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Matts (1087)

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I work for MessageLabs [] in Toronto, ON, Canada. I write spam filters, MTA software, high performance network software, string matching algorithms, and other cool stuff mostly in Perl and C.

Journal of Matts (1087)

Tuesday October 16, 2001
10:51 AM


[ #1008 ]

So, I got my end-of-business accounts back from my accountant today. Basically I ran out of money to keep going through the dot-bomb, and had to close shop and found a permie job in Gloucester, UK.

In sum, I owe:

Demon Internet: £730
Accountant: £1000
UK Government: £12,000

The last one, not surprisingly, is the stinger. I have about £2000 in my business account left over.

What happened here is kinda not my fault. The way my accountant had worked out my earnings is to split it into part salary and part dividends (profits on shares). This is a basic tax dodge that all contractors in the UK use to enable them to pay less taxes(*).

However, the way dividends work is you calculate how much your company made at the end of the year, and the profits can be split into the dividends. Note: this is done at the end of the year, after you've worked out what you earned over the whole year.

But of course, a contractor pays himself those dividends each month, which is exactly what I was doing.

When O'Reilly closed the s/w division and I lost my job there, I didn't have any income. But I continued to pay myself both my salary and dividends. Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to pay my mortgage.

But, now it's the end of the year (well, actually just the end of the business), and so my accountant has calculated how much I'm owed in dividends: £0.00

So, basically about half of what I took from my business account over the course of the year has to be back in there by the end of December.

What a fucking nice christmas this is going to be.

Oh, and Demon are holding on to et-al because I haven't paid them yet, as they are allowed to do when it comes to transfers. Fan-fucking-tastic. But I can pay them now out of the £2000, because I'm a sad net geek, and I'd rather have my domains and go to prison for tax fraud than pay the govt a penny.

(*) The reason we want to pay less taxes is because independant contractors are not entitled to holidays or sick leave, and so have to take care of those things themselves.

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  • And here I was grumping that you hadn't released that promising-sounding PPerl hack mentioned a while ago.

    You've got my sympathy, for all it's worth. Losing money is bad, but losing code and computing power seems worse, somehow.