There could be a reason for this

A crackdown on offshore tax cheats has only recovered about a third of the £1bn that the government had predicted, according to estimates.

Possibly, the government has swallowed the campaigners’ insistences about how much dodging there is going on.

And those insistences prove to be wrong?

13 comments on “There could be a reason for this

  1. It is amazing how the Legal Establishment has been panicked into absurdity. They have railroaded innocent men because Polly cried about rape. They have jailed three men for the death of Stephen Lawrence even though there is no evidence they did it.

    And now they are overturning British tax law based on a lie.

    They are incompetent and spineless. What is the point of keeping them around, much less paying them so much?

  2. “The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, said these figures exposed “the utter failure” of the government to ensure the super-rich and big corporations were paying their fair share in tax.

    “This could be just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. McDonnell said that after the Paradise Papers revelations last year, the government had been quick to promise action but slow to deliver on it. “Now they have been shown to not even deliver on what they originally promise,” he said.”

    I’m sure that’s not something the Labour Party would ever fail to do, eh, John?

  3. The fact that the official estimate of the Tax Gap is also only about 1/3 of Murphy’s estimate is of course purely coincidental.

  4. Every tax initiative brings in less tax than they estimate.

    Every government project costs more than they estimate.

    When governments announce plans, they always claim that the former will pay for the latter.

  5. The problem is that the politician’s estimates are always wildly inherently overstated as it plays into the “offshore treasure myth”. IOW, You can get this entitlement or you can have this tax cut and it will be paid for by the hidden offshore tax evasion treasure. Depending on the audience, the “pirates” are either “the wealthy fat cats” and/or “the ravenous multi-national corporations.”

    My favourite example is when then PUC head Margaret Hodge demanded that HMRC audit Google and unearth the massive tax fraud they were perpetrating. Fast forward after a seven year audit of Google (uncovering quite trivial tax owed as a result of transfer pricing corrections) and then head Meg Hillier is berating Google for not paying more tax than they are obligated to under the law. She then had the gall to call HMRC out on the carpet and berate them for wasting taxpayers money and only uncovering such a de minimus amount of tax owed. Sighhhhh

  6. All government forecasts should come with an agreed margin of accuracy. If actual deviates by more or less then the pension of of the person signing off the forecast it is either reduced or increased in proportion. Repeated high balling would be punished in an Eksian manner.

  7. Speaking to ex HMRC colleague today, he confirmed Tim’s thoughts. That, and the figures are estimates of estimates so the potential for being woefully out is significant. Either way, HMRC can’t win with Spud n Soapy.

  8. One thing this Guardian article really does show is John McDonnell simply does not know what he is talking about. If these anto-avoidance measures hAve failed to bring in the hoped for amounts, then we can be absolutely sure Labour has no further or different proposals other than MOAR TAX.

  9. “Labour has no further or different proposals other than MOAR TAX.”

    When has it ever been any different?

  10. @Ironman – indeed. His blissful ignorance (like Mr Potato Head’s) of our anti-avoidance regime is quite something. Mind you, I don’t suppose he’s a details man (again, like Murphy) and just wants to squeeze the evil capitalist (i.e. anyone who wants to work for a living, take a little entrepreneurial risk and not leech of the state) until his pips squeak.

  11. Why would anyone spend more money on a tax evasion (or avoidance) strategy/tactic than the tax that he would otherwise pay?
    So, when Geoffrey Howe reduced the top rate of tax to 60%, tax receipts from those liable to top rate tax went up**.
    With top rate at 50%, the benefit of paying for a tax evasion scheme rather than a legal avoidance scheme isn’t usually worth the risk.
    ** Not necessarily all due to that – the grandson of the Laird who under Attlee with tax at 19s 6d in the £ accepted rents from tenants who came to pay on quarter day and did nothing about those who didn’t come, replied to the tax inspector’s “My Lord, you must collect your rents” with “Collect them yourself!” would have made the same reply to Wilson’s 98% tax.

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