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.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Trust and Understanding

We're watching you
I couldn't have out this better myself:

"The Inland Revenue is on the hunt. Britain's 5000 richest people have received a welcoming letter from HMRC introducing them to the new high net-worth unit, the new department tasked with extracting more tax from the super-rich.

The promise of improving 'trust and understanding', with each person having his or her own customer relations manager, is a noble one, but there is a suspicion that the main purpose of the unit is to go through the details of the wealthy with a fine tooth comb looking at every nook and cranny for evidence of tax evasion.

It is the duty of every law-abiding citizen to pay his taxes, equally it is not the duty of the state to treat the wealthy as guilty until proven innocent
."

Source FT.

"Customer relations manager"!!!???

Snort!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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5 comments:

  1. "Keep your friends close. Keep your enemies in your pocket."

    Even if I was one of the wealthy, and therefore have the money to defend myself against "HMRC customer relations" (who are no doubt there to "help", because they are from the government), I think that I would eventually just give up wasting time and money defending every penny of expenses etc and just go abroad to quiet life. Perhaps to the biggest tax haven in the world, Obama the hypocrite’s USA, where we foreigners pay little in taxes.

    Anyway, I thought HMRC prided itself in giving all customers the same level of service. If these wealthy people are on a tax hit list then they will either be subject to god knows what prejudices or receive a preferential treatment, but is neither of those applies then why go to the trouble of identifying 5,000 of them separately?

    Trevor Scott

    ReplyDelete
  2. Universal Declaration on Human Rights

    Article 7.
    All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

    Article 12.
    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

    http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

    Trevor Scott

    ReplyDelete
  3. I read recently that one of our government (one of the 'Lords' I seem to remember), although having been born in the UK; lived all his life in the UK; and currently living in a huge mansion in the UK, for tax purposes declares himself 'domiciled' in France.

    HMRC were just about to investigate all this when their boss (Hartnet?) apparently intervened and stopped them from doing so.

    ReplyDelete
  4. ...this was Lord Rothermere, owner of the Daily Mail.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The 5000 most wealthy individuals in the country? My heart bleeds! Yes, the richest and most powerful members of society are exactly the people the authors of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights had in mind. It's a shame these poor victims' lawyers seem to have overlooked the fact that an organisation allocating them a single point of contact for their - by definition unusually complex - tax queries is such a flagrant breach of it!

    SNORT

    I presume that the "suspicion" that Hal Austin (the poster on the FTadviser.com blog's comments page whose words you appear to have quoted) is referring to is the same as that expressed in the article in the Telegraph (also well known for standing up for the little guy) here:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/6115380/HM-Revenue-and-Customs-welcomes-richest-people-to-High-Net-Worth-Unit.html

    The concern appears to be that HMRC's supposedly-new approach is based on an Australian model which, it is claimed yielded about £1.5bn additional tax. Leaving aside the fact that the article gives no further details of how this came about (and it's one hell of a trick if reorganising and renaming a unit and changing some job titles - yes, believe it or not there has been a unit specialising in HNW individuals and individual inspectors have had responsibility for dealing with certain taxpayers for decades! - can produce such stunning results), I'm not sure why you and Hal are complaining.

    During our spats over avoidance, you've frequently stated - correctly - that evasion is illegal. Now, however, it is being claimed that HMRC is launching an initiative to change the way enquiries work (which I doubt), which focusses on evasion (which I doubt) and which targets a segment of the population which, it is hinted, the results of a similar - apparently exceptionally successful - initiative in a country with a tax system similar to ours indicate may have a significant evasion problem (which I doubt). You should be over the moon!

    Or maybe you should just do some fact-checking before getting too excited about yet another over-sensational press article.

    ReplyDelete