Our ever glorious Retired Accountant

A while back we were told that the heavens were falling because there were tax debts: money legally owed but which HMRC couldn\’t collect.

This was of course proof perfect that HMRC should get lots more money to hire more people to collect it all.

When the total outstanding debts now owing to HMRC are added to these two sums, which when last estimated was £28 billion, ….

It is very obvious that the UK cannot afford this tax gap. It is equally obvious that if investment were made in additional resources for HMRC then this tax gap could and would be substantially reduced.

From the same source today we get an explanation of that uncollected tax debt.

And 90% of the bad debt is due by companies that have gone bust. So there’s not a hope of the Revenue getting the cash. I know that because the Revenue have said so.

I wonder why the same source is saying such different things about the same situation? Myself, and I know it\’s deeply uncharitable of me, I have the merest smidgeon of a soupcon of a suspicion that the difference is explained by the manner that the first point was made in a report funded by PCS, the union to which the tax peeps belong.

You know, \”hire more union members and pay them more\” being the sort of thing that unions like to see in union funded papers?



20 thoughts on “Our ever glorious Retired Accountant”

  1. You have to admire his responsiveness to client requirements and commercial acumen in developing a doubtless lucrative and personally gratifying niche in nonsense-peddling.

    Will we be seeing a response to his ludicrous critique of the UK-Swiss tax bilateral?

  2. Worstall, are you really this rubbish? “Gargle-bargle” bollocks etc.

    Maybe a throwaway “cretin” to please your zombies.

    Don’t you read the news? Don’t you have a brain-to-comment motion that isn’t caught in some onanistic furrow?

    HMRC do not have the resources to chase your preferred legion of criminals and take them to task. Otherwise all these excellent tax-dodgers who you fantasise about as being the vanguard of immense progress would have been caught, at the very least KNOWN about.

    Now you’ve got commentators (yawn) saying that keeping cheats anonymous is somehow not something to be opposed.

    It is quite clear that you support the protection of criminals, whilst mocking those that wish to oppose them.

    You call people vile for having such mptives.

    What the fuck does that make you?

    You say you’re 48? You’re a child.

  3. Medication wearing off this afternoon then Arnald? Don’t worry, nurse will be along soon with your pills.

  4. Oi, Mr Tim. Your website keeps becoming unavailable to my web browser, though it’s not having probs with any others. Wot’s up?

  5. Going bankrupt while owing money to HMRC is now criminal is it?

    Who exactly are Tim’s “preferred legion of criminal”?

    Where does Tim support “the protection of criminals”?

    Is calling the subordination of 20,000 deathsto push your (generic) environmental fallacy “vile” somehow support for tax abusers?

    Where is this all “quite clear”?

    Has Arnald “jumped the shark”?

    Was he at Woodside Hall this evening?

    Enquiring minds et al.

  6. I’ve just read Murphy’s exchange with Mark Lee on the Swiss/UK tax deal. Murphy really has lost the plot, with some totally irrational and insulting comments. His credibility has completely destroyed as he’s been telling everyone for ages that the Swiss would be drawn fully into the EUSTD when it was obvious that the Swiss weren’t going to play that game at all.
    It blows apart everything that he’s been convincing his TUC paymasters would happen.
    Back to square one Murphy. Your time is up.

  7. @ Sam26, Murphy’s exchange with Mark Lee is surprising considering how Mark Lee has supported him before, especially when Mark has actually supplied some proper facts to Murphy’s blog (which we all know is rather short on anything remotely resembling the truth).

    I particularly like the way he insults Mark, and then claims he hasn’t. Errrr, the evidence is just a scroll away, Ritchie.

    No doubt Ritchie will lie his way out of this, and as he refuses to publish comments that show him to be wrong the idiots who follow him (such as Arnald, the Pensioners Shareholders Group and that nutty bird who whittles on about land tax) will continue believing their messiah.

    Surely it’s time for someone to do a Roger Cook style expose of Ritchies lies?

  8. Arnald,

    You really are a cretin. As HMRC acknowledges, when a company goes bust still owing HMRC PAYE, Employee’s NI, Employers NI, VAT, etc. there are no nasty capitalists running away from the scene with their pockets full of loot.

    Having suffered from this circumstance myself companies try and keep going as long as they can and may well juggle the bills and the creditors to keep the staff on and to keep the doors open while flogging their guts out trying to close new business.

    Sometimes we succeed and indeed our company was on the brink twice and recovered before finally going under in 2001.

    As soon as the directors of a company realises that they are insolvent (and this usually happens when the time of the month to pay salaries comes knocking), then the directors have a duty to cease trading and undertake a liquidation as smoothly and quickly as possible, preserving any remaining cash and the value of assets so that this can be used to pay off creditors.

    HMRC used to have preferential creditor status, which meant that tax debts were settled before other commercial debts, but not any longer. This also means that HMRC are more likely to trigger a companies collapse by issuing a winding up order than they would have done previously.

    Ultimately though, once a company goes bust everyone becomes a loser to a certain degree. The shareholders lose the value of their shareholding, the employees lose their jobs, the directors (as well as losing their jobs) become liable to proceedings for personal liability and the creditors lose some or maybe all of the outstanding money they are owed.

    The only winners from this tend to be liquidators who still get priority for liquidation costs.

    so if even Ritchie agrees that 90% of the £28 billion is lost due to failed companies, this is why it is really lost – an unrecoverable debt, not shoved in some notional tax evaders Swiss bank account.

  9. JJ Lehto
    Mark Lee is not the only person Richard Murphy has turned on when they dare to disagree with him about something – even if they have supported him on other matters. The twitter world is littered with people who have been deeply hurt by his behaviour towards them. Disagree with him on ANYTHING and he turns nasty. So Mark Lee’s experience is not surprising at all.

  10. @ Frances, yes you are correct. Let’s hope he finally turns on someone who can be bothered to waste time and expense on exposing Ritchie’s rubbish to one and all.

  11. Galt, you plonker. As ever falling into Worstall’s selective blindness.

    He forgot to end the first quote with “….we suggest the total tax gap in the UK is now likely to exceed £120 billion.”


    Murphy was talking about the delusional TPA and their assertion that HMRC has lost £27.4BN through remissions/write offs as a reasoning that the tax code was too complex. Therefore by identifying how even a simple tax code could not avoid the majority of the known, known £28M gap, it has shown the TPA as mad as you are.

    Since when has the call of increased law and order in the face of £multibillion criminality ever been a problem.

    The gap exists, and is widening, in your head as well as in corruption and fraud.

    As for the Mark Lee thing, well; saying the Swiss-UK deal, that allows criminals to remain anonymous and pay less tax is somehow better than exposing the criminals and getting them to pay what they really owe is quite an odd thing for an accountant who has eloquently denounced financial criminality in the past to do. Dontcha think, girls?

    A bit like allowing a looter to acquire a pair of trainers via paperwork without breaking the window. No flames, no crime.

    Now, if you would like me to show you how to tie up your laces…..

  12. But Arnald you seem to be too thick or blinded to get it into your skull that the information which would have enabled the evaded tax to be collected was never going to be disclosed by Switzerland, which was never going to give up bank secrecy, so no tax would ever have been collected. At least this way the UK’s treasury coffers receive a big boost which they simply would not otherwise have got.
    Its easy to fall into the same trap as Murphy of believing that the Swiss were going to cave in – they weren’t. If you are going to play “follow my leader” then I would suggest that you seek one who actually knows what he is talking about. He could make a lot of omelettes with the egg currently on his face.

  13. Sam26. And you wish for the criminals to get away with it. Without putting constant pressure on these twats nothing will get done. All this has achieved is impunity, and a bit of money. Rather than justice and a whole load more money.

    Again with the arrogance. And you’re suggesting that Osborne knows what he’s talking about!

    You obviously support the funding of terrorism and the criminal infrastructure. Well done! That’s sanity! The market in action! All praise!

  14. Arnald
    No I don’t support anything of the kind but I’ve got the common sense to understand the benefit of collecting some tax which would otherwise not have been capable of being collected. How would the UK have benefited from that?
    You can go and carry on being taken in by fuckwit Murphy’s complete misreading of the Swiss position but a reality check now and again would be advisable.

  15. Surreptitious Evil

    And, then, another question for our persistent troll. Him having ignored all the previous ones in favour of attack Sam.

    Are all rich criminals automatically terrorists?

  16. Sam/JJ/Frances, I agree. The attack on Mark Lee was nasty, abusive and uncalled for.

    My first thought was that the thread was astonishing, but to be fair to Righteous Murphy, he does go on in the thread to give a very good account of why he did it: “politics”. Mark should be able to roll with the punches and take some bruises if he wants to play with the big boys he tells us in the comments.

    And therein lies much of my confusion with the man. I and others (and I strongly suspect Mark Lee) engaged with him on the basis of a rational, considered analysis of economics and evidence-based policy making. Righteous – in his own words – sees all this simply as rough-and-tumble politics. That certainly explains why he and I have been talking past each other in the past, and why he and Mark Lee managed to so spectacularly miscommunicate on that thread.

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