Tuesday, 18 November 2014
The Squeaking of the Pips
Rather worrying for many people is this latest report into the ongoing heavy handedness of HMRC. They are increasingly picking on professionals, people living in the South East and the self-employed to investigate. It seems from the Telegraph's FOI request that they are looking at over 100,000 people extra per annum.
Mainly thanks to their fancy new computer system, Connect. My worry is that Connect actually allows the fishing expeditions that the Government and Revenue say are illegal. After all they get bank statements and Land Registry information, decide that a person cannot afford their house purchase and then begin an investigation.
How is that not a fishing expedition?
I am not sat here saying people should not pay tax; after all I personally handover eye-watering sums PAYE every month. Still once a year I get asked for more for some spurious reason post handing in a self-assessment form; it always feels like a stick-up as the process and reasoning are Byzantine but failure to comply ends in a court summons and CCJ in short order.
What to make of this in the medium term though, HMRC is desperate for revenues now, what is it going to be like in the UK after the next election? The Government will be very short of money and stuck with a massive structural deficit that will require big tax rises and a larger tax take from the taxpayers.
But I fear that as you try to make the pips squeak as Labour and Conservatives are want to do, you drive away the desire for wealth creation. After all, if you can't hold on to it what was the point? The situation, for doubters, is similar to pensions today - with the State pension much safer, albeit a lower level, than the Private sector pensions which have been taxed to death, people are saving LESS for their retirement and pushing the burden more onto the state - which can be seen in our deteriorating public finance and vast increases in pensions payments over the past 4 years.
I don't know where this ends, but the future is not rosy for taxpayers or the Government.