If they are lucky, when it is their turn have to do the FLR(M), they will have straight forward finances. Yesterday we had an appointment with our Attorney to get some additional guidance regarding our own. As you can probably infer from the above, my husband and I are not so clean-cut.
As I mentioned in a previous post, UKBA (UK Boarder Authority) does not follow GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles/Procedures) and, by extension, they also do not follow the rules governing HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) tax laws. As I also mentioned, I think this is rather dumb, but who am I and what do I know?
Anyway, because they don’t follow Tax laws, filling out their forms isn’t as transparent when one has multiple sources of income. In our case: my husband does side-job work, owns his own company as well as holds down a normal job (among other things, but the other stuff doesn’t make money, so… :P). In addition to these normal sources of income, he receives dividends from his company (a LTD, or Limited Liability for those who aren’t familiar with the jargon) where he is sole owner/shareholder.
Tax laws make us treat his own business income as employment income and we have to call out the dividends separately. But, according to UKBA, because he is sole owner and blah, blah, blah of his business, it falls under the category of Self-employment, and we have to lump the dividends in with the income with his side earnings from doing odd-jobs.
How they expect anyone to fill this stuff out or even understand what they want without being a professional immigration lawyer in the first place is beyond me. It’s possible that this is their way of stimulating the economy, but I digress; it’s a pain in the butt and I imagine a more than a fair chunk of applications get denied because people with complex finances can’t figure out what needs to go into what section because it conflicts with the format set out by HMRC.
Then there is my snit about the documentation. I get how they need something that verifies the information that you are submitting, but don’t you think that, I donno, it might be useful to (again, caps for emphasis) REQUIRE A FORM OF VERIFICATION THAT ACTUALLY EXISTS? One of the requirements is that we provide documentation that shows my husband has been registered as Sole-trader with the UK body called Company House – which is a subsidiary of HMRC as I understand it (I may be wrong on that, though). On the Company House website, anyone can look up a person/company that is registered, however it does not tell you in what way you are registered (Sole-trader, partnership, limited liability… etc. none of the above).
In short, they want you to give them supporting documentation that isn’t even real. Now, according to the book of me (because I know everything and I’m just awesome like that – you can laugh any time you want now), that falls under the category of: Stupid.
So there you have it, a bonus update for the week. Aren’t we special? XD