• Visitors can check out the Forum FAQ by clicking this link. You have to register before you can post: click the REGISTER link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below. View our Forum Privacy Policy.
  • FREE webinar: What does a post IR35 reform CV look like? : Wed, Jul 28, 2021 7:15 PM - 8:15 PM BST More details here.

Political motivation for tax persecution

Collapse
X
  •  
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Political motivation for tax persecution

    An article in the Times yesterday very accurately described the motivation behind the HMRC 'crackdown' on both individual and corporate tax avoidance. It's worth reading, simply to understand (with crystal clarity) the motivation behind the persecution we are experiencing.

    The article is titled "Osborne 'relies on tax cash to fill black holes'" and appears on page 45 of the Times yesterday (Monday 3rd December 2014). I cannot reproduce the whole article (for copyright reasons), but, I have summarised below - and, for those who subscribe to the Times on-line, here is the link to the full article:

    Osborne

    The article states that the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) will publish a review into whether the government's revenue-raising estimates from anti-avoidance measures can be relied upon. The OBR is expected to raise concerns about the Treasury's growing reliance on these measures to balance the nation's books. The articles states that George Osborne has used anti-avoidance increasingly to bolster the public finances in each of his budgets and autumn statement's since 2012. The Chancellor has leaned heavily on tax avoidance income to fill the black hole in public finances, which the OBR (said yesterday) has grown by about £10 billion this year - and is expected to unveil another £1-£2 billion (yesterday). In a letter to the Treasury last June, Robert Chote (Chairman of the OBR) said: "The yield from anti-avoidance measures is generally more uncertain than that from other policy measures". Chris Sanger, head of tax policy at EY, said: “It is right that the OBR is raising questions about these revenues, as they are inherently difficult to estimate".

    There are two inescapable conclusions:

    (1) No matter what the Government or HMRC may say to the contrary, the over-riding motivation behind the oppression that we are experiencing from HMRC is not a legal objection (i.e. tax planning and avoidance breaks laws), neither is it a moral objection (i.e. tax avoiders don't pay a fair share) - it is financial (i.e. the Government needs to balance the budget ...), and political (... because then it will get re-elected).
    (2) This Government is gambling that receipts from this persecution will go a long way to balancing future budgets.

    In my opinion:

    (A) The Government and HMRC may find that alienating 40,000+ intelligent, hard-working, honest voters (plus the employees of 10,000+ companies under threat) will have serious legal and political consequences both next May and beyond, and

    (B) The OBR is correct - the revenues ultimately realised will be fraction of that estimated by the Government/HMRC. I say this with some (minor) inside knowledge - I personally know six contractors who are being chased for tax as a result of membership of EBT schemes. Of those, one has settled (for a relatively small amount), one will probably settle when the FN/APN arrives, and the other four (including myself) will not pay (mostly because they can't, and never will be able to) and they will tough it out to the bitter end - which may include personal bankruptcy and/or moving abroad permanently.

    Thoughts ?
    "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next ..."

    #2
    100% agree. A small percentage will settle for small amounts but these settlers help HMRC greatly by giving them sample data for each scheme. Where HMRC has not done a good job and has missed documents, using the sample pool they will estimate. This will be massively beneficial when coming to issue APNs.

    This SO is not for contractors as no benefit at all compared to paying an APN (if you can settle you can definitely pay APN and retain the right to recover) but a big opportunity for HMRC for data collection. These small amount settlers will fill and provide all documentation which HMRC might not ask for again legally.

    At APN time everyone with assets will have to pay or go for bankruptcy. HMRC does not care. Only a small percentage will be able to move abroad to countries with no treaties in place with uk and risk all assets and visits to uk in future. HMRC knows this and this is where the black holes in government finances will be filled.

    Some correctly implemented schemes will fight through the courts and might even eventually win. But by that time refunding that money will be someone else's problem rather then Mr Osborne. This government would have won the next election by that time.

    This is tax and nothing moral about it. It is everything to do with politics. Contractors are on the wrong side and easy target for government to meet its political objectives. As simple as that.

    Comment


      #3
      Remember, APNs are not just about contractors. This affects anyone who has used a notifiable scheme in the past 10 years. There are stamp duty schemes, film partnerships and all manner of other arrangements.

      And YES this is primarily about the money. If it was just intended to reduce avoidance then there would be no need to apply it to past transactions.

      Unfortunately the country is strapped for cash and tax avoiders are an easy target.

      Comment


        #4
        What I am speculating about is if you run away or hide money from HMRC, knowingly don't give them your details or move assets to another person etc it can lead to serious tulip and even criminal case against you. I am not a lawyer and am not sure about this but have heard from someone. Until the tax is under dispute it is a civil matter and once it becomes due as per APN and u knowingly run away from authorities, I don't think it will be pleasant situation to be in.

        Comment


          #5
          If someone hides abroad for long enough they may be ok.

          Will debt become statute barred if I do not pay for 6 years

          There's probably a limit to how hard HMRC would chase a debt outside the UK, especially when there are much easier pickings ie. the rest of us poor sods who still live here.

          I say good luck to anyone who escapes the bastards.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by DonkeyRhubarb View Post
            If someone hides abroad for long enough they may be ok.

            Will debt become statute barred if I do not pay for 6 years

            There's probably a limit to how hard HMRC would chase a debt outside the UK, especially when there are much easier pickings ie. the rest of us poor sods who still live here.

            I say good luck to anyone who escapes the bastards.
            I believe NI can be statute barred after 6 years, but Tax remains collectable for at least 30 years...

            Whereas debts can become statute barred after a period of 6 years the Crown assets are not included in this law

            Comment


              #7
              I doubt it would be this easy but will get some professional advise on this soon. This can be a solution for lot of us if it is that straight forward - just need to find work abroad for 6 years and done.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by StrengthInNumbers View Post
                I doubt it would be this easy but will get some professional advise on this soon. This can be a solution for lot of us if it is that straight forward - just need to find work abroad for 6 years and done.
                Might be an idea to research mutual taxation agreements first though. Don't think there's much work in Patagonia...
                Blog? What blog...?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by turbowoowoo View Post
                  I believe NI can be statute barred after 6 years, but Tax remains collectable for at least 30 years...

                  Whereas debts can become statute barred after a period of 6 years the Crown assets are not included in this law
                  There is conflicting information about this but I think you are right.

                  http://www.moneywise.co.uk/files/debtwizard-la.pdf

                  "4. Income tax and VAT
                  You can always be pursued for debts owed to HM Revenue & Customs no matter how old they are."


                  Although they've got to find you first.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    My personal view on this is (and it is just my view) running away and trying to dodge is digging your grave yourself. Most of us are highly skilled and should own up and pay what is due.

                    I joined a scheme thinking it is more legal than limited company - was new in the county. No cash component and all declared in return and HMRC not saying a word for year after year cemented my view.

                    Now I will pay up what government will ask but will go to the courts to ensure it is legally due. Until now I cannot see a court decision telling me a loan based contractor scheme was illegal in any way and thus I will fight through the courts. On top of that HMRC officials on settlement offer help line lying to me face and completely broken my trust in them - thus I don't believe a word they are saying. Fortunately promoters were good and are organising all this.

                    Running away from government in western world will be very difficult. And migrating my family to Middle East or back to Asia does not sound like a good decision to me. Neither I want to be away from my family for long period.

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X