HMRC Is Shite

HMRC Is Shite
Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Guilty Until Proven InnocentThe fundamental problem that taxpayers face when dealing with HMRC, is the fact that the centuries old principle of British law "innocent until proven guilty" is turned on its head.

The onus falls on the taxpayers to prove his/her innocence when faced with an HMRC investigation.

Nick Morgan experienced such a "Kafkaesque nightmare" himself, and wrote about his experience in yesterday's Sunday Times.

Here is the "Director's Cut" of the article, as published on Nick's own blog at

Why do our elected representatives allow HMRC to turn centuries of jurisprudence on its head like this?

Why do we not vote for parliamentary candidates who would put a stop to this?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. "Why do our elected representatives allow HMRC to turn centuries of jurisprudence on its head like this?"

    ... because they're just as corrupt as HMRC.

    It wouldn't be a great idea to make waves with the people who help cover up your own failings ;)

  2. I can see where you are coming from but are you telling me that there are no dishonest taxpayers out there?
    In this pink and fluffy versioun of HMRC that you promote where's the deterrent?

  3. Balrog

    If the rest of British law can work on the principle "innocent until proven guilty" (even though there are dishonest people in our midst), why can't HMRC?

    Would you prefer "guilty until innocent" for all alleged "crimes"?

    Deterrent should be the same for tax crimes as non tax crimes, you get caught you get dealt with via the legal system.

    Why should that not be applicable for HMRC?

  4. It is in fact 'innocent until guilty' - except that it is the HMRC who is the innocent victim until proven guilty by the tax payer !

    And also.. the tax payer has duty of care to HMRC, but HMRC duty of care is to the HM Government and Treasury.

    We have an independent police complain commission..but there is no independent HMRC complain commission.

    The point is HMRC gets money from such activities (whether it is justice or through threat) but it cost HM government money to put people in prison/community services - they would explain how the system works.

  5. If they come and check your records they should always make an honest assessment based on those records and what they have discovered but they do not.

    Not always, one lady who visited me was pretty fair I thought, but as I have said before, you are quite likely to get an "assessment" that simply lumps in every expense you have claimed including the valid ones.

    At best this is lazy, at worst dishonest because many who do not know the tax laws will assume they must be right and pay it.

    I am surprised it has taken so long to get any blogs/websites devoted to revenue abuses. Similar sites about the IRS have existed in the US for years. Think there was/is a newsgroup called "IRS abuse" or similar. Perhaps we need a forum.

  6. @Xoggoth,

    This website is excellent. A forum would be even better. There are trade associations and organisations with forums, depending on what your line of business is.

  7. There is a forum...but no one uses it, people seem to prefer to post comments.