Sorry Nick, I just don't get it(4 Posts)
Why is Nick Clegg planning to target the 'super-rich' by recruiting 2000 new tax inspectors? Firstly, many highly experienced tax inspectors have recently been made redundant, inspectors who know what they are talking about and know whether a case is genuine or not. Secondly, it is more likely the 'super-rich' employ tax advisors to keep them on the straight and narrow so pursuing them for taxes is likely to be a futile exercise. HM Customs and Excise are in such a state at the moment it is frankly laughable to be branching out, they should be concentrating on training their call centre staff to actually know what they are talking about rather than just reading from a list of 10 answers which they believe should be able to answer all queries. Or stopping sending out aggresive debt collectors to hard working small business people who don't actually owe money and in many cases are actually owed money from HMRC. I don't earn enough to be in the top tax bracket but I can certainly understand why high achievers decide to go to others countries, it is fair to be taxed but at the moment it seems that being a high achiever/earner in this country means that you are seen to be a bit of a tosser who should be taxed unfairly.
As I understand it, the 2000 extra HMRC employees won't simply be there to target the 'super-rich', but will be there to beef up tax collection across the piece. I have no evidence to support this next statement but suspect that, in cash terms, the money lost to the exchequer by 'small business people' doing cash-in-hand jobs and failing to declare VAT etc is far higher than the cash lost from some wealthy people who employ accountants to find legal ways to pay less tax.
I would have liked to have seen an announcement that the entire tax system would be reviewed and simplified. There are far too many different levels of taxation on personal income at present and the rates are inconsistent between capital gains, earnings from dividends & paid employment. Property and inheritance taxes are all over the place. The more loopholes there are, the more opportunities to pay less.
It's pure politics. Clegg needed something his party can rally around and this plays well with his remaining voters. Well it's better than 'screw the poor' anyway and puts him a little at odds with the Tories.
The concern I have is that we're sending out a message to the top earners, those who generally have taken risks and created jobs for others, that they are not valued. That they will be taxed to the max and that as Dizzy rightly puts it, are seen as tax dodgers rather than the biggest tax contributors.
I'm starting to think the whole 'get rid of the 50p tax band' thing is pure politics as well. The Chancellor can legitimately say he'd like to get rid of it as soon as possible and this will please us Tory voters.... knowing he can't do it yet. The LDs can say 'over our dead body and we will fight tooth and nail' pleasing LD-voters.... also knowing it can't be got rid of yet so they've already won that one.
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