|★ APPLICATIONS ★ BUREAUTIQUE ★ PERSONAL TAX PLANNER|8000PLUS) ★|
|Personal Tax Planner||Applications Bureautique|
Income Tax? Fun? O.K. We don't believe that either. But one thing you can say is that using Digita's Personal Tax Planner is more fun than filling out your tax return.
Putting it simply, Personal Tax Planner (PTP to its friends) is a program to fill out your tax return for you. When you run PTP, you are taken through a series of questions which are just like the sections of a tax return form. You type in details of your year's income, and PTP then produces a breakdown of how large a rebate you should claim. Equally, when you get your next bill, you can have a scientific basis for believing that the Inland Revenue has picked on you out of sheer spite.
Although PTP was written by a Chartered Accountant, the pricing of the program and its simplicity of use is such that it is aimed at 'the PCW owner in the street'.
Many happy returns
With PTP, you can work out the tax situation for a large number of people and store all the relevant details on disc. It would be conceivable to work out the tax for all your family and friends - a big plus for those really nosey PCW owners.
If anything to do with income tax is easy, the program is relatively simple to use. It runs by a series of menus, and you choose which details you want to enter or amend. You are then faced with a series of simple questions, with yes/no answers - if a claim category applies to you, you are then pestered with questions until it extracts enough information.
It seems to cover all the options for the self employed, part-time work and of course the interest from you Swiss bank account. You don't even have to worry if you get it wrong the first time (not realising the question on widow's bereavement allowance referred to you for instance) as you can go back and amend the details using the Amend Data Option.
What if I earned £100,000?
PTP also gives you the handy facility of working out any number of "what if" options. If you were making £100,000 a year, you can discover that you would be paying £53,000 in tax.
The moment of truth comes when you pick 'Income tax computation' and the final dreadful figure appears.
You can print this out if you are feeling brave. As married couples can be computed separately or together the program thoughtfully tells you at this stage which course is advisable, with how much you would gain or lose.
For those not in a pension scheme it also tells you what retirement annuity payments you need to take full advantage of the tax relief. The present package knows all the allowances for three tax years (84/85, 85/86, 86/87) but the makers intend to providing an update service that will keep all the relevant details correct no matter what the Chancellor throws at us. This might be a disadvantage to those who feel brave enough to change those details themselves but probably most users will be content to cough out £ 10 for an update.
The documentation is not infallible but seems to steer you through the intricacies well enough. There might not be enough details for some on how the country's tax system actually works, but many people are prepared to send off their tax return with a lot less background information.
With April 5th not far off, those of you who are enthusiastic (or masochistic) enough to really want to know what you are due to pay in income tax could well find this package well worth the investment of £20. For those who don't, just keep on writing “This can't be right" on your tax demands and send them to your accountant