Sunday, 19 December 2010

I hope they're worth it

It costs about £50k to train a commercial pilot.

It costs about £2m to train a fighter pilot.

At £4.5m each, those Tax Investigators should be pretty skillful...

Contributed by Joe Public


Jo G said...

I'm surprised there is outrage about tackling tax evasion. Let's consider what it is. It is failing to declare one's full income so that one can evade the tax bill on that income. It is a criminal offence.

And in the UK since Thatcher's time and later the body once known as the Inland Revenue has seen cuts to staff which rendered it impossible to go after those criminals who sought, not to screw the government, but the taxpayer. That would be you and me.

And of course it was such a popular pastime that even MPs got in on the act by avoiding paying Capital Gains Taxes on second homes. Well, until they got found out.

What is it about tax evasion that most people will respond with a "Good on you." attitude when those who lose out are ourselves? It isn't the government's money, its ours.

There is a black economy out there - and it isn't just the middle classes who exploit it incidentally - that is worth BILLIONS. I work, I pay my taxes and I am happy to do so. Those who do not, who hide their income and who fail to pay their full dues are thieves.

As for the costs attached to training another 200 investigators there is something wrong there. No way does it cost that much to train people. That has got to be a lie introduced to this article in order to create hostility towards any attempt to bring in the thieving criminals who evade taxes and hammer them bigtime. It really is time we started to view tax evasion as we view drink-driving. We should despise those who do it.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

I do believe your comment is a genuine belief. And it's one in the right circumstances I would subscribe to and, in a general sense do act on.

No doubt we have the black, grey and slightly misty economies to contend with, but we also have the Gilt economies where billions are lost through avoidance schemes utilised by global and major conglomerates, especially those in the financial sectors.

We have further anarchy within this sector, when the major auditors also play the role - within the same company they audit- of acting as tax advisors. Which is a euphemism for tax minimising (avoidance) advisers. A situation which surely adds mockery to insult?

We also had the reports in the Telegraph - just prior to the expenses farrago - where it was reported the Head of the Treasury on being questioned over the paucity of corporation taxes being submitted by these major concerns(ie Banks)stated the method he would use to bring them to heel would be to have a quiet word with their CEOs over lunch?

Nobody likes paying tax, but for the most part the majority grin and bare it, and for that same majority there are few loopholes left where they can claim, or afford the advice to claim avoidance. So why not remove the word avoidance from the lexicon of the Revenue.

Why not have tax calculated on a simple profit/loss basis and any rightful investment costs having to be claimed back by the company?

The other major factor missing in the tax equation is the manner and responsibility in which the money raised is used. There you have the classic three word pot,kettle, black impasse.

Two wrongs never make a right Jo.G, but where there's an inequality of power it's up to the greater to correct its own faults first.

Joe Public said...

Jo G ........

The point of the posting is not a criticism of Tax Collecting; it's an observation of the apparent cost of training the investigators.

It obviously doesn't cost £4.5m each.

But either the HMRC people preparing & issuing the Press Release, or, the professional journalists at the Telegraph didn't 'put their brain in gear' before publishing the article.

Joe Public said...

C&RAPs .....

Thanks for the additional info.

One further thought.......
People who work in a wide variety of industries (Supermarkets, Travel Agents, Manufacturing etc) get an (untaxed) perk called discount off their employer's goods.

Those working for HMRC (a) get nowt; (b) get the sack if they get caught fiddling (tax-free) expenses, unlike MPs.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Joe Public

I think you'll find such perks are catered for in revenue returns.

Often, like tips in the catering industry, a negotiated agreement is reached between the management and the revenue.

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