It is that time of year again. Yes, the 31 January deadline for the dreaded self-assessment tax form is fast approaching and with it a mountain of paper-work and pain. Yet for those of you who are taking a break from a Sunday spent wading through receipts and cross-checking your spreadsheet, you'll be pleased to hear you are actually well ahead of the game. According to HMRC, not everyone is quite so diligent and each year the taxman receives some "imaginative" claims as to why people have been unable to fill out their forms on time. These range from, "my wife has been seeing aliens and won’t let me enter the house", or "my ex-wife left the tax return upstairs and I cannot retrieve it because I suffer from vertigo", to (The Weekly's personal favourite) "my business doesn't really do anything." What we'd really like to know though is whether these excuses relate to individual cases, or the imaginations of one increasingly desperate taxpayer?!
Given that much of the UK has been battered by gale force winds and snow this week, The Weekly thought that some respite was in order in the form of Knight Frank's Caribbean Insight 2018. The research gives an overview of the Caribbean's prime second-home destinations. It might not be a market that all our readership are 100 per cent familiar with, but it does represent a refreshing change from analysing industrial yields in Milton Keynes. Following poor economic performance in 2016 when the region’s economy contracted, and the trauma of Hurricane Irma last year that devastated the central belt, there are more positive signs that 2018 will witness the start of a recovery. And, if you are looking for a post-Brexit safe-haven and are minded to splash out on that Paradise Island villa with the infinity pool, Knight Frank has highlighted some key market trends. For example, in the wake of Hurricane Irma, the Florida Building Code (FBC) is being widely implemented and should improve build quality in the region; the Bahamas are firmly on the radar of Chinese investors in 2018; and the villas on ultra-exclusive Mustique are only going to get more expensive. Guess it is now or never then!
Following the announcement that the Bayeux Tapestry is to be displayed in the UK for the first time, Theresa May has been busy this week cementing Anglo-French relations with French President Emmanuel Macron. After signing the first joint treaty on the Calais border in 15 years, Macron wrapped up his visit by snapping an "Oscars-style” selfie at a private reception at the Victoria & Albert museum with smiles all round. Clearly keen to join the "love-in", Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reportedly seized the moment to float the idea of a new bridge across the English Channel claiming it is “ridiculous” that the UK and France are only connected by the Channel Tunnel. When it comes to Boris and "grandiose plans", however, The Weekly would urge a note of caution. Boris's previous plans have included an island airport in a bird-strike zone, the most expensive garden footbridge in history and a bus that was reportedly so hot inside it doubled up as a mobile sauna. Then again, there is probably no cause for immediate panic. This is a country that takes 40 years deciding whether or not it has the capability to build a third runway at Heathrow, let alone a 20 mile bridge passing over the world's busiest shipping lane. Given our past track record, he might as well be promising a new moon landing.