Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Corporate Tax Evasion

Many newspapers have led today with the story of Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC, or as colloquially known in my trade of financial services, 'the Enemy') being accused of double-standards when it comes to collecting tax from big companies.

As many of my regular readers (I am assured there are a few!) will know, the taxman is no friend of mine. Indeed, the taxman is a thieving bastard who puts his hand up your shirt and squeezes your tit until it turns purple, gives your hard-earned cash to politicians, who then proceed to spend it on alternative dance classes for reprobates.

I think that, generally, we pay far too much tax in this country, and that the current level of tax is actually hampering the economic growth that we so desparately need, and indeed, is actually reducing the amount of money we collect in tax.

However...

I also believe a little thing called the Rule of Law.

Now, the Rule of Law is a very important thing. It means that we have a set of rules which are supposed to be uniformly enforced, and that everyone - from the richest old thain in the county, to the lowliest serf in the field (apologies to Rudyard Kipling) - is equal before it.

Now, at this point, it would be helpful for a little explanation of another set of concepts which are often misunderstood and confused with each other: tax avoidance, and tax evasion.

Tax avoidance is the careful arranging of your financial affairs, or your company's financial affairs, so as to minimise or negate any tax charge before that tax charge is incurred. In other words, planning to make sure you don't pay any more tax than you absolutely need to.

Tax avoidance is perfectly legal, and in the case of companies, I would absolutely expect it's officers to engage in as much tax avoidance as possible, as their primary duty is to return a profit to their shareholders. I engage in tax avoidance when I pay money into an ISA. We all engage in tax avoidance when we pay money into our pensions. Tax avoidance is good. It legally deprives the bastard, thieving Enemy of funds.

Tax evasion is deliberately not paying tax that is due. Tax evasion is illegal. Tax evasion is, effectively, fraud - the deliberate deprivation of monies that are due to the State.

So, putting aside the argument that tax in this country is generally too high, I expect anyone and everyone to do everything they possibly can to legally avoid paying tax. But, the Rule of Law must apply, and it must apply uniformly. In other words, HMRC shouldn't be corporate shills happy to be fellated by the board of Greedy Fuckers plc in exchange for illegally scrubbing millions of pounds off their tax bill, but be happy to screw small businesses in the arse until their mouths bleed. And if certain people working in said HMRC are accused as such, the following should happen:

  • Evidence of said behaviour should be produced, and passed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Police;
  • The relevant accused should be suspended, pending the outcome of a Police investigation;
  • The outcome of the Police investigation should be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service, to decide whether a prosecution is in order;
  • If a prosectution is in order, the accused people should be arrested, charged and tried in open court;
  • If found guilty, they should be sacked for gross misconduct, and sentenced according to the severity of their crime. Given that it is likely to amount to a multi-million pound fraud, a custodial sentence seems appropriate.
And of course, the same should be applied to the greedy, cocksucking fuckers who decided it would be a good idea to fellate them in the first place.

Nice little backhanders for HMRC. My backhander involves a fucking knuckle-duster. Cunts.

That's the Rule of Law. Uniformly enforced.

Once that shit is out of the way, then we can have a nice little chat about perhaps, why, we pay so much bloody tax, why so much of it is wasted on diversity co-ordinators, equality outreach officers and fucking useless Council Chief Executives on £250,000 a year, and wouldn't it be nice if we all paid a lot less.

Bastards.