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Issue:- 26 September 2013


The Curraghs Wildlife Park Great White Pelican is heading to Blackpool Zoo with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

THE Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has provided its own Pelican crossing, assisting a zoo breeding programme. On Tuesday, Ben-my-Chree welcomed on board an unusual passenger, a Great White Pelican from the Curraghs Wildlife Park, which was heading for its new home in Blackpool Zoo. In a few days, one of Blackpool's Pelicans will make the return trip to become a resident in Ballaugh.

Wildlife Park General Manager Kathleen Graham said:- "We currently have four Pelicans, three female and one male, and we are swapping one of our females for a male with Blackpool Zoo, as they currently have three males and only one female. The intention is to increase the chances of breeding Pelicans as part of a co-operation between European Zoos. BIAZA and EAZA member zoos co-operate in organised breeding programmes as it is very important zoo animals are moved around to keep populations genetically healthy. I'd like to thank the Steam Packet Company for helping us organise the transport of these special passengers, which helps assist with this vital breeding programme."

It's not just the Park's animals which make use of the Steam Packet Company for important zoo business. While travelling between the UK and the Island for the Pelican swap, Kathleen will also take the opportunity to attend a vital conference.  She said:- "I will be attending the annual European Association of Zoos and Aquaria conference in Edinburgh, the biggest and most important zoo meeting of the year. It is vital that our Wildlife Park is present at the biggest European meeting, which is all about contributing to the bigger global conservation efforts."

Chief Executive Mark Woodward said:- "Although it's not every day we carry a Pelican, we provide transport for all kinds of passengers and freight and are happy to discuss the special requirements our customers may have. The Steam Packet Company is always pleased to assist the Wildlife Park with its animal movements, most recently earlier this year when we brought an African crested porcupine to the Island. We understand how important the breeding programme is to the health of the animals, and very aware of the specialist requirements of transporting such animals. We're also pleased we have been able to assist Kathleen in attending such an important conference after direct flights to Scotland were discontinued."

Tax opportunity for landlords to put house in order

LANDLORDS who rent out residential property, and fail to tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about all the rental income, are being offered the chance to come forward and put their tax affairs straight; before HMRC comes to them.  HMRC estimates that up to 1.5 million landlords in this sector may be underpaying up to £500 million in UK tax every year.  Under HMRC's new Let Property Campaign, landlords who may owe tax; whether through misunderstanding the rules or deliberate evasion; can come forward and tell HMRC about any unpaid tax on rents, and pay what they owe, including any penalties and interest due. The campaign is open to all residential property landlords; from those that have multiple properties, to single rentals, and from specialist landlords such as student or workforce rentals, to holiday lettings. HMRC will be working with a variety of bodies over the next few months to develop tools and guidance to support landlords of all types and help them get their affairs up to date.

Marian Wilson, Head of HMRC Campaigns, said:- "All rent from letting out a residential property or holiday home has to be declared for income tax purposes. Telling us is simple and straightforward. We appreciate some people will have made honest mistakes, and some may not be fully aware that the rent from a property is taxable, and that is why it always makes sense to talk to us so we can help. It is always cheaper to come forward voluntarily and pay the tax you owe, rather than wait for HMRC to come calling.  Telling HMRC about your tax liabilities is simple and straightforward, and help, advice and support are available. The message for all landlords owing tax is simple; it is better to come to us before we come to you."

HMRC will use information it holds about property rental in the UK and abroad, along with information already held on HMRC's digital intelligence system Connect, to identify people who have not paid what they owe.

For those that fail to come forward, higher penalties; or even criminal prosecution; could follow.  For more details, visit HMRC's website.  Also more help is available for landlords by calling HMRC's Let Property Campaign Hotline on:- 03000 514 479, between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

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