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.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink

Beaker Alexander has proudly told the world that HMRC is now using a team of psychologists and "behavioural economists" to make people feel guilty if they don't pay their taxes on time.


Those who deliberately evade taxes don't give a fark about feeling "guilty".

Anyhoo, it seems that HMRC has subtly altered the wording of hundreds of thousands of letters sent out to the public to encourage people to pay up.

The Telegraph reports that the letters include statements highlighting how the "great majority" of people pay their taxes on time, while also setting out the importance of taxes in funding public services.

A similar "nudge" approach, developed by the government's "behavioural analysis team", is being used to target potential tax evaders who are being sent letters asking them to clarify their tax affairs.
Earlier this year HMRC has sent 5,000 "nudge" letters to people with Swiss accounts, urging them to pay any outstanding tax. Those who do not respond face a full tax inquiry.

Beaker told his Liberal colleagues:
"We are using psychologists and behavioural economists in HMRC to get the money quickly. 
Tax dodgers beware – we know where you live, we know how much you owe, and now we know how you think. Your behaviour is unacceptable, and we are coming for our money."
HMRC said it conducted "large scale" trials involving 100,000 taxpayers to "pinpoint the exact words and concepts" which make people more likely to pay their taxes.

The letters now include phrases such as "nine out of 10 people in the UK pay their tax on time", or "most people with a debt like yours have now paid it". In many cases, local comparisons were used to encourage people to pay up.

I wonder if HMRC has sent such letters to companies such as Google?

Tax does have to be taxing.

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  1. Those letters have been sent out (automated I might add) by DMB for a number of years.

    1. Maybe someone should tell Beaker that?