Holidays Abroad with your own Children. What Else Can Possibly Go Wrong?

Holidays Abroad with your own Children. What Else Can Possibly Go Wrong?

I have blogged before and no doubt will do again, to remind readers that if they travel as a single adult with a child, the border guards and airlines will investigate.

Child Kidnap is a real thing:  single adults with children stick out like sore thumbs as far as border guards are concerned and I have explained what you need to do to ensure that the journey can go ahead.

Any child kidnapper with brains therefore will travel with an adult accomplice. The border guards have brains too and understand this. So, any adults travelling with children whom they claim to be their own, will be required to prove it.

As I have blogged before, this means that you need to carry the children’s birth certificates so that you can prove the relationship.

It is better if you get the certificate/s notarised, but you may be ok if you don’t.

But what’s this? – link here – a family mother father and two kids, spend over £8000.00 for the proverbial “holiday of a lifetime” and remember to take the birth certificates. And they still can’t get in.

Yes, I know.

Because, what they took with them were genuine “Certificates of Birth”. Silly misguided folk that they were they thought that an English Certificate of Birth is a Birth Certificate. Rookie error or what.

No sir, a Certificate of Birth is not what the border guards want.

The South African website does make that clear. Or tries to: – it says in every case that the Birth Certificate must be the UBC – Unabridged Birth Certificate.

Because it is the the UBC which shows the information the borders agencies are looking for – Who are the parents?

Here is a Certificate of Birth © General Records Office  – Link Here –

No use at airports because the parents are not named. It is merely what it says it is, a Certificate of Birth of a child. Unfortunate really, that we use the label Birth Certificate for the document that is actually required.

Here is an image, of the correct form.  © General Records Office

It is properly called “A CERTIFIED COPY OF AN ENTRY PURSUANT TO THE BIRTHS AND DEATHS REGISTRATION ACT 1953. Well it’s a snappy title, I can’t think why no one calls them that.

My point is this – if a holiday costs £8000.00, why not get in touch with me for a hundred or so, to make sure you don’t waste the whole lot? I have a track record – I have prepared holiday packages of documentation regularly over the past several years – not one of my client has been denied their travel.

This client response is genuine:-

“Hello there, Last year at this time you did us a Consent of Travel document so that we could take our grandchildren on holiday. We will be taking them again this year and so will need the same sort of document again. Incidentally the Cruise line said that yours was the best documentation they had ever had and it made their job so much easier

“Janet Richardson.”

So there we are, pay £8000.00 for the safari, a few pounds for me, and the kids will get to see the elephants.

A song, – link here – and our usual reminder:-

For documents for use around the world do contact me or Louise here at AtkinsonNotary E7 Joseph’s Well Leeds LS3 1AB, phone 0113 8160116 and email or via the website


More News – Travelling With Children.

Once more, travelling abroad with children.

Still more misunderstandings and mess-ups when children are travelling abroad.

Imagine that somehow, your young daughter has been taken abroad without your knowledge or agreement. Perhaps a relative you have fallen out with, is taking her to the Country where your divorced husband, her father, lives.

How grateful would you be, if an airport border guard or an airline employee decided that the absence of second adult, and/or the fact that the accompanying adult’s surname was different from the child’s, justified a detention whilst investigations were made?

Your child is returned to you and the kidnapper taken to court.

And the alternative in these cases can be a lifetime of torment for you. Look on the internet for examples – link here at random – to say nothing of the horror for the child, torn from her mother and taken to live in a foreign country with a father perhaps not seen for years.

They may not speak the new language, they will miss you, home, school and friends. Maybe this will continue for years, whilst you devote all of your time and money to fighting in a foreign Court system for the return of the children to you.

This will be your only priority. Work commitments and the opportunities for promotions and career development will become irrelevant to you. The lives of you and your child – changed for ever.

But yes, it is an airport problem and a hassle for the majority of us who are not in fact kidnapping babies but just trying to get on the plane.

Do we just accept it as one more inconvenience, and always remember to travel with our own and our children’s birth certificates, our marriage certificates if we are married, our divorce certificates and copy court orders if there are any, whenever we go abroad with the kids?

For the time being, yes exactly that – take all that paperwork is the only answer.

Just more stuff to do, just like all the rest of the border guard vigilance that inconveniences us all at airports, you know, having to take off our shoes, get searched, delayed, maybe taken at random to one side to be screened for traces of explosives on our hands and clothes. What a chore. Still, it’s a degree of magnitude preferable, to an explosion followed by death, yes?

It happened to an MP recently, Tulip Siddiq, who is suggesting that changes to passports are needed. – Link Here –

It used to be, years ago, that a parent’s British passport would be endorsed with the child’s details. That was fine, but hardly convenient if the children were travelling with Dad, whilst Mum was travelling elsewhere and the child was endorsed on Mother’s passport.

But what is wrong with Ms Siddiq’s idea that if children are to be given their own passports, then the children’s passports should show the names of the parents, or guardians? Seems workable?

In the meantime, what should be your reaction when you are delayed at the airport border check, whilst an official questions you as to the fact that you appear to be a lone adult, travelling with a child whose surname is different from your own? And maybe missing your connecting flight?

Well if the idea of giving a case of champagne is going a bit far, perhaps lifelong gratitude would not be misplaced?

A song –here-

And as ever, for documents for use around the world do contact me or Louise here at AtkinsonNotary E7 Joseph’s Well Leeds LS3 1AB, phone 0113 8160116 and email or via the website

VAT. Don’t Go, It’s Interesting.

VAT. No, Don’t Stop Reading. It’s Interesting! Sort of.

The thing about VAT, as far as I can see, is that only those few people who say they understand it are really confused.

The rest of us are bang on. We don’t understand it, and there it is.

When we are buying stuff for ourselves, it’s not really a problem. We are charged a sum usually inclusive of VAT and we pay it and that’s that.

It’s harder when we buy for our business. Sometimes the Vat we pay can be reclaimed. We by and large leave that to accountants, because one thing that is easy to understand is that it’s complicated.

The hardest part comes when we are a VAT registered business and involved in sales – particularly sales of services.

Take at random, a Solicitor selling Conveyancing expertise. Vat Registered, so you probably issue an agreed quotation which includes the VAT upon it.

If the price of the house your client has bought is £1,000,000.00 they pay a hefty stamp duty land tax, but no VAT on that million. Unless, say, the house is sold on the basis of a planning user restricting occupation in winter, as on some holiday park sites.

Then VAT will be charged.

Ooops no, as you will all remember, that changed in 2015, when the relevant Tax tribunal decided that VAT would still be payable if the planning authority said the restriction was because the building was a holiday home, but the building would be exempt from VAT if the restriction was imposed for no stated reason at all.

Also some commercial buildings are bought and sold where the option to treat the building as VAT exempt has not been taken up. In that case, full Stamp Duty Land Tax is chargeable on top of the building price and by gosh, VAT is then chargeable upon that total. Yes sir, tax is charged on the tax.

So that’s clear then

For more information on the above, read it again. I’ve got nothing.

So what’s new for the solicitor this week in the wacky world of VAT?

One question which Solicitors thought had been resolved years ago, relates to the money they have to pay out to do the job. Obviously they have to pay for premises, computers, office cleaners etc, those are general overheads.

But also in order to do the job right, they have to pay out money specifically, in relation to the particular job for the particular client.

For example, the cost of the stamps on the letters they write in relation to that job. [Remember letters? In the post?] Also, fees they pay to the Land registry.

Now in those cases, if a pound is paid for a stamp, then the solicitors account should be charging the client a pound for the stamp, yes? Not a pound plus VAT equals One pound twenty pence? That seems straight forward and the same goes for Land Registry Fees.

One other thing the Solicitor must do is purchase a “Local Search”. These are not cheap. They are directed to Local Councils, to find out whether the house has the necessary permissions even to exist, Water search to see where the drains and pipes are and who is responsible if they go wrong, searches for listed buildings, National parks, forthcoming road schemes and lots more. Often the Solicitors will make an environmental search, to tell you how near you are to the local atomic waste silos. Or landfill sites anyway.

And it is settled, as the Law Society has confirmed to Solicitors, that the cost of obtaining the search can be passed on to the client and no VAT need be charged. Because the client could have purchased the searches themselves and brought them in to the Solicitor. So, the rationale is that the Solicitor is adding value to the transaction, by studying and interpreting the search result once they are on the desk, not by buying them for the client.

Well, that’s wrong. It used to be right but this week, it’s wrong. As I said, searches are not cheap and a firm of lawyers Brabners over three years has spent and charged clients roughly £340,000.00 to purchase searches.

Between them those client have paid to Brabners £340,000.00 to reimburse them. Brabners have not made a penny by buying the searches and the taxman has received nothing, and that is all correct, as the Law Society and every other solicitor supposed.

Until this Tribunal decision, that is. –Link Here – . Seems Brabners should have charged 20% on top of the price of each search and handed it over to the HMRC. £68,000.00. Bad news for Brabners.

But presumably, the HMR&C now will be looking at every firm of Solicitors in due course. How many of them will have charged VAT on the cost of the searches they have bought, what with the Law Society having told them that would be wrong?

So if you are not a solicitor, nor running a service business registered for VAT, I hope you have passed a pleasant few moments reading this and are glad you don’t have to cope with this sort of stuff on a daily basis or at all.

But if things are otherwise, then things are different. The Solicitors’ profession and the Law Society and their Accountants are all watching this case with interest – appeals will follow.

All a bit different these days, from Bob Dylan’s imagined world:-

© “My daddy he made whiskey, my granddaddy he did too
We ain’t paid no whiskey tax since 1792”

Here’s the song, Joan Baez in 1965 – Link Here –

And as ever, for documents for use around the world do contact me or Louise here at AtkinsonNotary E7 Joseph’s Well Leeds LS3 1AB, phone 0113 8160116 and email or via the website