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Taxing question

Occasionally, we buy flowers for staff who have experienced exceptional events such as the death of a close relative, a birth, or to congratulate them on a new appointment.

Recently, as a result of pressure from HM Revenue and Customs and threats of fines, our local authority has insisted on knowing the details of such gifts and charging us tax. An example was of a #163;29 bunch of flowers that resulted in additional payments of #163;7.25 tax and #163;0.93 National Insurance.

I cannot help but question an official attitude that demands payments of such small amounts and that must cost much more to administer than is gained. In the light of recent revelations about MPs' expenses, a decision to charge tax and National Insurance on a bunch of daffs looks even more inequitable.

Dr Richard Greenfield, Headteacher, St Edmund's School, London.

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