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.

Friday, 17 February 2012

The Tax Avoidance Iceberg

The tip of the government (both Labour and Tory) approved tax avoidance iceberg is gradually being uncovered. The FT reports that Treasury officials believe that as many as 100 civil servants have been paid as private companies, rather than as individuals.

HMRC have confirmed that it has allocated more staff to investigate “IR35” breaches in both the public and private sectors.


"All sorts of people work through service companies for all sorts of reasons. 

But where the arrangement is really only a way of avoiding PAYE tax and national insurance, then the law says the service company must pay the PAYE and national insurance to us on behalf of the individual at the end of the year."

However, it seems that the FT's figure of 100 may be a tad out of date. The Guardian reports that the figure may in fact be 4000.

Tax avoidance is not illegal. However, the current anti avoidance "morality" message being pumped out by the government and HMRC has been shown to be hypocritical.

Unfortunately, instead of the ire being quite rightly focussed at the hypocrisy of the government, the investigations are now in danger of being turned by the government (in order to deflect criticism) into a witch hunt against those who have been employed under these schemes.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. But Ken, as you well know, a large percentage of these Civil Servants are in reality "employed", and the contracts are solely for tax purposes so they are evading tax. No one who understands the difference between evasion and avoidance is against avoidance. However, you speak up for those (generally very wealthy) who push at the boundaries of legislation seeking to exploit loopholes for there own financial gain and try suggest it is a witch hunt. Isn't it about time you found something else to moan about? Otherwise you will become a bit of a joke, a bit like your resume.

  2. Interesting program on TV this week about how Louis XVI of France lost first his throne and then his head. A not inconsiderable factor in the process was that the poorest sections of 18th Century French society paid all the taxes while the aristocracy and the clergy paid little or nothing. One can not help thinking that the UK is fast approaching its own 'Bourbon' moment.

    1. Bourbon was a great man, I've loved his biscuits since I was a nipper.

  3. David 'Antionette' Cameron says "Let them eat cake"

  4. These people make me sick. Why is this allowed to go on. Why should I pay tax.. when these tw.ts dont.