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Business View: Now there's a good reason to celebrate

Roll out the barrel, throw away the shackles and gird the good crockery because it's time to celebrate. Not only does the end of today leave us with just 24 hours to go before the start of the weekend, but it also marks the most exciting milestone in the tax year for regular punters like you and me.

Once you've got over the use of the words 'exciting' and 'tax' in the same sentence, take a moment to consider that the money you make in your salaried job from now until December 31,2013 is all for you.

That's because it's Tax Freedom Day.

From January 1 to today all the money you've made has, essentially, been to keep the tax man in the manner in which he's become very accustomed.

To arrive at Tax Freedom Day, the Adam Smith Institute added up all the taxes paid by all UK taxpayers – income tax, national insurance, VAT, fuel duty, excise duty on alcohol and tobacco and everything else – then calculates how long it takes us to earn enough to pay for all these taxes.

For 150 days you've been paying for roads, hospitals, schools and "a plethora of government spending" and you've every right to be rejoicing.

On the downside, we've had to work an extra day for HMRC compared to 2012 because of the leap year and we are falling way behind workers in the US.

There, according to PwC economist Dr Esmond Birnie, Tax Freedom Day came on April 18 which means the average American worked 42 fewer days for Uncle Sam than UK taxpayers did for George Osborne.

But don't get too downhearted because we're here at last and it makes the daily grind all that bit easier to know HRMC is on its own until next year.

They may take our tax, but they'll never take our Tax Freedom Day.

Belfast Telegraph