's dangerously simple to do

Velv Silver badge
Boffin

Hiscox Insurance have an interactive page exactly like this they use when on the phone discussing insurance policies. It shows the text of the standard blurb they read out as they read it out, as well as other Key Facts.

This is not rocket science.

Velv Silver badge
Mushroom

"the British government sent the entire nation a text message saying "Stay at home.""

I'm guessing Dominic Cummings didn't get that text message, even though he wrote it.

Sack Cummings now Boris, we're not going to let this go.

Laughing UK health secretary launches COVID-19 Test and Trace programme with glitchy website and no phone app

Velv Silver badge
Mushroom

"the plan is to hold onto all contacts data for 20 years for 'research purposes'"

I hope somebody finds written proof of this soon. This government has already lost the trust of the public, this is another nail in the coffin.

Can we storm Parliament and undertake a revolution? Can't wait for the next General Election, the country won't be here in four years.

UK MPs to off-payroll workers: Delay IR35 reforms until 2023? You wish

Velv Silver badge
FAIL

"make a decision based on probabilities rather than a few black and white statements"

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!

This is EXACTLY the problem with IR35, it is subjective. Law MUST be objective, it must be black and white, or you get ambiguities based on the people making decisions.

Two people being assessed by two different HMRC auditors get different determinations, that is not fair. The same rules should be tested against the same criteria and you achieve a consistent result.

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal

Velv Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: It is your duty ^D^D^D^D obligation to install the app

"I'm sure app 'green' screenshots won't be hard to find"

Here in Edinburgh Lothian Buses has an M-Ticket app that When a ticket is “activated”, the app will generate an animated ticket on your smartphone screen.

No "screenshot" will do, it's a moving image pattern background with the current time counting and a four digit code that changes daily. That is not easy to fake especially on iOS where in theory the App must be approved by Apple which takes days if not weeks. Quite sure a digital passport would have similar protections should the government be stupid enough to try and implement such controls.

Velv Silver badge
Big Brother

Big Data Rules

Big data is brilliant. Centralising all the details of people, movements and interactions allows the greatest range of analysis and could provide the greatest of benefit to our society, even the world. For greatest analytical benefit it should also capture age, sex, height, weight and other health data when first launched (manually I guess, while it could take existing health data from some OS and Apps, not everyone uses those).

And there's not a single person on the planet I'd trust with that data.

Won't be downloading it unless they pass a law mandating it be installed and used, after which I see Parliament burning to the ground.

Square peg of modem won't fit into round hole of PC? I saw to it, bloke tells horrified mate

Velv Silver badge
Boffin

Sawing bits off ISA cards was quite common, I often found at least a part of the blank bit ahead of the notch was fouled by a capacitor or some other component.

Academics demand answers from NHS over potential data timebomb ticking inside new UK contact-tracing app

Velv Silver badge
Go

Time to encourage everyone to watch "V for Vendetta" again

Prank warning: You do know your smart speaker's paired with Spotify over the internet, don't you?

Velv Silver badge
Flame

Excuse my ignorance, but do these speakers not come with a control app that lets you manage who is or can connect? Delete pairings? Or do they need a factory reset to clear authorisations? Or do the connections persist a reset? Don't get me wrong, the Spotify over the Internet connection is a concern, but devices you cannot manage have to take some of the blame.

Lords: New IR35 off-payroll tax rules 'riddled with problems, unfairnesses, unintended consequences'

Velv Silver badge
Mushroom

"by declaring no income yet taking home a huge pay packet each month"

All income must be declared on the SA100 Self Assessment or they are conducting tax evasion and should go to jail. Pretty sure you'll find the vast majority declaring their "huge pay packet" on their SA100.

Velv Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Dividends

In theory Dividends can only be paid out of profits, and profits have already been assessed for Corporation tax, so the status was that (some) tax had already been paid.

Up until the recent dividend tax introduction every person in the UK was entitled to an exemption against any personal income tax equivalent to the corporation tax already paid. This meant that there no additional tax to pay until your total income exceeded the higher rate band. i.e. HMRC received the same amount of tax, it just came from two different tax sources (assuming both Company and person are tax resident in the UK).

It could be argued that dividend income should be taxed fully again, however there is evidence that simply leads to businesses finding alternative methods of dispersing profits (e.g. share buybacks to raise the value of the individual share price, or alternative investment).

Velv Silver badge
Mushroom

"#5 The measures impose no new tax, they merely seek to prevent avoidance of an existing one."

Not entirely true. Pension contributions for an employee are made before tax is deducted, working inside IR35 they are deducted after the tax, so yes, a new tax on pension contributions has been introduced. Legitimate Expenses are similarly impacted, for an employee they are deducted before Corporation Tax, under IR35 expenses are covered after the tax has been deducted.

Jolyon Maugham has fallen into the trap that every person performing a role is on an equal footing when the reality is they are not. Employees and Contractors are engaged on different terms, and receive remuneration on different scales.

Employees have protections contractors do not, and employees receive a range of benefits that a contractor must account for out of the gross payment they receive (holidays, sick pay, etc is all part of the gross payment, contractors still receive them, just not from the client as part of the package).

IR35 specifically targets the little man, forces them out of the market and paves the way for the large consultancy companies. Take the money away from the people and put it back in the pockets of the rich.

Velv Silver badge
Boffin

"the Treasury made an official announcement in February, it said the rules would be reformed, rather than reviewed."

IR35 needs scrapped completely and the entire Income Tax system overhauled, it is no longer fit for purpose.

National Insurance is an anachronism that should have long since been buried as it no longer "pays for pensions and the NHS" - all tax from all sources covers all government spend so stop pretending to people that certain taxes are of more value than others.

A simple set of bands of income tax for all income is a much fairer system, less loopholes that need stupid subjective assessment such as IR35. And that is IR35s major problem - it is a subjective view of an engagement, an opinion formed by HMRC based on how some wooly questions are answered and how the assessor feels on the day (have they made their quota this month?). Simple banding is objective - "Did you have £xxxxx income last year, then you are due xx% in tax"

Iran military manages to keep a straight face while waggling miracle widget that 'can detect coronavirus from 100m away'

Velv Silver badge
Facepalm

Why were any of them wearing masks? Surely if the device can detect Coronavirus at 100m they've got prior warning of any potentially infectious person or surface.

Or don't they trust their own technology?

Zoom's end-to-end encryption isn't actually end-to-end at all. Good thing the PM isn't using it for Cabinet calls. Oh, for f...

Velv Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: wait, what?

"Government Communications Headquarters"

Yes, Government, but which Government.

GCHQ was set up to monitor Communications by everyone else, not provide Communications for the Government.

California tech industry gets its first big coronavirus hit: RSA Conference attendee infected, in serious condition

Velv Silver badge
Flame

Re: Its worse than you think

Then they shouldn’t continue to vote for parties that are trying to perpetuate the private health industry and prevent medical cover for all.

Turkeys and thanksgiving.

Like a Virgin, hacked for the very first time... UK broadband ISP spills 900,000 punters' records into wrong hands from insecure database

Velv Silver badge
FAIL

Yup, a number of years ago Virgin Media sent me a reminder of my password by snailmail.

Researchers trick Tesla into massively breaking the speed limit by sticking a 2-inch piece of electrical tape on a sign

Velv Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Sigh.

"that is considered a more serious offence"

No it's not, there is no such offence. You could only be charged under "dangerous driving" or "driving without due care and attention" and only if it could be proven you were a sufficient danger to other road users.

Facebook tells US tax bods: Swear to God, we were only worth $6.5bn in 2010 because we were menaced by... MySpace and smartphones

Velv Silver badge
Flame

Much as I'd love to see Billions ripped out of Facebook I have to question why it has taken the IRS 10 years to reach this conclusion. They must have assessed the deal at the time and didn't raise any question over the valuation at that point, or in the immediate few years afterwards. I hope someone at the IRS gets sacked for this fuck up too.

Assange lawyer: Trump offered WikiLeaker a pardon in exchange for denying Russia hacked Democrats' email

Velv Silver badge
Terminator

Life in a US prison might be the only way to longevity, I don't see Assange being allowed to live very long if he's released back into the real world. He's got the dirty on a number of people and we all know how certain "authorities" react to people they don't like. Novichok cocktail anyone?

Private equity ponies up £2m to help launch satellites from sunny Shetland by next year

Velv Silver badge
Coat

Re: Ha

No, the Scots weighed up the potential that England would support Independence for Scotland and all agreed there is no way on earth they wanted to make that many English people happy (paraphrased from Andy Parsons)

Velv Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Ideal

Pretty sure the USA has some of it's own deserts. Much of Texas is on a similar latitude to North Africa since you mentioned the Sahara

Velv Silver badge
Mushroom

Payload of 300Kg you say

More than enough to carry off Boris Johnson

Auf wiedersehen, pet: UK Deutsche Bank contractors plan to leave rather than take 25% pay cut for IR35 – report

Velv Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: I currently collect £24k VAT

"..which is then reclaimed by your client."

VAT is not reclaimable if your core business is VAT exempt products, such as banking. HMRC is going to lose all that VAT from every contractor being forced down the PAYE route in the Financial Services sector, a substantial proportion of all contractors if the government figures are to be believed. From my own experience that VAT is more than the Tax and NI I would pay if I was PAYE. Net loss to HMRC.

Google burns down more than 500 private-data-stealing, ad-defrauding Chrome extensions installed by 1.7m netizens

Velv Silver badge

Re: Google already requires a credit card on file for extension developers

I’m not sure it could be proven in court that they have broken any law.

They’ve probably broken the T&Cs, but is there hard evidence of anything else? Not saying it’s right, but what can you do.

HPE's orders to expert accountant in Autonomy trial revealed

Velv Silver badge
Holmes

Re: Expert witnesses are supposed to be independent

Seems to have been very poor work from everyone on the HP side from the very first day it was suggested they buy Autonomy.

Either that, or someone on the HP side is burying the good work done by some experts in order to protect someone else in HP.

Velv Silver badge
Mushroom

This must be an American thing, telling witnesses what their testimony should should be in Court? Seems to be a very common occurrence these days

EU tells UK: Cut the BS, sign here, and you can have access to Galileo sat's secure service

Velv Silver badge
Mushroom

Money

OK, I know the NHS really needs that extra £350million a week it's getting, but maybe we could skim £50million a week off that and build our own Global Positioning System.

A system for the Empire. Best system in the World.

ICANN't approve the sale of .org to private equity – because California's Attorney General has... concerns

Velv Silver badge
Boffin

There is a LOT of investment in a namespace, so while a new domain in and of itself might be cheap, moving one's internet presence to a new domain is not cheap.

There then remains the "who will pay for the .org"? Example. children.org moves to children.nac. children.org is not renewed, goes on the market, and is bought by nefarious people who pretend to be a charity.

This is non-profit organisations who are typically using all their money for more worthwhile causes than lining the pockets of ICANN, PIC, and whoever else is involved.

It's good to talk: Union says IBM failed to consult system support techies as Scottish Power contract nears end

Velv Silver badge
Terminator

Re: Well IBM is one problem

"Signing up to pay someone else to take of things for ten years at a time is a waste of money and resources,"

Sometime it isn't purely about the immediate money.

I worked for a large organisation where the IT support budget was a black hole, an expense the business had to pay without understanding what they were paying for Project changes were constant and true costs were obscured in the project/maintenance/operations mashup.

By outsourcing IT Support it was possible to demonstrate just what, or more importantly, what the business was not getting for its money. It took many years for the business to agree up front exactly what it wanted and stop changing the goalposts every six months. 10 years outsourced and support was brought back in house under control.

I'm not defending outsourcing, its a shitty experience for most people, but it is sometimes the best was to achieve a business outcome.

Everyone loves our new desktop web search design so much – the one with ads that look like links – that we're tweaking it, says Google

Velv Silver badge
Coat

Re: Wouldn't it be Loverly

Here's what google can do...

You can have an ad-free experience when searching, but you must be signed in to google.

Google can harvest what you search (as they do today) but instead of directly placing ads in the results, they can sell those results to the other ad-flingers who paste every other page you visit with adverts (see <-- left and --> right)

Curse of Boeing continues: Now a telly satellite it built may explode, will be pushed up to 500km from geo orbit

Velv Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Stupid (I'm quite sure) question...

"Plunge into the sun"

D'oh! it in the text on every battery - "do not dispose of in fire"

Velv Silver badge
Pirate

Re: Where will the bits go?

OK, I appreciate this isn't the "environmentally friendly" option, but why don't they just keep pushing until the fuel runs out? Isn't that the least dangerous option?

A parking orbit is a great idea if you make the assumption that in the future someone develops the technology to undertake the recovery. That's pretty much the world of cryogenics, gambling that someone in the future wants to spend money to get you back.

Velv Silver badge
Headmaster

"and are designed to literally last decades"

Or not, otherwise we wouldn't be in this position.

Xerox to nominate up to 11 directors to HP's board in hostile takeover push – report

Velv Silver badge
Boffin

I have to say that as a sensible investor I tend to look at anything Carl Ichan wants as being against the best interests of the majority of ordinary shareholders.

LastPass stores passwords so securely, not even its users can access them

Velv Silver badge
Coat

"unless you need to keep your kids out of the amazon account"

No the Amazon account I'm worried about the kids finding the password for. So glad the UK Porn ID got delayed though

Apple calls BS on FBI, AG: We're totally not dragging our feet in murder probe iPhone decryption. PS: No backdoors

Velv Silver badge
Headmaster

Where are Apple products "made"

Where is the hardware assembled - Peoples Republic of China.

Where is iOS developed? USA. Without iOS the hardware is useless.

Problems at Oracle's DynDNS: Domain registration customers transferred at short notice, nameserver records changed

Velv Silver badge
Mushroom

Oracle may not be able to profit from it, but the very last thing they are going to do is allow anyone else to attempt to make money off it. Welcome to Oracle.

UK data watchdog kicks £280m British Airways and Marriott GDPR fines into legal long grass

Velv Silver badge
Boffin

Re: What's the point?

While the unintended consequences you point out are a risk, in each case the "staff" were incentivised to commit their crime directly (i.e. they could make a personal difference to their remuneration).

I don't think with something as fundamentally different as major fines for corporations issued by a body that there is the same opportunity for an individual in the ICO to "line their own pockets" in the same way as your Cop or Security Guard.

You need to trust the integrity of your staff to an extent, and have audit controls to monitor compliance.

Y2K quick-fix crick? 1920s come roaring back after mystery blip at UK's vehicle licensing agency

Velv Silver badge
Coat

Surely this just demonstrates that we have such a lack of ability at fixing the patches that buy us a little time all sensible projects should be coding in five digit years.

13/01/02020 anyone?

National Lottery Sentry MBA hacker given nine months in jail after swiping just £5

Velv Silver badge
Coat

Re: The real crime here

Presumably the other perpetrator is repaying the remaining £8

UK government review of IR35 tax reforms? Like a broken pencil, say contractors groups – it'll be utterly pointless

Velv Silver badge

Re: I am a genuine business, yet I'm now getting hassled by my clients!!

Big companies are just applying a broad brush to this which is crazy.

Big companies are applying the broad brush as they are risk averse.

HMRC determines roles are inside IR35.

HMRC demands tax be paid immediately and must continue to be paid until a tribunal. Millions of pounds grabbed by HMRC through their interpretation of poorly written legislation.

Tribunals takes 2-3 years to reach a determination before any chance the company can get its money back.

What's that? Encryption's OK now? UK politicos Brexit from Whatsapp to Signal

Velv Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Ha

Exemptions! You can register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) in an attempt to decline Marketing calls (and any sensible Marketing company would comply), however Political Parties are exempt and don’t need to check the list to see if you’re interested in their “marketing”. Politics at its best.

Velv Silver badge
Coat

Re: Having to switch due to the number of participants.

Bernard Woolley: “That's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I give confidential security briefings. You leak. He has been charged under section 2a of the Official Secrets Act.”

Sir John Redwood backs IR35 campaign, notes review would have to start 'immediately' before new off-payroll working rules kick in

Velv Silver badge

Re: Try contracting before commenting on it.

“ The day the Revenue chase PwC, Fujitsu, Leidos, BT or any other big subby that puts someone on a desk doing what is an employee role, then we can chat.”

IR35 applies to all medium and large companies. If PwC et al are putting third party contractors on desks then PwC are on the hook for ensuring the IR35 status. Doesn’t matter how many layers of intermediaries, it’s turtles all the way down.

If they are putting employees on desks then those employees will already be paying employee PAYE tax and NI, but PwC are making a massive profit on the day rate. Now what possible incentive could there be for the large Consultancies who write reports for HMRC to represent a position which would penalise the small business competition...

Velv Silver badge
Headmaster

Fair enough if your customers can reclaim the VAT and it’s all part of cash flow.

A substantial number of the companies who engage huge numbers of contractors are banks and financial services organisations who provide VAT Exempt or Zero Rated products, and they cannot reclaim any VAT they are charged. So while VAT and IR35 are not directly linked, the additional NI and Income Tax is offset to a reduced VAT take.

Americans should have strong privacy-protecting encryption ...that the Feds and cops can break, say senators

Velv Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Really?

"massacres in the US are almost always NOT perpetrated with such 'illegal' assault weapons, but instead with consumer versions that are easier and legal to obtain."

DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING, WE HAVE A WINNER

Now do you see where the problem lies?

Velv Silver badge
Boffin

Re: re: personal

Sounds like the defence didn't do a very good job if they didn't discover the building issue prior to the trial. I'd be suing the lawyers for the compensation.

Velv Silver badge
Headmaster

"Apple still has the keyskeys"

the plural "s" is important. There are multiple keys involved in every device.

Apple do indeed retain some keys to allow them to update the device. No delusions, they do Other keys, in particular in Apple's case, are generated at first configuration and stored securely on the device and Apple has no access to them.

Yet more keys are generated when you configure certain Apps, and they are secured behind the device user owned keys.

So where do the Government want to put the responsibility? Because Apple (or any other device manufacturer) are not in control of all places keys are generated.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020