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, 13 February 2015

HSBC Taxgate Email Unearthed


Le Monde have a copy of the email which Herve Falciani, the whistleblower at the centre of the HSBC taxgate scandal, sent to HMRC in 2008.

This is very fortunate because, by happenstance, Homer and HMRC say they have no record of any such email being sent at the time.

Vive La France!

Tax does have to be taxing.

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66 comments:

  1. Can you provide a link for this please Ken.
    I have a few questions which your readers may be able to address?
    Firstly we hear that the French authorities placed restrictions on what HMRC could do with the information they passed on. Why? To what end..it seems bizarre. Particularly as we are hearing that some of these accounts were used by major organised crime.
    Secondly and given the two main parties claimed "ignorance" who agreed to this? Did hmrc accept this unilaterally? If so who and with what authority?
    Given the source of funds behind some of these accounts it is inevitable we are looking at evasion and sophisticated, well planned evasion. How on earth is a non-prosecution policy appropriate? Who decided this and on what basis? Again is this within hmrcs remit or did they seek advice?
    I suspect that we are not seeing the major names involved here...d notices? There is something very wrong with all of this. Or am I missing something?
    Of course our press should be asking these questions but the majority seem very reluctant to throw stones I wonder why!!!!

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    1. Many news organs are reporting it eg http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31450005

      The 100,000 names of those who had HSBC Swiss accounts are being poured over by journalists in France etc. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-09/if-your-name-list-prepare-be-audited-or-worse

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    2. I see it now Ken, you were hot off the press! TY.

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    3. Uhh..I think a certain loyal reader was a bit hotter off the press than Ken and picked up on it last night on BBC News and posted on the preceeding thread. ;)

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    4. The truth is that HMRC is not fit for purpose

      It was a Frankenstein monster from the day Gordon Brown created it

      Now its very size and importance has become its biggest weakness as it has become a single point of focus for administrative cock ups, poor service, shoddy IT and general scandal for the government, the Treasury and politicians. In additions its leadership within EXCOM have become the archetype over mighty subjects who feel they are above Parliament and the law. In the past they would have been been bought to heel by the monarch tarring them as 'evil counsellors' , chopping off a few heads and using them to decorate London Bridge. Now I expect it the solution will be to break the department back into its component parts in the next 5 years as that will at least spread any future risks over more institutions thus making the management of failure easier

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    5. Now the French are saying there was no restrictions on the data - she's an effing liar that Homer.

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  2. Vague poorly expressed email that looks like it could be the work of a scammer sent to enquiries estn@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

    Hardly surprising that nothing happened. Wonder if it even got through the spam filter

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  3. I can't use the excuse that HMRC's quarterly e-mail reminding me to file a VAT return didnt get through my spam filter.

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  4. Suggest all you armchair sleuths have a read of the HMIC reports into HMRC regarding Handling of Human Intelligence from 2007 and the revisit report dated 2010.
    Form your own comclusions.
    If unsure, then have a look at the reports HMIC did regarding disclosure 'From Genesis to Revelation' and that ones revisit.
    Or there is the 'Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs disclosure compliance with criminal investigations' report from 2013.

    All in the public domain, not exactly rocket science, its not just that is HMRC asleep on watch, they are ignoring the law and the spirit of the law in the process!

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  5. Kind of makes you wonder why they invested in industrial type commercial shredders as well as having a contract for shredding undertaken on site by those lorries?

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  6. "France has cast doubt on claims by a Conservative minister and tax office boss Lin Homer that the UK was refused permission to use the leaked HSBC files to pursue financial criminals through the courts"

    They were given the information and they failed to act. Please get rid of these HMRC muppets now.

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    1. Just as I suggested in the opening post on this thread. This is now starting to look very serious. I would suggest that muppets is far from accurate, rather it is beginning to look like serious criminal behaviour has taken place. You have to look at those in high positions in hmrc at the time. The answer is there I think.

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  7. Its the HMRC that is the organisers of serious organised crime, they knew and continue to know exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it.
    Time to blow the lid off the biggest crooks that claim they are acting in the tax payers interests.

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  8. So, it would appear that both Gauke and Homer may have misled Parliament and the PAC respectively? Both should go, this is an atrocious state of affairs and either Osborne or Cameron should be made to make a statement in the House.

    Its about time the muppets were held to account, far too many over promoted clowns in high places, a top down clean out required as a minimum.

    The true extent of lies and law breaking from bullying to quaffing from the claret jug are way overdue for attention.

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  9. Just watched Herve Falciani interviewed on BBC news.
    I know who I believe, clue, HE, is French, doesnt look as though he is telling porkies and holds the Ace hand courtesy of some excellent investigative reporting by Le Monde.
    Perhaps Le Monde & IIJ should replace HMRC to investigate crime and leave HMRC to play in their civil orientated rose tinted view of avoidance, evasion or just simply not paying the right amount at the right time?
    But seriously, perhaps its time to leave playing with the big boys to the NCA and the SFA and move forward instead of backwards?

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    1. Sorry but the Criminal Investigators can only investigate the work given to them. Those on high want them to concentrate on small income tax jobs, whereas Excise Duty fraud (booze and fags) seem not to hit the Excom radar. Fully trained investigators not doing what they have been trained for. And NCA and SFO full of ex C&E and HMRC trained investigators. Don't blame the investigators, blame those decide what they are permitted to.

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    2. Totally agree, Anonymous 20:33!

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    3. You lot cant have it all ways, lower level fruit has always given numbers and if numbers of prosecutions are what is wanted and a £20k SA fraud is deemed to fit the bill then your Tasking and Case Development produces what is required.
      Perhaps some of your CI types should spend less time on the TV programmes chasing equity cards at street tobacconists and corner shops level and get back to reality? As I recall, EVO's (Excise Verification Officers) used to do all that through to court and the 'investigators' used to investigate the real criminals further up the tree, but then along came HMRC!
      Its a clusterfuck from top to bottom, and no, I dont blame the investigators.

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  10. Where are the press on this? I think I know and I certainly know why.

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  11. Bloody Hell, seems like you cant turn the news on without seeing yet another report about HMRC inaction and failure to do its job. BBC news just reported on the multi-millionairre who didnt file a tax return for 20 years despite the idiots having him in for an interview.
    Incompetance, maladministration, malfaescance, criminal negligence - no, not the multi-millionairre, the twats at HMRC!
    You could not make this up. 3 different news hits in a day, must be a fecking record of some sort.

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  12. And this, after all the threats to the normal tax payer that there will be penalties for late submission of self assessment forms!!!!
    I demand the same treatment ie 20 years Zero tax, Zero penalties and Zero action from HMRC
    Absolutely disgusting. Cameron get off your arse and do the right thing here, the U.K. public and voters demand it!

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  13. They are now scrambling to save face with employees. We have a nice new suck-up article in HMRC to show how HMRC staff were defended at the PAC. This includes a comments section where attendees have stated the PAC bullied those grilled by Margaret Hodge.

    Full on melt down.

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    Replies
    1. Worried about this year's £20k bonus, no doubt....

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    2. Yep on the intranet the brown nosers are sucking up to Homer, obviously hoping they will save their skins in the next round of PMR. One interesting point is that the civil service code may have been broken by calling the PAC bullys. A few voices of dissent on there - saying Homer got a taste of her own medicine after bullying HMRC employees. I pray that she is shown the door soon.

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    3. Amen! Anonymous 21:16

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  14. Where is D Hartnett in all of this? Wasn't he in charge at the time, or was he too busy being wined and dined to notice the rampant tax evasion by his mates? Why wasn't he hauled before the PAC and given a grilling - could it be something to do with the fact that he now works for HSBC as their "honesty advisor"?

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    1. you've hit the nail on the head. haul his arse in front of PAC and demand answers

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    2. See Anonymous 13:18.....

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    3. Yes that would be good, especially as he now works for HSBC.
      Oh yes, really. You could not make it up

      http://www.accountingweb.co.uk/article/hartnett-joins-hsbc-financial-crime-committee/537200

      So he could come along when the HSBC types are ritually abused by the PAC and ex-plain how his presence is going to make it all better.

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    4. This scandal is developing legs in the media

      On past evidence it can not be long before the hunt starts for scapegoats starts within HMRC

      I expect they will be looking for a scarificial victim who can be 'totally responsible and completely to blame2. The ideal candidate would e someone who is senior was around at the time the events occurred but is no longer directly employed by HMRC.

      If I was David Hartnett I would be starting to get very worried about now. I hope he remembered to file away plenty of documentary dirt on his senior colleagues for use on a rainy day.

      All British politicians and senior HMRC civil servants both current and past should be particularly concerned if in their enthusiasm not to rock the boat with HSBC and others they have also helped cover up criminal tax evasion that impacts foreign governments and particularly the US authorities. I gather the IRS and the Yank federal authorities in general do not take kindly to people who faciltate that sort of activity and have been known to both extradite and jail Brits who get involved in that sort of thing.

      Sweet dreams Gauke, Homer, Hartnett and all

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    5. They must look for everyone that was, and still is in a position to have stopped this. No excuses, no hiding, no passing the blame downwards, its time to be held accountable for the failures and corruption that they have allowed to happen. Christ, they have even designed and encouraged it!

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    6. Hartnett should be hauled over the coals for his involvement, he is as guilty as HSBC themselves for different reasons - an obnoxious and repellent self serving individual.

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  15. Its called propaganda by HMRC, we call it bull shit, surely this has gone too far for there not to be high level heads rolling and major changes to HMRC procedures, systems and powers

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  16. Heads should roll....

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  17. Pacesetter your way out of this one Homer!
    Another debacle to add to the old C.V. in time for the doors to revolve once more.
    I don't know who agrees to pay you and Excom the bonuses that you state you deserve but there should be a clawback under the Trades Descriptions Act at very least. Jeez, based on performance, you lot should be paying the taxpayer not the other way around.

    Tomorrows papers should cause a few raised eyebrows, and as for Sundays, well, and I can't wait for the next issue of Private Eye to hit the shelves!

    D'oh!

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  18. This won't help their cause either....letting off probably the biggest dodger so far.....
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31459067

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    1. The sad fact is that this is just the tip of the iceberg, the elite millionaires control the corrupt system and dictate the actions / inaction of the HMRC to suit their own financial situations. The general public end up paying too much in comparison to subsidise their greed and tax avoidance.
      we've got people on minimum wage, working part time, holding down two jobs, etc paying more in tax than this parasite, and the mighty HMRC are knowingly allowing to happen!!!
      Incredible and a disgrace.

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  19. As HMRC says, it applies many and varied criteria when evaluating an individuals tax liability, also they cant discuss individual cases.
    I totally agree with this our tax affairs are confidential........ So all I ask is that we are ALL treated the SAME as our £60,000,000 friend, 20 years, zero tax, zero fines / penalties and no action from HMRC........ seems fair to me, anyone disagree?

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  20. Well the effluvium has certainly hit the fan big time over this and is causing headaches for the politico's which they will not appreciate in the run up to the election.

    Expect not only heads to roll but a variety of enquiries and maybe an IPCC investigation as well.

    It all depends on how far up the greasy pole the dirt is sticking, if its too far, the whole thing will stop with a few heads rolling and a possible split back to constituent parts to cover the crap with a smokescreen of 'action'.

    Would expect that the top of the HMRC tree is in for a rough pruning before spring.

    You couldnt make the current situation up. ROFL

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  21. its pretty sad that the HMRC is in this shit storm and all we hear is how its bad timing because of the looming election!
    Fack the election, we're obviously putting the wrong morons in positions that they are abusing any way. sack the facking lot of them and let's get people in that actually want to improve our situation.
    Who has the balls to sort this........ as you say, token minor heads may roll, HMRC may get a telling off, then it'll revert back to the normal dysfunctional shit hole.
    As a nation we really are facking soft in the head for letting our government create such a department and allow it to perform so poorly.

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  22. Please God !!!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31468781

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  23. Wow, what a feeding frenzy, one of the most agitated threads in some time and no contribution from Stew G, yet?

    Could be payback time for some of the deadwood nerds at the top, but as for labour doing anything constructive about the Frankenstein monster created by Wee Gordie on the back of a beer mat, I doubt it!

    For far too long the lobbyists and others have led the civil service and HMG by the nose, vested interests and money rule.

    Heads should roll, no, heads must roll, and I would expect a cull at the top couple of layers in HMRC as its now an emabarrassment for HMG.

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    1. There must be a suspicion that Miliband's proposals for root and branch reform of HMRC are mere electoral posturing given that his party created the monster in the first place. Nonetheless, the very fact that the governance of an institution such as HMRC has itself become a central issue in the political debate is surely significant. I can not see how it can avoid having major ramifications for the current members of ExCom who must surely be now drinking in the last chance saloon.Sooner or later politicians of all parties will tire of protecting people who have become a permanent political liability

      While the process of centralising tax administration has been relentless in the past decade there are still parts of HMRC such as the Valuation Office Agency who would probably want out now if they had the chance. Going forward the more important factor will be the ongoing pressure for the devolution of tax raising powers away from Westminster particularly if the SNP hold the balance of power in Westminster. Should that process start to gain momentum then I would expect bits of the current HMRC fiefdom to come under threat. The Scottish government already has plans for its own Revenue Scotland. Any party campaigning for more independence can hardly leave the most basic function of the state the assessment and collection of taxes in the hands of an institution working ostensibly for a foreign power. The idea of the Scottish government taking on this role is not going to be that hard to sell to the Scottish electorate given that the likes of Homer and Hartnett have successfully ensured HMRCs reputation for probity, fairness and efficiency is now in absolute tatters. As the very idea of the UK as political entity comes under question then its likely the institutions such as HMRC that serve that state are also going to come under threat.

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  24. My guess is Homer will be moved on or she will be allowed to step aside when she should really be sacked (to wreck havoc at some other dept). I am hoping now that the press have got this nice juicy bone they are not going to let go of it so easily (like the MP's expenses was). there has no better time for HMRC to be shown up for what it is, a totally fucked up and inept government department run by corrupt and venal incompetents.

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  25. The list of shame just grows - David Varney, Bob Kerslake (useless head of Civil Service) , Dave ' Two Lunches' Hartnett, The late La damme Strathey (not shamefull but ineffectual), And now Lyn Homer. What a fucking laughing stock this department has become. I lay the blame squarely at Brown for merging the two departments when they were so clearly ill fitted. Oh and Frances Maude probably the nastiest piece of detritus the Civil service as washed up in recent years - a vile man.

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  26. I know there is strong feelings about tax evasion & avoidance, Dave Cameron & the other politicians now talk about these scandals with supposed passion. Please dont forget its the same politicians who have slashed HMRC's budget year on year. The department is at crisis point in terms of staffing levels, the staff who are there have their pay frozen. You cant expect a 1st rate tax service when its not political will. There are more cuts coming in HMRC & unless the government give HMRC the resources & the tools to tacke evasion & avoidance nothing will change. HMRC staff dont write the law. Its drafted by politicians. All im saying is you cant constantly cut & cut resources. HMRC cannot take any more cuts & it is folly to think that you can cut the UK tax administration & get the same/better results. Lobby your MP about the lack of resources in HMRC if you feel so strongly.

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    1. The truth is that cuts or no cuts HMRC have quite deliberately created a system where there are different levels of service offered to taxpayers depending on their wealth, social status and political clout. VIPs and big companies are given special treatment in the handling of their tax affairs right down to the security of their computer files (they are not called 'Special Customer Records' for nothing) which is denied to the rest of the population. This enhanced level of service for certain people is also being carried into the area of tax investigation where large corporations and rich individuals are offered face to face negotiations with Ex Com members to settle their tax liabilities over a nice lunch while the rest of the taxpaying body have to deal with crappy call centres populated by poorly paid and trained operatives who struggle to deal with any queries that do not get covered on their scripts. In fact now that the Enquiry Centres have been abolished the only way for most of us to see what a member of HMRC looks like is by watching a televised PAC hearing. This failure to treat either its customers or its staff fairly and impartially is at the heart of the rot which is destroying the credibility of this organisation

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    2. The words 'Grainger' and 'Troup' come to mind. Can't think why.

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  27. My MP and the PAC and the NAO know exactly what the situation has been like inside HMRC for years.
    The fact that HMRC used the full weight of RIPA to have a dabble at Osita Mba and his wife is evidence of the sheer abuse of power and position therein.
    Whether it be Malfeasance, Misfeasance, Nonfeasance or merely Incompetence, all in public office is irrelevant, the sheer audacity and disdain with which the Law has been broken is breathtaking.
    Get the IPCC in there tomorrow before any more shredding is undertaken.

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  28. If homer gets a £20000 bonus this year then there really is something wrong with the world.

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  29. A refreshing piece from Janet Street Porter of all people.....
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/columnists/theres-one-tax-system-for-the-rich-and-one-for-therest-of-us-10045786.html

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  30. '...HMRC unfit for purpose?' this question was raised on The Andrew Marr Show this morning.

    It might just as well not have been asked;

    Ed Balls dodged the issue neatly regarding everything by claiming that Labour created HMRC in order to bring in some aggressive Investigative ability from Customs to the Revenue but skirted the question over whether things had subsequently improved.

    IDS or is it IBS, arrogantly claimed that Universal Credit was not delayed in its roll out and a long staged roll out had been planned all along. His rose tinted view of reality is incredible, wonder what its like from his free home in his in-laws mansion?

    We are all in this together. Bollocks!

    'Be ye never so high the law is above you' Thomas Fuller 1733

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    1. I am amazed none of the so called 'media' interviewers never ask the politicians the simple question as to why the 'hard working taxpayers' they like to fetshise about in practically every sentence get a second rate service from HMRC while skilled tax avoiders get VIP personal treatment. The joke is that politicians are supposed to represent the citizens and voters of the UK not taxpayers which by definition might include Russian oilgarchs and foreign owned businesses. Corrupt politicians and a supine media unprepared to ask tough questions is one reason why I think the UK is past its sell by date as a political entity.

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  31. The decisions Labour took were all for the sake of cost cutting, NOT for the good of the country. Merge the HMC&E drug investigators and those of the police NCA to make SOCA. Merge C&E Detection officers woth Immigration to form UKBA. Merge IR with C&E to form HMRC. SOCA failed badly, so was reorganised as NCA which is still running below what it should be and is shedding Investigator posts.UKBA (set up under the "leadership" of Homer) was failing so re branded as UKBF and is still failing, and also shedding jobs. And HMRC has never worked, as it concentrates solely on chasing numbers and NOT organised crime and massive tax evaders-not got the balls to do anything else as numbers of prosecutions, not the quality of prosecutions, seems to count. Demerge HMRC back to IR and C&E as if it weren't broke, why fix it?

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  32. I have quoted words from Kiplings Smuggler's Song on here more than once, and they are still apt;

    'Them that asks no questions they isn't told a lie.
    Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!'

    Or the old Customs ditty 'Seek and ye shall find!'

    To keep it to basics, for whatever reason, HMRC are either looking in the wrong direction or not looking at all.

    To see Danny (Beaker) Alexander looking like the proverbial bunny in the headlights yet again and claiming more money and resources would be made available for HMRC was laughable. WTF have the twats been doing with the additional taxpayersmoney they have received over recent years besides claiming revenue protected or whatever as a hard result?

    The only result comes when the money, be it tax unpaid, tax evaded, tax avoided, fines, interest, default payments or court applied penalties or even hopefully repaid bonuses, actually lies firmly in the exchequor, anything else is as ethereal as morning mist.

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  33. It is amusing to see Balls on the Marr show threatening to dismantle the dodgy edifice. Given that he is the architect.

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  34. As of today I'm having nothing to do with anyone in HMRC this is my protest to the corruption and deceit.
    Don't say that I cant do this, it is going to be done.
    I will keep you informed

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  35. Who in the HMRC has been negligent and failed to do their job. We all have job descriptions that we are measured against. So all the head person of HMRC has to do is check staffs performance against job specs, then check those same people for abuses of power, non compliance etc then sack the fucking idiots!
    Very straight forward and senior managements duty to carry out

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    1. That means Homer has to sack herself !!

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  36. Ian Duncan Smith said it so it must be true...

    We have prosecuted 2,600 people and there are 2,700 hrs of sentences for tax fraud...or was it the other way around?

    Doesn't really matter as the clown was obviously misreading his brief for the BBC news this morning. Do the math, whichever way you look at it can we trust a government that even gets its briefing facts wrong? on these figures, the convicted would not have had time to walk from the prison van to the door of the prison and back.

    As for putting all the blame on the previous government, that claim was presented for all the problems and lost credibilty by its sheer repitition and desperation alone.

    Nope, isnt going away anytime soon, batten down the hatches.

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    1. Would you even admit to only 2700 hrs for 2600 prosecutions.
      He hasn't even got the interest in this serious subject to take the time to check the bullshit he's being asked to peddle.
      wake you you prick

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  37. Hey guys, you remember the tower of London poppies? That was a tribute to 884,000 people that gave their lives in the hope that they were saving a Great Britain and that it would be worth the sacrifice.
    I'm looking at where we are now, how our civil servants have raped the public funds, and I'm ashamed. its an absolute disgrace and no one going to anything about it apart from talk and posture about it.
    Shame on all of us.

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  38. Anyone seen the Chancellor yet or is he still noticeable by his abscence?

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  39. What the main man in charge of this disgrace! probably at lunch with HMRC discussing how to cover their arses and who to sacrifice

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  40. HSBC & HMRC back in front of M.P.'s again Wednesday.
    Might be like being savaged by a dead sheep again, but as both major parties have had a kick in the scrotum today over the Channel 4 Dispatches revelations wrt to 2 former Cabinet Ministers who were Foreign Secretaries, this week may not be a good week to appear in front of people looking for scapegoats!

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