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.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Labour Endorses Tax Avoidance

Given that Tony Blair (the pious ex leader of Labour) proactively uses tax avoidance schemes to minimise his tax bill, no one can possibly argue that tax avoidance is illegal or immoral:)

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Ken, much as I appreciate your thoughts & occasionally whimsical utterances I must post to correct an evident misapprehension you appear to hold. Namely that the administration run by Tony Blair from (about 1999; I'll give him some credit for the first 18 months) and to an extent the one that Brown had dumped on him (the biggest poison chalice in history, which he was so desperate to drink) had any connection with The Labour Party or Socialist thinking in any way. We now are in the strange situation of having a slightly more left wing regime than the NEW Labour one we had before. Keep up the good work; I can say you are more often spot on than not (although you have been known to go way wide of the mark........)

  2. Illegal... no,

    Just because Tony Blair (a man who went to war over WMDs despite knowing they didn't exist, then lied about it)uses tax avoidance, makes it OK?!!

  3. Just because something is legal does not make it morally right. By your logic apartheid, which was legal, must have been morally right, including the detention of Nelson Mandella etc., because the President did it. I have read this site long enough to know you would hold no such views so please do not be offended with my example.
    In fact using any politician, Blair more than any other, as a role model for moral right is probably best avoided.
    However if you must, there are plenty in Government, and opposition, at the moment, whose actions make a mockery of their position on this issue. Not least, (if not most!) the right honourable George Osborne.
    And, I strongly suspect the same could be said for Tax Evasion, which of course is illegal.

  4. And this surprises you why?

  5. As I can't contact HMRC, maybe somebody here can answer a simple question

    'Do the unemployed complete Self Assessment Tax Returns?

    Thank you

    (or where the information can be found online)

    1. Some unemployed do. Some don't.

      Anyone can be asked to complete a tax return.

  6. @ 11.14

    If they have been sent one - yes.

  7. Given the smiley and the blatant logical fallacy re Blair (already ably pointed out above), I'm assuming this post is firmly tongue-in-cheek!

    ...but I've got 5 minutes to kill, so I'll bite!

    Is tax avoidance illegal?

    It's not illegal to enter into tax avoidance schemes, where they do not involve concealing or giving false information (the latter has been described in court as "the element of sham"). However, this doesn't necessarily mean that all avoidance schemes necessarily work!

    It would be interesting to know what steps HMRC has taken to investigate Blair's schemes to ascertain whether they work...

    Is avoidance immoral

    Given my track-record for commenting on this site, this may come as a surprise, but I don't actually think it is necessarily immoral to enter into avoidance schemes.

    If a loophole(*) exists, or you perceive that a loophole may exist, I don't see that it's immoral, per se, to have a go at exploiting it.

    What would be immoral, however, would be for governments to collude, in the face of lobbying etc., to:
    a) fail to address existing loopholes,
    b) create new loopholes, or
    c) prevent HMRC from investigating schemes to ascertain whether they work, and challenging those that may not.

    I would also think it morally dubious if a taxpayer (particularly a company, whose shareholders benefits from the social contract that is limited liability) with the means to access outrageously expensive legal and professional advice were to enter into multiple avoidance schemes in the knowledge that HMRC cannot take all of them through the courts, then use its consequent strong negotiating position to secure a significantly lower tax bill than they would realistically expect to obtain if all of the schemes did go to court.

    Stew G

    (* - By loophole I mean - broadly, and I'll no doubt have to refine this wording in cold white heat of HMRC is Shite - an aspect of the law which allows a person to gain a tax advantage relative to the tax position which the electorate should reasonably expect that person to suffer given the economic reality.)