View Full Version : Do you trust the taxman?

John Marsh
9th May 2014, 10:11
Under consideration: that Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs be empowered to raid the bank account of any UK taxpayer deemed guilty of withholding tax.
Plans to give HM Revenue and Customs the power to dip into bank accounts to recover unpaid tax will leave people open to fraud and error, a Commons watchdog has warned.

The Treasury select committee, led by Tory MP Andrew Tyrie, said the current proposals are "very concerning" because people will be at risk of having money wrongly taken out by HMRC.

Around 17,000 a year people could be affected by the new tax collection powers, which are expected to raise around 100m a year.

The Treasury insists there are sufficient safeguards as HMRC will only be able to remove the money after four ignored requests for the tax, the money due is more than 1,000 and only if there is 5,000 in the account afterwards.

But the cross-party group of MPs raised concerns about HMRC's chequered record when it comes to errors.

"This policy is highly dependent on HMRC's ability accurately to determine which taxpayers owe money and what amounts they owe, an ability not always demonstrated in the past," the committee said. "Incorrectly collecting money will result in serious detriment to taxpayers. The government must consider safeguards, in addition to those set out in the consultation document, to ensure that HMRC cannot act erroneously with impunity. These might include the award of damages in addition to compensation, and disciplinary action in cases of abuse of the power."

It added: "The ability directly to have access to millions of taxpayers' bank accounts raises concerns about the risk of fraud and error, and this should also be covered by the consultation."
www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/09/concerns-at-hmrc-plan-to-recover-unpaid-tax-directly-from-bank-accounts (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/09/concerns-at-hmrc-plan-to-recover-unpaid-tax-directly-from-bank-accounts)

I would add that potentially vulnerable accounts include those jointly-held. The 'guilt' is thus to be spread to spouses, and less-able senior citizens where e.g. a son or daughter who is helping with finances has annoyed HMRC. Seems like a broad brush approach to me.:*

I am reminded of what happened with private bank accounts in Cyprus. Those raids were sold to us as mostly affecting rich Russians with dubious financial backgrounds.

Are you sold on this latest development?

9th May 2014, 10:22
Nope; I do not trust them.

What annoys me is that if you are PAYE and earn over 100k then you have to fill in a tax return form each year.


If it is your only source of income then why on Earth can HMRC not work out your tax?

If they cannot do that, then I cannot trust them. I've heard many instances where HMRC get it wrong... but of course if they owe you money they will not pay any interest on it that you may have accrued had they not mistakenly taken it :ugh:

tony draper
9th May 2014, 10:35
Just laying the groundwork for when things really go tits up when they will do a Cyprus and seize every bodies bank accounts.:rolleyes:

9th May 2014, 11:33
When I was working, they rarely if ever got my assessment right. I had to argue it most years, and appeal it once.

What worries me even more than them having the right to help themselves to my bank account is that they are proposing to sell my tax details to private companies to raise some more revenue.

Yes, I've signed the petition asking that they be denied that option.

9th May 2014, 11:37
Looks like it's back to stashing the loot in the mattress then! :suspect:

9th May 2014, 11:40
The last of my cash (pension funds) leaves the UK in 3 weeks. Does that answer your question?

Takan Inchovit
9th May 2014, 11:42
Hasn't been much looting on my mattress for a while. :\

9th May 2014, 11:58
{quote}Yes, I've signed the petition asking that they be denied that option.{quote}

Is there a link somewhere?

9th May 2014, 12:28
They wouldn't have to chase the little people, if the likes of Vodafone weren't let off billions in tax after buying a nice lunch or two for the head of HMRC.

9th May 2014, 12:45
Got fined 400 one year for paying too much tax.
Yes, really!
And they falsely called me a liar with impunity, whilst lying themselves about a form I had submitted (fortunately I had taken a copy).

Ancient Observer
9th May 2014, 12:53
It would seem to me that it is time to have more than one account for a couple. Then, if SWMBO misbehaves opposite the Revenue, my modest loot is safe.

9th May 2014, 13:26
We should all be concerned, as legislation is being passed all around the 1st world that gives more and more power to encroach on the average citizen's rights, especially appertaining to finances. Large corporations and well heeled and connected individuals and families are able to circumvent the edicts, the average man and woman less so. The criminal excesses of the last decade (and the decades before as well!) by privately held central banks have put the national debt(s) into such a negative state as to be nearly unpayable, so the 'bail-ins' already enacted in Cyprus will at some point be repeated elsewhere. The power given to tax authorities allows without recourse, the seizing of funds from both guilty and innocent parties bank accounts.

It's hard to imagine a happy ending if things carry on as they are.


9th May 2014, 14:23
What happens if everybody withdraws their money from their banks and just holds onto it?Would you see inland revenue "hit squads"raiding houses looking for dosh?!!

simon brown
9th May 2014, 14:40
They are unfit for purpose.

In my dealings with them for very basic issues like informing them of a change of company vehicle, for example, they have always got it wrong

In one instance they taxed me twice...one for the car I was giving back and one for the new one

They are not to be trusted

9th May 2014, 14:44
At the moment, they tend to sell debts off to debt collection agencies and, if that doesn't work, they can apply for sequestration to get access to the dosh. In Scotland that used to require the approval of a Court of Session judge, although it's now dealt with in the sheriff court. Give the buggers an inch and they'll take your house, car and guitar collection.

Not a good developement.

John Marsh
9th May 2014, 15:52
They wouldn't have to chase the little people, if the likes of Vodafone weren't let off billions in tax after buying a nice lunch or two for the head of HMRC.Indeed.:ok::ok:

What happens if everybody withdraws their money from their banks and just holds onto it?Would you see inland revenue "hit squads"raiding houses looking for dosh?!! You know, I don't see that (underlined) as unlikely.

9th May 2014, 16:11
Possible fortunes to be made selling biscuit tins of assorted sizes? Any profits could be kept in...errr.... a biscuit tin.

I've had no problem with HMRC when there's been a hiccup with my tax codes but, like a [email protected], I wouldn't trust them.

9th May 2014, 16:20
Possible fortunes to be made selling biscuit tins of assorted sizes?

As long as you account for VAT properly. :cool:

9th May 2014, 17:14
When they get it wrong, it can take so long to correct matters that a company (or an individual) can become bankrupt, and there's no compensation for that.

9th May 2014, 17:24
A shorter thread might have ensued if the OP had asked
"Does anyone trust the Taxman?"

9th May 2014, 17:29
I can only answer that I have never had a reason to distrust them.

In fact, on two occasions, they were very helpful for me.

9th May 2014, 17:33
"there's no compensation for that."

Not totally correct, daughter of a friend eventually got 1,000,000 of our money as compensation for being falsely bankrupted/her business destroyed.

9th May 2014, 17:35
I guess it depends on whether one is referring to the average HMRC employee or the Chancellor of the Exchequer as the Taxman.
I have no beef with the former; and indeed my second cousin is a Tax Inspector, and a bloody nice bloke.

My personal view is that I do not trust the Government to set up a tax system that is fair - whether that lack of fairness is achieved by Laws, internal 'targets', undermanning, promoting 'yes men' or whatever.

Amazon paid 0.1% tax on gross earnings last year.

9th May 2014, 21:05
Can they be bribed?

9th May 2014, 21:17
Of course.

Bribes case taxman gets five years - News - The Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/bribes-case-taxman-gets-five-years-1279559.html)

9th May 2014, 22:38
"in a blue two-piece business suit, ..and brown tie"

How dodgy can one get? Not surprised he was rumbled.

9th May 2014, 22:47
So how are they going to get the money if it is an overseas account ?
or if it is in the wifes name :)

Wouldn't trust HMRC to make tea.

9th May 2014, 22:56
I just got back from a trip free of all engagement with the interweb, and reading through this thread I got to....

HMRC does get things wrong sometimes,

I'm still crippled by helpless laughter at this gem of dead-pan understatement about an organisation that gets it wrong 90% of the time.

Nervous SLF
9th May 2014, 23:21
I seem to remember a saying along the line of "If you owe a Bank a couple of million they own you. If you owe the Bank hundreds
of millions then you own them" Well to me H.M.R.C. appear similar as if you owe them a couple of million or less they will get you.
However owe more than that and they seem to let you off by making a deal or don't do their homework correctly and lose in Court.

Here in NZ I have found the N.Z.I.R.D. to be quite helpful as long as you don't appear to be trying it on.

10th May 2014, 08:07
Oppose HMRC having power to seize money directly from bank accounts without fair trial - e-petitions (http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/64762)

10th May 2014, 08:16
Concern at plan to let HMRC recover unpaid tax directly from bank accounts | Politics | The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/09/concerns-at-hmrc-plan-to-recover-unpaid-tax-directly-from-bank-accounts)

George Osborne, the chancellor, believes the measure can be justified because the Department for Work and Pensions already has the right to take money directly from people's bank accounts to pay child maintenance.
Typically poor logic.

George, old bean, has it occured to you that the right to take money directly from people's bank accounts to pay child maintenance might be impossible to justify? Regardless, in what way is there a link to general taxation, apart from a common bandit?

Krystal n chips
10th May 2014, 09:10
And then we have....

Take That stars face the music after tax ruling | UK news | The Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/may/10/take-that-stars-face-the-music-after-tax-avoidance-ruling)



To be fair to HMRC however, ones dealings have always been suitably resolved albeit they still deducted the 1.80 one once owed.

That said, at the rank and file level, it's worth remembering they have also been subject to the Gov'ts mantra of " reforming the public sector"....which most of us call....... redundancy, so you can't blame them for not being overly enthusiastic really.

11th May 2014, 09:16
Amazon paid 0.1% tax on gross earnings last year.
What does that have to do with anything? Amazon's business model is not based on profits so the taxman doesn't get much from them directly........but the shareholders still pay tax on the capital gains from their shares when they go up........
You have to make up your mind exactly what you want taxing and stick with it......green-eyed, knee-jerk reactionary policies are never going to work. And any sensible business owner is going to frame their strategy according to the actual tax laws not what they think some onlooker will judge later. If you keep moving the goalposts then you fuel the short term thinking and planning that actually harms the economy because nobody trusts the government and plans to make their money fast, then exit.
Would you rather we all sat back, did nowt and let the government give us a subsistence living?

11th May 2014, 09:33
Amazon paid 0.1% tax on gross earnings last year.

Off topic. All in keeping with UK tax law.

If I could find a way, within the law, to have only a 0.1% tax exposure on my gross earnings, I would. And I'm sure a lot of others would also.

On topic. In the past I have had no issues dealing with the IR/HMRC. They've always been quite helpful when they've required a cut of my earnings.... :(

12th May 2014, 01:09
About 14 years ago I woulnd up my sole trading business in the UK, paid my VAT and went to the local tax office and made a full & final payment as I was leaving for overseas never to return. I left a temporary overseas address where I could be contacted in the next 6 months.
About six years later I received a two year old letter forwarded from the temporary address fining me hundreds of pounds for not submitting a tax return! Fortunately I had kept all the correspondence, and sent them copies. I then received a tax demand for 0.00, and held my breath to see if a new tax demand would arrive the following year - so far, so good....:hmm:

12th May 2014, 10:10
I'm still crippled by helpless laughter at this gem of dead-pan understatement about an organisation that gets it wrong 90% of the time.
Go on then, show us the supporting evidence to back up your claim :rolleyes:

12th May 2014, 17:19
I've never really understood why it is that in this day and age, all our salaries (except for the very high earners who somehow manage to persuade our governments to keep open all the loop-holes etc. or perhaps simply outrageous benefactors to these ruling political parties) aren't simply "paid into" some sort of "sub-account" held by the French or other national tax authorities.

In April 2014, I "cost" my French employer EUR a total of 4,028.52. Out of which a "total" of EUR 1546.61 (consisting of "charges salariales" and "charges patronales") were automatically-deducted at source. OK, it was a bad month for sales. But so what, what I was able to pay into my own bank account was EUR 1,983.12.

In addition to which, I'm deducted by automatic monthly debits:

1) EUR 195.00 pm for income taxes (based on 2013 income - yet to be officially-declared)
2) EUR 62.00 pm for local taxes (based on 2013 income - yet to be officially-declared)

The French tax-authorities may as well automatically-deduct also the rent I pay for my apartment. Together with the electricity charges.

They can then make "whatever is left" available for me to spend on food, Scotch, cigarillos, pudicats etc., paying out to me the balance in the form of "pocket monies", representing the few 100s of € remaining.

Do you see where I'm coming from...?! Whilst the mostly corrupt French politicians continue to sleep calmly in their beds, promising lots but delivering nothing. Under left or right, I've lived and worked here in France under both willingly and conscientiously. They've both delivered little, whilst always recompensing their most important benefactors IMHO.

PS. JB Shite Fighters, you don't help much either, your secrets (slowdown tricks and similar problems) are already well-known to most of us. Yet you also persist, for some unexplainable reason :}

PPS. Perhaps the problem I was experiencing had nothing to do with JB Shite Fighters after all?! But with my French mateys wanting to simply ensure that "La France" is always open for business, even if you're a corrupt Ukrainian or Russian billionaire, an African despot or whatever.