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, 2 October 2009

Bankers Revolt

Bankers Revolt
It seems that banks are making a stand against HMRC.

Approximately 308 banks, whilst not exactly taking to streets in a "Peasants' Revolt", are kicking up a fuss over HMRC attempts to pry out of them details about their clients' overseas bank accounts (using "Schedule 36 Notices).

The banks are appealing against the notices on the grounds that the request for information is "unduly onerous".

Whilst it is unlikely that, in the long run, the banks will be able to block HMRC this will disrupt HMRC's fishing trip for some time.

Powers for invasion of privacy and spying should be in proportion to the results expected. I remain to be convinced that this fishing trip will net the government billions in evaded tax receipts.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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1 comment:

  1. I don't have any offshore accounts. I'm not rich enough to do it and with my simple PAYE tax affairs I don't have the opportunity to enter into the sort of evasion and avoidance schemes that rely on the offshoring of funds. For years, possibly decades, HMRC/the Inland Revenue has had powers to find out details of onshore accounts. Banks have a duty to actively report suspicions of onshore accounts being used for money laundering and criminal activity (which would include tax evasion).

    You may say that this sort of thing is an invasion of privacy (though I would say that privacy and secrecy are two different things), or that it leads to fishing trips (not from what I've seen - the data is used for risk assessment, but around here "fishing trip" is used to an enquiry being opened/prolonged purely speculatively in absence of material risks). However, the fact remains that allowing overseas secrecy lurisdictions to continue to operate creates one rule for the rich and another for the rest of us. Again.