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To actually quite like paying tax

(53 Posts)
SEmyarse Tue 13-May-14 07:59:14

I just find it baffling that all these super rich people seem to try to avoid paying into the system, and little old me is fine with it.

I'm self employed, and earn under 30k a year. i work as a driver. I do my own accounts and only really tax deduct for car costs (mileage system) and phone/internet. Other drivers are always going on about subtracting for things like suncream, sandwiches, coats and shoes which is fine but seems a bit nitpicky to me. The actual amounts on yearly accounts are very small on the odd occasions you have to buy these things.

But the biggie, is that on top of my regular courier contract, I do 3 evenings a week delivering takeaways which brings in about £100 a week. Literally everyone I've mentioned this to has made some kind of comment about being paid cash in hand (nudge wink), and are then totally astonished when I say I declare the earnings for tax. This includes dh, who wants me to pocket the money, but I refuse and get quite cross. In fact I'm increasingly uneasy with the fact that he would tax dodge if he could. He points to the fact that all the rich sorts do it, but that's not the point!

18 years ago I was homeless, pregnant, penniless, and my child's father was terminally ill. I have had a COLOSSAL amount out of the system. It was not perfect, I have been cross and frustrated many times. It took years to get appropriate housing and a care package for my first husband who managed to live an extra 10 years in the end (unexpected). But there was a system, with people working very hard within it, why would I not pay in? I accept there is always mismanagement of money under whatever administration but where would we be without any taxes at all?

It's not always easy to pay my tax bill, but when I do it always feels great to have done my thing. Having been so dependant in the past, it feels great that my life has improved and I can now contribute although I doubt I'm anywhere near being a net contributor.

I've desperately tried not to make this post sound smug, but I think I've failed and will probably be flamed. I'm not smug, one life change, and I could be back at the bottom, and then I hope others continue to pay their taxes so I may be helped again. So why is it so common and open for people to try all sort of tax dodges? Not just the super rich, I have heard all different classes talk of trying to keep their money from the tax man. Why? It's not for him, it's for all of us!

gordyslovesheep Tue 13-May-14 08:04:51

yanbu - I see paying tax as my moral duty - it's there to support all of us through welfare, education, health and I think the better off you are the more you should support others

BoomBoomsCousin Tue 13-May-14 08:14:48

YANBU - I'm happy to pay to tax. I love that my mum (and me and my kids and all the other people in the country) can go and see a doctor when she feels they need to. I am glad for the parks and the roads and the street lights. Even if I would like to see changes in our schools, I'm still glad everyone can get a free education to secondary level. We have a festival on at the weekend in my area - free entertainment for the kids, lots of people coming together and listening to music in (I hope!) the sun. It's really nice.

Fideline987654321 Tue 13-May-14 08:16:17

YANBU. We still, by and large, have great public services. They don't grow on trees.

LizzieMint Tue 13-May-14 08:19:39

YANBU, I'm very happy I live in a country which has a tax system and uses it to benefit people who need help, as well as to provide things that we all use. I've never seen the issue with paying tax.

WooWooOwl Tue 13-May-14 08:20:43

YANBU, I too enjoy the fact that I make a good contribution to the society I live in and benefit from, but then I pay a pretty average amount of tax.

I'm not sure I'd feel the same if I were paying 40% of what I earn, or if I were paying thousands or hundreds of thousands. You don't need to pay that much to feel pleased that you can contribute well, and I can understand why some HRTs resent paying so much when they don't live an extravagant lifestyle.

FraidyCat Tue 13-May-14 08:23:51

For some rich people, money isn't to buy stuff, it's just like points in a video game, whoever dies with the most wins. So it would be counterproductive to give any away.

Most people who are good with money are experts at stopping "leakage", they are good at minimising every type of expense, tax is just another one. They wouldn't pay more than they have to any more than they would have the second-cheapest phone contract or gas supplier.

Having said that, you are conflating avoidance and evasion. Not declaring your cash earnings would be evasion, a criminal offense. That's not the same thing as the rich avoiding paying into the system, which is what you set out to comment on. (Though maybe you meant to imply evading as well?)

If forced to give money away, most people would be able to think of more attractive causes than the UK government budget, only a fraction of which might go on the things that give them warm fuzzy feelings. Payments to HMRC are a necessary evil, HMRC would make a very odd target for voluntary donations.

Floisme Tue 13-May-14 08:25:50

YANBU. And you don't pay 40% of what you earn.

Preciousbane Tue 13-May-14 08:31:24

YANBU and and much as the super rich evade millions by clever accounting.I wonder how many millions are lost through small cash in hand jobs. Individually its not much but collectively it must be a bucket load.

Nocomet Tue 13-May-14 08:53:11

Your not a SAHM, not getting CB and seeing half her DH's money vanishing paying higher rate tax!

Some tax = warm glow, too much tax does not!

LumpySpacedPrincess Tue 13-May-14 08:59:02

YANBU Presumably if your dh is paying a higher rate tax Nocomet then you are still left with a chunk that is larger than most peoples.

nomorequotes Tue 13-May-14 09:03:46

I would be far happier paying tax if it went on the poor and needy rather than the pointless stuff it is often spent on. I remember in the 'recession' they gave 2billion in tax money to the car industry, when questioned they admitted very little of it would filter down to the bottom.

In a nutshell, if I trusted the government I would be happy to pay tax, as it is now I do so begrudgingly and hope they don't give it all away or spend it on wars.

Nocomet Tue 13-May-14 09:22:16

Probably, but it isn't an affording private schools and posh cars chunk.

It's a being comfortable, not being rich chunk and not thinking about money amount to live on.

As nomorequotes says we don't get to keep enough I'm happy propping up banks, paying waste of space councillors and the shower called Ofsted.

lionheart Tue 13-May-14 11:22:11

Yep. Depends on how it's spent and how it's wasted.

AgaPanthers Tue 13-May-14 11:27:47

But you aren't really paying that much tax. And if you like it so much, why not add on some more?

FragglerockAmpersand Tue 13-May-14 11:43:43

I hate paying tax/NI in that I am self-employed and poor, and so finding my annual tax/NI bill is a bloody nightmare.

I think remember all the help the NHS has given me and my family, and look at the roads and the infrastructure, and look at all the children trooping into the school at the end of the road, and feel bloody glad I have the CHANCE to pay tax and see where it goes.

whois Tue 13-May-14 12:30:08

Do you think it is fair that you only pay tax on 2/3 your income at 20%?

While someone on 100k pays tax on 100% of their income, 32% of their income at 20% and 68% of their income at 40%?

Also as has been pointed out not declaring your cash in hand earnings would be evasion which is illegal.

jay55 Tue 13-May-14 14:02:48

I pay masses of tax/ni/vat a month since becoming self employed and find it frustrating. I never minded before when I was earning a lot less and it felt like I was paying my share plus a bit and it felt good to contribute.

Now I'm paying more a year than I used to earn and it feels very disproportionate, especially as I can't get a mortgage.

wobblyweebles Tue 13-May-14 14:13:21

I'm just about to vote against one of our candidates for governor despite him promising to remove state income tax.

The money will be spent anyway, as it should be. If it's not taken as income tax it will be taken some other less fair way.

ChelsyHandy Tue 13-May-14 14:16:51

A bit goody goody OP. While I see the point in paying tax, there is nothing wrong in questioning value for money or what you get for it, and beyond a certain level, you can start to feel hard done by.

For example, I only get half of any pay rise I get because I am a higher rate taxpayer. To me, that feels more like punishment for my hard work than recognition. If I took on management responsibilities at work for instance, I would double my stress and vastly increase my workload but if I got an £8000 pay rise for it, I would only see £4000 of that.

I also suspect the happy taxpayer is not likely to be the wealth creating, inventive, entrepreneur, nor the most interesting dinner party guest!

BoomBoomsCousin Tue 13-May-14 14:24:26

As a higher rate tax payer you're almost certainly getting the benefit of the government's bail out of the finance industry, use of the armed services to secure our access to energy and all the compromises we go through to make the trade agreeents and treaties we've signed up to work. These are the things that make our economy able to sustain the jobs that pay high wages.

AgaPanthers Tue 13-May-14 14:29:18

"I pay masses of tax/ni/vat a month since becoming self employed and find it frustrating."

The VAT threshold is £81k. You must be doing pretty well.

And it's paid by the customer.

SueDoku Tue 13-May-14 14:50:24

OP you ANBU - like you, I look at my family and friends and see people alive that would undoubtedly be dead if they had had to pay for all their health care; people with qualifications (which allow them to have satisfying jobs and comfortable lives) that they would never have been able to afford if they had been required to pay every penny of the cost of their education; people who feel safe in their homes because there are emergency services to come to their aid if necessary; people who have been supported by benefits when they have had tough periods in their lives – and have pensions to live on in their retirement etc etc...

We gain a huge amount for the tax which we pay – although it would be nice to be able to stipulate that it shouldn’t be used for certain things that go against our principles – (like Trident) and we take a lot of things for granted. I’ve always been happy to pay my tax/NI etc - because I've always been lucky enough to have a job that's allowed me to do so.

redexpat Tue 13-May-14 15:33:12

Well I'm with you on principle. However, if HRMC repaid tax that was overpaid, and were generally more helpful and I think people would have more faith in them!

I live in Denmark and trust me I LOVE contributing. It feels like an achievemnt, a marker that I am doing something, even though it's not what I thought I would be doing. Having said that, if I ring the tax authorities, I ge through to a person, who usually knows what they're talking about.

Wabbitty Tue 13-May-14 15:37:21

HMRC have repaid my tax when I have overpaid.

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