VAT men take a cut off hairdressers' saloons

City Diary

The beady-eyed VAT inspectors from Customs & Excise have claimed another victim - hairdressers. Inspectors visited Simon Harris Hair Design of London recently and decided that the self-employed stylists working there should be included in the business's overall VAT bill.

According to Bob Harrison, a VAT consultant with accountants Moores Rowland: "Many salons use self-employed stylists and charge them for use of a chair, a junior and other facilities such as hairdryers and shampoos. This has allowed them to remain below the VAT registered limit - until now!"

Mr Harrison says that Customs has fought a long war with hairdressers over this thorny issue. Any hairdresser who appears to have a substantial business and is not VAT registered could now face enquiries by inspectors and possible penalties.

The Customs men have even formed six teams to target "the shadow economy" which will include offending crimping parlours.

I wonder where the inspectors get their own hair cut?

A 19-year-old student studying surveying at Northumbria University recently received a letter from Barclays Bank informing him that he was pounds 40,279,560 overdrawn.

I've heard of student loans but this is ridiculous. A shocked David Close of County Durham read on: "This is in excess of your agreed limit. Please arrange to pay in within 10 days to bring the account into order and refrain from issuing further cheques in the meantime."

David earns pounds 30 a week from part-time work. What could save him now? A debt for equity swap? Floating on AIM?

On contacting Barclays, David was given a fulsome apology. His overdraft was in fact pounds 209. Someone had typed in an account number where the balance should have been. If only Eurotunnel's debts were so easy to solve.

Just two years after joining Nomura as co-head of equities, Robert Mapstone has "decided to pursue opportunities elsewhere." There are mutterings in City wine bars that his departure was not entirely unexpected.

Mr Mapstone joined from NatWest Markets in 1994 and worked alongside Basil Postan. Mr Postan then left to join Credit Lyonnais Laing at the beginning of 1995.

The Japanese securities giant said yesterday that it did not know of Mr Mapstone's plans, and the man himself was unavailable for comment. His co-head, Takashi Tsutsui, takes over as sole head of equities at Nomura.

At the same time Simon Fry, head of Nomura debt markets, "has been invited to assist in the co-ordination and strategic development of the Equity business," says the company.

Mr Fry joined Nomura from CS First Boston two years ago to build up the former's asset trading team. A year later he was promoted to head up debt trading. Now, another year down the line, he's sorting out the equities side.

All the rapidly ascending Mr Fry needs to do now is a spot of investment banking and the chief executive's private banqueting suite is his. Or so those pundits in the wine bars are saying ....

You've had the Baby Boomers - the post-war generation that became hippies in the Sixties and are now greying fast. In the next Millennium they will transform into the Papy Boomers.

From 2005 European economies will be hit hard by a bulge of former Baby Boomers reaching retirement. They have had so few children that the "dependence ratio", which measures the number of workers paying for every pensioner, will drop from 4 in 1990, to 2 by about 2025. French derivatives planners have dubbed this the "Papy-boom". If current trends continue, at some point everyone will be retired. The French haven't come up with a name for that yet. How about "Bournemouth-boom"?

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Beverley James: Accounts Payable

£22,000 - £23,000: Beverley James: Are you looking for the opportunity to work...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower