* Posts by The Onymous Coward

69 posts • joined 1 Feb 2012


UK government puts IR35 tax reforms on hold for a year in wake of coronavirus crisis

The Onymous Coward

It's a bit late now. If anything, deferring just before the deadline will actually give companies more work to do - everyone has either left or prepared to switch to an umbrella. Now it all has to be rolled back.

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

The Onymous Coward

IR35 originally came about because Arthur Anderson (remember them?) lobbied the government to implement something that would stop one man band consultancies undercutting them while providing a better service.

The Onymous Coward


Of course HMRC could achieve all of the stated aims of IR35 review without the uncertainty and opacity by implementing one simple rule. Company directors may only take 25% (or whatever) of sales as a dividend in any one year.

Take Sajid Javid's comments on IR35 UK contractor rules with a bucket of salt, warns tax guru

The Onymous Coward

I don't understand why they think IR35 is a good way of making contractors pay more tax. It's complicated, vague and full of loopholes. They should have just created a rule along the lines of "companies with 5 or fewer shareholders may only pay out 25% of profit as dividend" or somesuch. Same effect, no getting around it, no nonsense about "personal service companies" and "deemed payments".

What's that? Uber isn't actually worth $82bn? Reverse-gear IPO shows the gig (economy) is up

The Onymous Coward

Re: Efficient Market

I cycle around London at an average of 20mph. Drivers would kill to do even half that as an average. But they do nothing to safely allow me past - they just clog the roads up and pollute the air.

The Onymous Coward

Re: Efficient Market

One man's "offensive" is another man's "assertive". I'm not sure what you mean by "offensive". Taking the lane? Flicking Vs?

You ascribe a single riding style to all cyclists. That's untrue and nonsensical. If you ride dangerously, you die. In London, even if you ride safely, you can still die. There are morons using all modes of transport, however the data shows that cyclists are about 8 times more likely to also have a driver's point of view than vice versa. Your point about cars being more deadly than bikes means what? That riders should just allow themselves to be bullied off the road?

"I ride a bike too" is the new "Some of my best friends are black." It tends to be used by people who pootle around the park with the kids on a weekend, then get in their cars and punishment-pass those of us using a bike as transport, on the roads.

The Onymous Coward

Re: Efficient Market

Cyclists aren't a separate species, Jake. In the UK, 85% of people who sometimes ride bikes also sometimes drive cars. Only 1 in 10 drivers also cycle, however.

Do you now see why your post is ludicrous?

Idiot admits destroying scores of college PCs using USB Killer gizmo, filming himself doing it

The Onymous Coward

Re: Silly "victims"!

Almost there - it's "leetnin".

Who had 'one week in' for a Making Tax Digital c0ckup? Well done, you win... absolutely nothing

The Onymous Coward

Re: Anyone got a script?

Amazing. That's the exact opposite of what they said when I asked them. Actually, thinking about it, not amazing at all.

Be interesting to see if they will actually support the numerous OAuth redirect URLs that will need to be configured.

The Onymous Coward

Re: Anyone got a script?

Don't ask me - ask HMRC. They mandate that anyone who connects to their API is an ICO-registered DC.

The Onymous Coward

Oh dear, it seems the downtime facilitated deployment of code that returns HTTP 500 for VAT return submissions.


The Onymous Coward

Re: Anyone got a script?

Here goes: www.xlvat.com

The Onymous Coward

Re: Anyone got a script?

The problem you'll find is that, unless you want to share your production credentials (I assume you don't, as you'll be on the hook for anything that uses them), everyone who wants to use your script will also have to demo it to HMRC, get it approved and get their own credentials - oh and they'll need to register as a data controller with the ICO and pay the £30 annual fee.

The Onymous Coward

The MTD service is being taken down for an hour tonight with less than 24 hours' notice. My heart says it's so they can fix their data, but my head tells me they're rolling out another breaking change like they did last week.

The Onymous Coward

Re: Anyone got a script?

Not quite; you have to save your LibreOffice spreadsheet in Excel format - you don't even have to have Excel installed, as the web app reads the file.

But I digress - yes, it was a pointless thing to automate, especially given that the stated aim is to reduce fraud, which MTD VAT does nothing to mitigate.

The Onymous Coward

Re: Anyone got a script?

It's just a REST API so you could just send a few HTTP requests in from Postman or whatever - if HMRC would give you production credentials following your demonstration to them of your approach, which they won't.

If you don't want to install anything and want to keep using your existing spreadsheet, web-based Excel bridging software is available from people like me for not much money (i.e. a tenner a year). I don't think I'm allowed to advertise on here though, so shan't leave a link.

The Onymous Coward

"As we did during the pilot phase, HMRC is continuing to ignore developers, thereby ensuring that our service is unreliable and that teething problems are, after a period of being waved-away, resolved slowly, if at all."


Facebook acknowledges asking you to invite your dead pals to parties is 'painful', plans to fix it

The Onymous Coward

If it's so upsetting, just stop using Facebook. The way it gets written about, you'd think participation was mandatory.

Sick of being the bad guy, UK taxman needs YOU(?) to help it be more 'customer-centric'

The Onymous Coward


You mean the one that's borked for many users as they've made a hash of the MTD migration but won't admit it publicly?

6 days to go, no sweat, just more than a million UK firms still to sign up to Making Tax Digital

The Onymous Coward

Developer of a cheap Web based VAT filer for Excel fans here.

The MTD go live has been a total clusterf*ck. HMRC's API returning false data, returning payloads that don't meet their own spec, blaming everything on us software vendors but refusing to deal directly with us to rectify their issues because GDPR.

The support model is a mess. Their technical team can't access the data they need to troubleshoot, but the data team don't have the technical knowledge to investigate issues properly. On top of all that, there's a 30+ minute wait on the user helpdesk line, and those users who are lucky enough to get through just get told it's the software vendors' fault.

Amateurs is too kind a word.

HMRC accused of not understanding its own IR35 tax reforms ahead of private sector rollout

The Onymous Coward

I've come to the conclusion that HMRC are a bunch of amateurs. I've dealt with them for my personal taxation, I've dealt with them for my business taxation and, now that my company markets a product that uses their Maxing Tax Digital API, I've dealt with them as a developer (if you want a laugh, take a look at https://github.com/hmrc/vat-api). So it comes as no great surprise that they do not understand their own tax code.

Peak Apple: This time it's SERIOUS, Tim

The Onymous Coward

Still using my iPhone SE and 2010 MacBook Air with cash ready and waiting to replace them when Apple again make products I actually want to buy.

Dutch boyband hopes to reverse Brexit through the power of music

The Onymous Coward

Re: Slightly wrong.

I think he means the public vote that had the highest turnout of any vote in UK history. If you cast your mind back to 2016, you'll remember that the actual opinion polls were completely wrong.

Microsoft sysadmin hired for fake NetWare skills keeps job despite twitchy trigger finger

The Onymous Coward

Despite having many years of experience as a Product Manager, I still get agents phoning me asking if I'm interested in a Project Manager role.

In ten years of contracting, I'm yet to deal with an agency that adds anything of value to the hiring process.

Apple's launch confirms one thing: It's determined to kill off the laptop for iPads

The Onymous Coward

Re: Would they allow it if...

The most distinguished online trolls reside beneath Tickle Cock Bridge, Castleford.

The grand-plus iPhone is the new normal – this is no place for paupers

The Onymous Coward

Is it just me?

Apple have now killed off my favourite laptop form factor (the old Macbook Air) and now my favourite phone form factor (iPhone SE)

I'd have paid good money for a retina Air with 16GB of RAM, and I'd pay good money for a smaller phone with up to date specs, but Apple won't make them. Shirley I'm not alone...?

Gmail is secure. Netflix is secure. Together they're a phishing threat

The Onymous Coward

This <> a story

This isn't even a story; it's part of RFC 822. I use this gmail feature all the time and find it very useful. Some use cases:

- Abusing offers such as "10% off your first order when you sign up to our mailing list".

- Managing multiple accounts on the same website, for example several personas on a single social media service.

- I recently had a website refuse to forget an old billing address that I couldn't change or delete, which meant my card payment wouldn't authorise. Support was useless, so I just created a new account, with an extra dot in my email address.

- Throwaway email addresses without having to use another service (mye.maila.ddre.ss@gmail.com)

What's happened is that a developer who thinks he's too clever to fall for a phishing scam nearly fell for a phishing scam, so he's looking for anyone other than himself to blame.

Google sued by Gab over Play Store booting

The Onymous Coward

Re: So Google told them to fuck off

"Since when was no-platforming neo Nazis wrong?"

Congratulations, you've made my argument for me. Gab aren't neo Nazis. The majority of people no-platformed by people calling themselves liberal aren't neo Nazis either. To simply call someone who disagrees with you a Nazi is to lose the argument.

We used to have a thing on the internet called Godwin's law, you know.

The Onymous Coward

Re: So Google told them to fuck off

The "alt-wrong". Very cocksure for an anonymous coward.

It's this no-platforming, refusal to engage in debate, dismissal of any argument as simply "alt-wrong" that has led to an increase in genuine extremism. The branding of any and all opposition to so-called liberalism as alt-right/fascism is the death of genuine liberty.

Google have a monopoly on Android app distribution. Apple have a monopoly on iOS app distribution. To deny this is to support corporatism.

How does Apple chief Tim Cook's package look now? Like $89m

The Onymous Coward

"Apple outperformed the middle third of the companies in the S&P 500"

Surely they outperformed the bottom two-thirds?

The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

The Onymous Coward

We've always done the standard sausage, bacon, eggs, beans, mushrooms, hash browns, fried bread and, err... kidneys. Always had 'em.

Oh and it's called a BREADCAKE.

10Mbps universal speeds? We'll give you 30Mbps, pleads Labour in leaked manifesto

The Onymous Coward

Re: Blah blah blah Labour debts

You know it's not "corporations" that end up paying corporation tax don't you? It's the customers of those corporations.

Amazing new boffinry breakthrough: Robots are eating our brains

The Onymous Coward

Re: @ The Onymous Coward

@DougS - I agree; my point was more that the long sabbatical is much more prevalent than it was even ten years ago. We're /on the way/ to working fewer hours, but I'm not sure whether a legal, cultural or economic impulse will usher in the 4-day week.

I would suggest that most office-based staff already do a 4-day week by dint of long lunch breaks, copious web browsing and the odd day "working" from home, but it would be nice not to have to pretend.

The Onymous Coward

Re: The workforce of the future?

I think we are getting closer. I'm 35, but have already had two sabbaticals totalling three years. It's easy enough to do if you're a) an IT contractor and b) willing to forego unnecessary shiny shiny such as a new Merc on the drive every year or a home cinema setup to rival IMAX.

Two new Raspberry Pi models emerge steaming from the oven

The Onymous Coward

Are they going to make sufficient quantities of these or are they going to be almost unobtainable, like the Zero?

My experience of selling hardware based on a Zero does not endear me to further use of RPi products for my next venture.

Why I just bought a MacBook Air instead of the new Pro

The Onymous Coward

I agree with the author's sentiment.

2011 MacBook Air user here. SSD failed a few months ago - replaced it with a 960GB SSD. Other than that, it has been flawless. The battery may be next on the list as it currently only lasts about three hours. I hook it up to a Thunderbolt display for Photoshop, the odd bit of GoPro editing and Garageband. I for the top CPU at the time, a 1.8GHz i7, so the only thing that holds it back is the lowly 4GB RAM.

I would love a speed bump and a retina display on both the laptop and external display, but Apple simply don't offer it, so when the machine dies, I'll have no choice but to go elsewhere for a replacement.

KCL staff offered emotional support, clergy chat to help get over data loss

The Onymous Coward

Re: Always back up your data!

Seems like you're covered for everything except a house fire, burglary, electrical surge and virus that attacks D-Link NAS boxes.

Unless your data is almost worthless, which doesn't sound like the case here, it's worth paying for an offsite backup service. The one I use costs £4 a month and definitely works, having had my laptop's SSD fail shortly after my NAS was misplaced in a house move. I don't think Mrs Coward would ever have forgiven me if I'd lost 400GB of photos.

BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it

The Onymous Coward

Really, it would be easier to do away with this nonsense and put iPlayer behind a paywall. But, the BBC don't want to do they, because they'd find out how many* people are willing to pay for their programmes when there's no coercion.

* not many

OnePlus X: Dinky little Android smartie with one or two minuses

The Onymous Coward

Re: "Dinky little"

I've just bought an iPhone 5s for this very reason. I want my phone to fit comfortably in my pocket.

Argos offers 'buy now pay in 3 months' deal

The Onymous Coward

I worked at Argos on weekends when I was a student. They provide absolutely no training on the contents of their catalogue, so whenever anyone had a question about a particular product, we'd go and fetch whoever it was in the stockroom who was into the product in question. Me - hifi, computers, musical instruments. A bloke who was doing a plumbing course was an expert on washing machines and dishwashers. Baby stuff? Better send them over to the jewellery counter to talk to the new mums.

Most of the world still dependent on cash

The Onymous Coward

That's it, get rid of cash and we can have nice negative interest rates for all the bankster parasites.

Four tuner frenzy: The all-you-can-EEat TV Freeview PVR

The Onymous Coward

This seems to me to be a step in the right direction. Why implement video on demand using millions of separate video streams, necessitating huge server capacity, massive bandwidth etc, when there are already existing mechanisms of broadcasting the content which can then be stored locally?

Virgin Media customers suffer YET MORE YouTube buffering blues

The Onymous Coward

Re: We've had problems for 2 months!

Let's see how that state-funded road network's doing... ah yes, it's way over capacity and riddled with potholes.

I suspect that the answer to many people's broadband woes (including my own) is to pony up for a business service with proper support.

I also suspect that, if the government were involved in provision of the nation's broadband services, we'd all still be on 512k ADSL.

The Onymous Coward

On the verge of leaving VM, but wondering if they're all as bad as eachother. Yesterday morning's call with a VM support bod:

Me: "Hello, my modem won't sync, I have a single flashing green light, no blue light."

VM: "Are you connecting wirelessly or wired?"

Me: "Both, but it won't matter, the modem won't sync."

VM: "Ah I see, all the modems in your area are offline."

Me: "OK, so you're on the case already then?"

VM: "No, you're the first to call about it, so let's book you an engineer visit. Are you around on Monday?"

Me: "Why does an engineer need to come to my house if everyone in the area is affected?"

VM: "Not enough people have called in yet, so we're not yet treating it as an area issue."

Me: "But you could update your fault page, send out an engineer now and save yourselves dozens of calls."

VM: "That's not how it works I'm afraid."

TL;DR: "What's that, you can't get into Outlook? Ah yes, I see the server is down. I'll reboot it when a few more people have called in."

VW's Scirocco diesel: A sheep in Wolfsburg’s clothing

The Onymous Coward

Re: Crikey...

No goons here. I'm a car guy. I read the reg. I see a car article on the reg, so I read it. It's rubbish; I comment. What's wrong with that?

The Onymous Coward

"The lines are important" - In that case, why buy one of the most awkward-looking cars on the road, in the least imaginative colour?

Not sure why you're bothering with these car reviews, they read like spec-sheets. Surely you can think of something better to use as filler?

Outage STILL hitting Virgin Media Business broadband customers

The Onymous Coward

The Super Hub is a terrible piece of hardware. I run mine in modem mode because I don't want to use Virgin's awful DNS, so it does very little work. I still have to reboot it most days because it is completely unable to recover from a dropped connection.

Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up

The Onymous Coward

I phoned VM and spoke to someone in tech support who seemed to genuinely want to help, asking me to run pings, trace routes and nslookups (although I use my own DNS). After half an hour of sounding reasonably interested in fixing things, he advised me to restart my router :-(

As we were finishing the call and I was waiting for a reference number, the helpdesk chappie exclaimed "oh my system's just restarted for no reason!". "Oh, it's just like my TiVo box then," I said. "Different help desk..." came his response.

I spent some time this evening looking at broadband-only providers and Freeview HD PVRs. If Xilo are widely praised and offer a monthly rolling contract, they may well have a new customer...



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