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, 3 August 2012

The Scales of Justice

Last Friday I mused on the "topsy turvy" nature of the world wrt "justice" not always being applied equally.

My thanks to Stuart Jones, a loyal reader, who picked up the ball and ran with it to produce an article that compared and contrasted the treatment of the plumber (who I wrote about last Friday) and Michael Shanly (a person who seems to be a tad wealthier and a tad more dishonest than the plumber):
"When sentencing property millionaire Michael Shanly (who features on the Sunday Times Rich List) to pay fines and compensation totalling £830,000,plus costs, for evading £430,000 of Inheritance Tax I was delighted to hear Recorder Rosamund Horwood-Smart QC say:
In this court there are no rules just for the rich and no rules just for the poor… the tax system relies on voluntary and honest disclosure of tax affairs and it applies to all equally.
Shanly, whose fortune is estimated at £132m,  had previously failed to disclose the Swiss offshore account to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) during a civil enquiry where he was found to owe HMRC around £2 million.

Contrast this with Melvyn Careswell, a self employed plumber, who evaded around £50,000 of Income Tax.

Despite pleading guilty to the offence he was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and had his photo published on the HMRC website at the bottom of the press release, something which my friend and fellow chartered accountant discusses on his website, HMRC is Shite.

Well thank goodness the poor are treated the same as the rich."
As I noted last Friday, it's a Funny old world!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. I also recall a pop star done for millions about two years ago who was given total annonymity. The stated policy used to be the bigger you are the harder they hit you (on the basis that you or your advisers are more likely to know better) - that is and always has been total rubbish.

    1. Tell that to Lester Piggott.............

  2. Nothing to do with current posting but Toyota have another problem

    August 1, CNN – (National; International) Toyota recalling 760,000 RAV4’s due to crash risk. Toyota announced the recall August 1 of some 778,000 vehicles in the United States due to a suspension problem that could cause crashes. The recall comprises roughly 760,000 Toyota RAV4’s from model years 2006 to 2011, as well as about 18,000 Lexus HS 250h’s from 2010. Toyota said if the nuts on the rear suspension arms of these vehicles are not tightened properly during a wheel alignment service, the arms may come loose or separate. A Toyota spokesman said that so far in the United States, there have been “nine crashes and three minor injuries alleged to be related to this condition.” About 100,000 vehicles in Canada were also part of the recall. Source:

    Sorry, thought someone mentioned Lean or Pacesetter!

  3. Sorry old chap, HMRC is an organisation with very little to do with the welfare of its employees let alone adherence to H&S legislation.
    The list of benefits of compliance with OHSAS includes far too many references to improved employee welfare for the bunch of dinosaurs infesting the management tiers of HMRC.
    Besides which, stating OHSAS as being similar to ISO 9001 brings back painful memories of IiP (Idiots in Power, It isn't Possible, Is it Possible) and, as was explained to me by a very adept senior manager from a local authority "the only reason the award plaque wasn't used as an ashtray is because it is made of plastic"!

  4. Isn't some of the difference to do with the ability to pay the fine. In the case Melvyn Careswell he probably couldn't pay it and was jailed, whilst Michael Shanly did pay his fine.

    There is also the case of being able to afford a good solicitor to argue your case. Law has never been fair for the poor.

    Though to be honest, the printing of the mugshot does go a step too far.

  5. Excuse me but Rosamund Horwood-Smart QC herself came from riches.She was Anthony Arlidges pupil,who was recommended her by her father a solicitor who briefed Arlidge.She used to drive him about in her BMW sports car to art galleries and so on.Her father lived in Cheltenham where she had been schooled and went every week end to a home of great luxury.Her father gave open house to Rosamund Horwood-Smart invitation for them to all go to spent a week end with wives just before the meeting to see if she would be given a tenency.Her hair was bleached blonde and her clothes were expensive and immaculate.Full wealth full family support,she also was having an affair with a QC who she later openly went out with wjo was one of the head guys in chambers.She had no lawdegree or any degree but did 3 years at the Council of Legal Education,which is now considered not enough.Once in 5 Kings Bench Walk ,now tranfered to 18 Red Lion Court,it is impossible not to zome to the top because they are an established chamber where fees are enormous to.So this idea of rich and poor doesnt mention silver spoons without which in those days progress was impossible .Riches smart clothes at high prices got car rich solicitor father...its ok shes a nice girl,her children had a nanny ect, but the underlying falicy that it was a struggle and morals larned from struggle for instance she recieved Rosamund Horwood-Smart QC, £677,874 for the Bloody Sunday inquiry which Politicians’ outrage at ‘waste of money’
    Its easy to be the grat and good if the path is smoothed for you

  6. Good we all knew that Rosamund Horwood-Smart is one of life elite born with a silver spoon yes she is a nice girl but has little compassion for first hand knowledge of tragedy as one has seen there are times she could have made a huge difference and she has walked on by on the safe side her eyes avoiding great suffering that she could have availed.I hope one day she will widen her view and when she sees tragedy first hand will not be assailed by keeping on the bright side rather than the right side,to believe that the pain of thse the tragedy she has witnessed first hand is of no matter as long as it doesnt impede her,sometimes the young and vunerable might have been helped by a courageous word,not just a polite aside and an avoidance at all cost as it seemed to others.Not everyone has had all she has had and cruelty witnessed an evil seen but avoided is when evil thrives.Sure she is a good person but her inability of a show of compassion ....In other words rich and poor are different thoase who are rich have a hance those who are poor are flung to the dogs