Time to wake up and smell the coffee! I have, it would appear, been paying far too much tax. Over the years, according to how well the scribbling business has done, an average of between 25% and 35% on my hard-earned dosh.
But no more. For thanks to the example of such stars as Google, Amazon and Facebook, who last year paid between 0.23% and absolutely zilch in tax on UK profits totalling billions, I now see the error of my ways. And I shall forever be indebted to Kris Engskov, Managing director of Starbucks Coffee UK, which has paid not a bean in tax in the last three years, despite posting sales of £1.2bn, who yesterday blogged that "Starbucks pays and will continue to pay our share of taxes in the UK to the letter of the law. We always have and always will."
So. What must I do? Well, for starters, I now realise that I have been utterly failing in my duty to exploit the value of my brand. Those of you who know me, and for whom I have written over the last few years, may erroneously have gotten the impression that I am a slightly ditzy journalist with an expensive taste in shoes. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Jane Fae (me) is of course entirely separate from Jane Fae (the brand) which is what editors are buying. It takes work to maintain this level of street cred, not to mention the unceasing overhead, including but not limited to waxing, tanning, gelling, hair styling and microdermabrasion (that's scrubbing to the rest of you). On the vexed question of whether I have or have not succumbed to the lure of collagen, my lips are sealed.
Then there's the wardrobe. And make-up time, which at an hourly rate of £40 per hour or part thereof all costs a pretty penny!
In future therefore, all and every cost relating to brand maintenance will be charged out to Fae Pharma, based in the Pacific paradise and happily zero-tax regime of Vanuatu. On hiring the services of Jane Fae (me) who shall in future be trading as MeLtd and officially living in a small shed in Guernsey, a royalty of 15% will be deducted and transferred off in the general direction of Oceania.
This, though, is just a beginning. I must also consider running costs (food), energy management (the gas bill) and premises (chez moi).
I see now just how inefficiently I have been struggling to cope with this multiplicity of tasks on my own and henceforth shall be sub-contracting the entirety of these personal support services to Fae Facilities plc, which for variety and because I have never yet been able to afford a Caribbean holiday, will be based in the Cayman Islands. You could, of course, have knocked me down with a feather when I learned that here, too, the tax rate is a refreshingly round zero!
Sadly, such enhanced service does not come cheap. FF plc will need to employ the services of a book-keeper (me), an administrator (me) and a managing director (me) as well as a pest control manager (our domestic feline, Kitty, who for the purposes of this exercise is now re-constituted as a company limited by guarantee and continuing to inhabit the state of Catatonia where she has resided for the past dozen years or so).
The average cost of a cuppa, of which I will require some five per day, expertly prepared by our canteen manager-cum-tea lady (me), will be charged at £7.50. Trips to the local Tesco will now be governed by service agreement and subject to an annual rolling contract fee somewhere the region of £6,000. On the plus side, it is anticipated that the net effect of all this restructuring will be an annual loss of £10,000 which means that I will soon be able to afford a much nicer house.
As proof of my good intentions I shall, betweentimes, be offering myself as a guest speaker at the various party conferences, where I shall lecture delegates on how the country needs to do more to encourage and foster the sort of entrepreneurial wealth creating ingenuity that I have just stumbled across. And I shall be explaining to the Chancellor, Mr Osborne, in words of one syllable, how impossible it is to balance the books if he persists in holding down taxation on the workshy and idle that now constitute the majority of the UK population.
Yes. I have indeed discovered the secret to business success. And I owe it all to Starbucks.