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.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The Joy of Giving

Full marks to Tony Blair for spotting the tax benefits of his recent gift (it will receive tax relief) to the British Legion.

I guess that constitutes avoidance, doesn't it?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Ken;
    You asked;
    "I guess that constitutes avoidance, doesn't it?"

    I don't know, taxation is not my field of expeertise therefore, I would prefer not to comment;-)

    I would personally hope the RBL would tell him to poke it as, in my opinion, an opinion that I respect, the monies would be little more than blood money. I people want to give money to the RBL, why not just make a donation and not buy the egotist's book? You may be able to sign a gift aid declaration so that the RBL could claim the tax back....Ah, there I go inciting tax avoidance;-)

  2. The RBL will accept the money with gratitude.

    Most people will either assume it is out of guilt or just a publicity stunt to promote the book anyway.

    10:48 is correct in saying people should donate the money they would spend on the book directly to the RBL and tick the gift aid box.

    For those people who really feel the need to read the book then get a copy from your local library.

  3. "I guess that constitutes avoidance, doesn't it?"

    Only in the way that HMRC employees getting tax relief on pension contributions is tax avoidance; i.e. not at all.

    Now if there was a scheme in place whereby a charity which claimed gift aid and then somehow repaid all the money (less a small cut for facilitating the scheme) to the "donor", then THAT would be avoidance!

    Unless, of course, I'm missing irony in your words and you're finally acknowledging the difference between avoidance and the straightforward use of tax rules... :)

  4. Ken,

    Perhaps you, or any other expert, could explain to those of us not in the trade exactly what it all means.

    If Mr Blair donates his personal profits, if there are any, to charity, does he just not pay tax on that money, as he never had it in the first place, or does it mean he can then off-set the donation against his other income, in effect getting double relief?

    How is Mr Blair defining profit?...Surely publishers, agents etc aren't donating their profits too....Will the donation include the advance he received? Will he be able to take his expenses out before making the donation and might one of those be an hourly rate for the work he put into the writing of the book?....I personally find it very difficult to take anything Mr Blair says at face value and feel the need to look at what he hasn't said to obtain a clearer picture.

    Any thoughts?

  5. Ken,

    The shit has hit the fan for HMRC in Belfast big time.
    7 have been sacked over race abuse.

    BBC N.Ireland website.

  6. "HMRC staff sacked for racist underpayment of benefit claim"

    7 sacked, two resigned.

    Maybe the bullying managers will be out next.

  7. Dave Hartnett, permanent secretary for tax at HMRC, said the department operates a zero-tolerance policy on racial discrimination.

    Somebody must have told him to say that as he would not know a "zero-tolerance policy" if it appeared out of his arse.

    Maybe the bullying managers will be out next.

    Do not hold your breath.

  8. PCS Statement:
    "PCS campaigns hard against any form of racism or discriminatory behaviour.

    "We have concerns about procedural issues and will be seeking to raise these with the employer."

    I would be interested in seeing the evidence to back this statement up.

  9. You wonder at what level the 9 who went were at.
    Who gave the instructions to tamper.

    There should be a litany of resignations but just like when the discs went, it all be covered up.

  10. "We have concerns about procedural issues and will be seeking to raise these with the employer."

    You mean ask the management what PCS should say next.

  11. You wonder at what level the 9 who went were at.
    Who gave the instructions to tamper.

    I certainly don't, they will be at the lowest grades & not working to any instructions. No doubt they were just frustrated & angry at all the fraud & theft, that they are powerless to stop themselves & cannot pass on to anyone above. We are the laughing stock of the world with our benefits system.

  12. They were all junior grade probably AO, according to the latest news.

    The more senior people were too busy doing important paper work, to notice any wrongdoing.

  13. The more senior people were too busy doing important paper work, to notice any wrongdoing.

    With the level of monitoring in the call centres I find it hard to believe there is not a team leader involved in this. Or maybe the people who fiddled with the records are bigger than their team leaders and would not take any shit from them.

  14. Seeing as everyone else has hijacked this thread.

    It is a shame really as this is the only evidence I have seen in the last few years of teamwork within HMRC.

  15. Tonk,

    Before the sh|t hit the fan in Belfast, you asked a question.

    This article gives a reasonable explanation.

    Under Gift Aid, a UK taxpayer who makes a donation to charity can, subject to a few requirements mostly on the charity's side, elect to donate through the scheme by giving details - name and address are the main ones. The charity can then claim 25% of the value of the donation from HMRC as well as receiving the donation itself. This 25% is effectively the basic rate tax that the donor paid when they earned the money they donated.

    In yet another example of how the tax system favours high-earners, higher-rate taxpayers can also tick a box on their tax return to reclaim for themselves the higher and additional (50%) rate they paid when they earned the money donated. (And no, it's not avoidance.)

    The Torygraph article and a Daily Mail article on the subject are quick to point out that Blair may reclaim this additional taxback himself. Both articles appear to imply that the fact he's able to claim this tax back undermines any altruism behind Blair's donation.

    Personally, I'd be very much inclined to agree with the papers that, if Blair were to claim this tax relief and not also donate it to the charity, it would reflect pretty badly on him.

    As it is I agree with those who say it's a conscience-massaging gesture that reeks of blood money. Middle-east peace envoy: pfff!

  16. Anon@21-04

    Thank you.

  17. What a bunch of miserable shites. Did he have to give them the profits? Nope. Has he said he will ? Yep. Good on him I say. Amazing how many people have always been against the war (now).

  18. "Amazing how many people have always been against the war (now)"

    Did you somehow miss the million+ who took to the streets of London at the time, then?