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A very bad idea

Apr 23, 2009, 10:01 AM
Authors : Allison
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Post date : Apr 23, 2009, 10:01 AM

So HMRC want to name and shame tax defaulters: tax evaders by any other name.

Quite apart from the very questionable morality of doing this in the first place, how likely is that HMRC will get names and addresses – yes, they plan to include addresses – correct? I can just imagine the conversation now…

Irate taxpayer: My nine-year old daughter is distraught, her friends are all teasing her, calling her dad, ie me, a thieving b*****d, and worse. What the h*** do you think you are doing? My only income is from my job and my employer deals with the tax on that. I haven’t evaded any tax – what is going on?

Pompous HMRC official (only slightly apologetic): You mean you aren’t John Smith of 11a High Street, Somewhere, AB1 2CD?
Irate taxpayer: No I’m not. I’m John Smith of 11b High Street, Somewhere, AB1 2CD.

Pompous HMRC official: Oh dear, someone must have typed in the wrong address. I am sorry about that. But you know, we can’t be too careful about tax evaders. I’ll get the address changed. Compensation? Oh I don’t think so. It was only a tiny mistake. And if you are an honest taxpayer, what are you worried about?

It’s not too hard to imagine is it? HMRC are not immune from making typing errors, sending out penalty notices to taxpayers who have already paid their tax, etc. So what guarantees do we have that they would get this proposed list of tax defaulters right?

This is a shocking, nasty idea and should be consigned to the bin without further ado.

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