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To want everyone's earnings and tax records to be public information

(202 Posts)
Itsgonnabeacoldone Wed 22-Nov-17 23:22:56

I think it would be very modern and progressive if the UK government changed the law to make people's income and tax public information. Would probably raise a few billions more and make people less likely to do those dodgy tax avoidance schemes.

FeelingAggrieved Wed 22-Nov-17 23:24:15

I don't know if I like the sound of this for individuals but I would like to see it happen to big companies. But then maybe that's not fair to single them out. ;)

Grilledaubergines Wed 22-Nov-17 23:25:07

I don’t particularly want the world to know my income. HMRC know and that’s plenty.

BestZebbie Wed 22-Nov-17 23:27:37

I can see the benefits to things like
- child support
- equal pay monitoring
- transparency of conflict of interest/tax dodging of public officials

However I presume it would actually be "what you disclosed to HMRC on your last tax return" and so it would still be open to issues of people being legally creative about what went on there.

Jilly12345 Wed 22-Nov-17 23:45:08

No.

Sentimentallentil Wed 22-Nov-17 23:48:20

Doesn’t already happen for big companies? I run a business and my tax records are public, though I think it’s just how much tax the company has paid so that doesn’t take into account salaries or dividends.

Itsgonnabeacoldone Thu 23-Nov-17 09:44:58

Yes it does happen for companies.

Some companies internally publish everyone's wage.

MuseumOfCurry Thu 23-Nov-17 09:46:47

Surely you can see that's an invasion of privacy.

TFL won't even speak to me about my 15 year old son's oyster card, that's a data privacy breach innit. I'd say your plan is doomed from the outset.

Ttbb Thu 23-Nov-17 09:49:22

Progressive or illiberal? The only reason why you even suggest that is a belief that the money that an independent visual earns isn't theirs and that others have an entitlement to it. The government collects its taxes which it can do perfectly well without disclosing personal information to the public.

SolidarityGdansk Thu 23-Nov-17 09:52:12

I don’t want people to know what I earn.

No ones business except me, my employer and HMRC.

I am a PAYE wage slave as are most people. So not much opportunity to evade tax. ( though I do avoid tax - I have ISAs and a pension and a couple of premium bonds)

SarahJConnor Thu 23-Nov-17 09:55:17

No no no no no no no no no I am a very private person, dh and I have both been financially abused by our families, this would open people up to so much blackmail and unpleasantness. Imagine the consequence! Seriously.

MuseumOfCurry Thu 23-Nov-17 09:58:47

Yes. How convenient for criminals to find their targets. They'd love it.

MismatchedCat Thu 23-Nov-17 10:01:18

It would be much harder for companies to get away with paying men more money than women if everything was out in the open.

hibbledobble Thu 23-Nov-17 10:27:53

Yabu. Absolutely impractical, invasive, and makes high earners a target for criminals.

Company accounts are already available in the public domain.

AstridWhite Thu 23-Nov-17 10:31:53

Would probably raise a few billions more and make people less likely to do those dodgy tax avoidance schemes.

How? And why?

ByThePowerOfRa Thu 23-Nov-17 10:32:28

Wouldn’t bother me especially, but I’ve never been fussed about people knowing what I earn. At the moment it’s zero as I’m a sahm anyway grin!

DH is the complete opposite though and never discloses his salary. I’m sure he’s told me what it is, but I can’t remember the annual figure tbh. I know it just covers our various bills anyway!

So I imagine you’ll get completely opposing views on this.

sparechange Thu 23-Nov-17 10:35:23

I know someone who did one of those 'financial makeover' columns for the Sunday Times, where they had to disclose their salary and outgoings, so an expert could advise them on what they should be saving, investing etc

If you googled them, it was one of the first hits that came up along with their hometown, and it caused them years of problems.

They had begging letters from charities, guilt trips from family wanting them to pay for things and worst of all, when they tried to buy a house, the seller rejected their offer on the basis that they knew how much they earned and had in savings, so knew they could afford to pay more!

So on that basis alone, it seems like a really, really terrible idea

But realistically, how is it going to stop tax avoidance schemes? Knowing how much I earned this year and how much tax I paid this year isn't going to tell you anything about the savings I moved overseas 5 years ago and am using the interest to invest in a solar panel farm in Jersey as a tax dodge
And it doesn't tell you about the holiday home I've got overseas which I rent out and get paid into a Swiss account, before bringing the money back into the UK in cash
And it doesn't tell you about how I've inherited millions from my parents, but it was put into a trust to avoid inheritance tax and to allow me to draw a 6 figure annual income while only paying 20% tax...

Itsgonnabeacoldone Thu 23-Nov-17 10:47:40

Criminals to find targets? Not sure the logic with that one!

It works very well in other countries.

Itsgonnabeacoldone Thu 23-Nov-17 10:49:29

Wasn't the problem with them saying how much they had in savings?

I know people on 6 figures with no savings and v high outgoings and people with much lower wages with money to their name.

MuseumOfCurry Thu 23-Nov-17 11:01:48

Criminals to find targets? Not sure the logic with that one!

Really?

Splinterz Thu 23-Nov-17 11:03:56

Why do you need to know what I earn?

sparechange Thu 23-Nov-17 11:04:23

Really? You can't see how an easily-searched list of the names and address of people with loads of money might be of interest to criminals, fraudsters, burglars, scammers?

Rebeccaslicker Thu 23-Nov-17 11:05:53

That would in no way open people up to scams, burglaries etc...!

stevie69 Thu 23-Nov-17 11:06:52

I don’t particularly want the world to know my income. HMRC know and that’s plenty

This. It's not the general public's business. Do you want to know my bra size while you're at it? hmm

Splinterz Thu 23-Nov-17 11:07:40

Norway already does this - BUT - it also lists who has looked up your tax return, so you can see if eg your sons teacher, your neighboour, your new partner, the woman in the corner shop is having a poke about.

www.theguardian.com/money/blog/2016/apr/11/when-it-comes-to-tax-transparency-norway-leads-the-field

Mght I ask if the OP thinks it should be extended to all incoming funds? so earning AND tax credits, child allowances, PIP/DLA/carers any financial maintentance, pensions, and any other benfits?

That'd open a can of worms

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