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
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

Life and Style

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'


peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
London's New Year's Eve fireworks event is going to be ticketed this year for the first time at £10 a head

Revellers will have to pay to see New Year's Eve fireworks in London


Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage

...and the perfect time to visit them

Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)

Newcastle winger reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Life and Style

Try putting that one on your Christmas list
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Recruitment Consultant - Soho - IT, Pharma, Public Sector

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35,000 first year: SThree: The SThree group i...

Sales Executive

£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...

Payroll & Accounts Assistant

£20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week