As the state and other organisations often warn, credit cards and the debt that their owners rack up can be dangerous.
It is not just ordinary members of the public that are tempted into debt by these little slithers of plastic, but also a manager within HMRC.
Accountancy Age reports that a member of HMRC's management was suspended last August and has now been sacked, following an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
It seems that she is alleged to have spent over £10K using HMRC corporate credit cards, both her own corporate card and those assigned to her team.
Allegations were put to her last year about the withdrawals, she claimed that some of the transactions were used to pay intelligence sources and others to maintain a petty cash float in her unit.
The IPCC was not impressed with her defence, and stated that her version of events was "inherently implausible" (ie bollocks).
The case was passed on to the Crown Prosecution Service. However, for reasons that are unclear, no criminal charges were ever brought. Instead a disciplinary hearing was held, and she was fired.
The IPCC reviewed procedures over the use of cards in the manager's unit, and expressed serious concerns credit cards could be used with such a frequency undetected over a 12-month period. The unit did not have adequate systems in place, the petty cash procedures were lax and there was no real audit process.
The IPCC has recommended regularly changing codes to room and cupboard locks, and ensuring all accounting within the unit could demonstrate a clear and accountable audit process. It also suggested HMRC "share learning" from the case with its other units.
I trust and assume that HMRC are equally understanding and supportive when they visit SME's that HMRC regard as having less than perfect financial controls and reporting!
Tax does have to be taxing.
Professional Cover Against the Threat of Costly TAX and VAT Investigations
What is TAXWISE?
TAXWISE is a tax-fee protection service that will pay up to £75,000 towards your accountant's fees in the event of an HM Revenue & Customs full enquiry or dispute.
To find out more, please use this link Taxwise
Tax Investigation for Dummies, by Nick Morgan, provides a good and easy to read guide for anyone caught up in an HMRC tax investigation. A must read for any Self Assessment taxpayer.
Click the link to read about: Tax Investigation for Dummies
HMRC Is Shite (www.hmrcisshite.com), also available via the domain www.hmrconline.com, is brought to you by www.kenfrost.com "The Living Brand"