Winter Is Coming
08th April 2019
Spring might be in the air, but winter is most definitely coming. If there’s one thing a typical fantasy hero never gives enough thought to, it’s the financial side of the questing/adventuring game. A Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin famously once warhammered the nail squarely on the head when he asked the following questions when talking about the difference between his work and Tolkien’s.
“What was Aragorn’s tax policy? Did he maintain a standing army? What did he do in times of flood and famine? And what about all these orcs?”
These are all valid questions, and not nearly enough’s been done to address them. With that in mind, and the final season of A Game of Thrones approaching fast, we’ve been taking a look at the tax refund situation of the Hero of Westeros, Jon Snow. It turns out that there are quite a few areas where the White Wolf could be missing out, as we see from his RIFT Personal Tax Specialist’s notes:
- Client received a direwolf (“Ghost”). As a working animal, this might be eligible for Plant and Machinery Allowances.
- Changed employment status by joining the Night’s Watch. Advised him to start keeping track of his mileage and expenses for refund purposes. He won’t be able to claim until completion of Phase 1 training, but it’s good to get into the habit early.
- Left Winterfell, journeying north to the Wall. Again, no claim made for this as Phase 1 training not yet complete.
- Training complete and stationed at Castle Black. Expectation for posting was that it would be under 24 months until ranging duties commenced. As a result, this counts as a temporary workplace for that period so any travel expenses can be claimed, even if the posting eventually lasts longer than expected.
- Applied, but rejected, for duty beyond the wall. While not selected for ranger duty, client was appointed personal steward to Lord Commander Jeor Mormont. Treated as officer training, and advised him to obtain expenses receipts and charcoal rubbings of the menu boards in the officers’ mess.
- Received an expensive Valyrian steel sword (“Longclaw”) as a reward for exceptional service. Very specialised equipment, and expensive to keep in good repair. Advised client to keep records of maintenance costs. Night’s Watch submitted form P11D to declare the item as a benefit.
- Client selected for duty north of the Wall, and dispatched to locate Benjen Stark. New temporary posting! Reminded client that he could only claim for the portion of travel and expenses not covered by employer.
- Ranging party found AirBnB accommodation at Craster’s Keep. Costs accrued counted toward expenses for yearly refund.
- Joined Qhorin Halfhand’s mission to eliminate Mance Rayder’s lookouts. Another new posting, but travel costs and expenses unknown until mission complete. Reminded client that this is why you need to keep records to provide evidence of the journeys you took and what they cost you. Trying to remember one trackless white waste from another and what you had to trade to traverse it will be difficult a year down the line.
- Led into a Wildling ambush, leading to imprisonment. Advised client to inform HMRC of this, as incarceration time can mean additional tax relief if you stop working part-way through the tax year.
- Client eventually returned to Castle Black. Although he has been here before it was over 2 years ago, so this counts as a new temporary posting.
- Client promoted to leader of the Night’s Watch. Advised him that a change in salary will affect his tax situation and benefit entitlements. Was shocked to discover that Night’s Watch had no workplace pension scheme in operation. Sent a stern raven.
- Client assassinated, but later resurrected. Terms of employment contract satisfied (contract specifies that “it shall not end until my death”). Employment status change noted, and reported to HMRC.
- Now registered as self-employed, client embarks on new family business venture in partnership with sisters Arya and Sansa. Necessary paperwork filed, and client commenced crowdfunding an army to take on Ramsay Bolton. Explained how alternative finance affects tax situation and what you need to do if you're making money from FlewTube, which has a much higher reach than Direct Raven.
- Client invests heavily in dragonglass research. RIFT technical teams begin work on building R&D tax relief claim under the RDEC scheme.
- Client accepts invitation from Daenerys Targaryen’s to attend conference in Dragonstone, leaving Winterfell in Sansa’s charge. As a partner in a business, advised client to track expenses for Director’s Self Assessment tax returns.
- Joint venture with Daenerys Targaryan results in significant capital losses (one adult dragon). Advised client to obtain Certificate of Destruction to prevent liability for vehicle tax, but was informed that orderly disposal at an Authorised Treatment Facility would be difficult. Client also casually enquired about tax implications of significant dragon-fire damage to a 700-foot fortified structure, but declined to provide further details…
You don’t need to be mining dragonglass or taking on an army of White Walkers to benefit from a little tax know-how. Whatever adventure you’re on, get in touch with RIFT to see how we can boost your treasury so it's bigger than the Bank of Braavos.