Gotta say it, when he’s right he’s right

However, the other situation is taking payment when the tax debt is disputed. That is unacceptable. When a debt has not been proven there should not, in my opinion, be a right for HMRC to take cash from a taxpayers account.

Ritchie on the side of civil liberty for once. Fatted calves, return of etc.

15 thoughts on “Gotta say it, when he’s right he’s right”

  1. Well, I’d say he is only half right. HMRC should NEVER be allowed to rip off money from bank accounts.

    Alan Douglas

  2. I’m wondering if this new power of HMRC isn’t to be entirely welcomed.
    For some time the police have had the power to seize the assets of those suspected of crimes without requiring a court conviction. So now the same thing’s being visited on the wider community.
    What’s not to like?
    Nothing like a bit of equality, is there?

  3. But this is the “founder of the Tax Justice Network”, architect of the Courageous State, scourge of tax havens and tax avoiders. This is the person who wants to introduce a criminal offence of “creating tax risk” for tax advisors, the man who constantly says of corporate tax planning “it’s legal; I’m saying it shouldn’t be”.

    These new powers are for certain clear circumstances. This should sit perfectly with his outlook. So what is going on here? If I didn’t know better I would suspect that mrs Murphy had been investing surplus sums in dodgy partnership schemes.

    But of course I do know better!

  4. Hey, bloke in Spain, just cuz you are betond their reach ! Criminals HAVE been convicted, the orderinary taxpayer has NOT.

    Having had 2 + years with a year’s tax being investigated, where I found myself unable to do anything meaningful, I was foound guilty by some bureaucrat whose whole line was if I could not PROVE moneyh was not income, therefore I was guilty.

    I did know I had to declare income, I did not know I had to have every penny of other money nailed too. Major loans I made my sons via credit card purchases, when repaid, suddenly were “undeclared income”.

    HMRC work on the principle that now they have noticed you, you will pay, to justify their attention. Given their head by Brown, they are a menace to businessmen and the economy.

    Alan Douglas

  5. @Alan Douglas ‘Hey, bloke in Spain, just cuz you are betond their reach ! Criminals HAVE been convicted,’

    You are misunderstanding his point. The Proceeds of Crime Act (amended) allows for assets to be confiscated from individuals not convicted of crime.

  6. First thing that strikes me is Alan seems to have been very badly advised. Credit card purchases are traceable and large repayments should be also. So, based upon his comment, something seems to have gone badly wrong.

    Back to Ritchie: he speaks of ‘unfettered’ powers. Well, these powers might be right; might be wrong. They are not, however, unfettered. It remains extremely odd, very out of character, for this post to appear on his blog.

    He was very vocal recently about Chris Moyles’ little embarrassment. Well, that was a marketed scheme and its other users would appear to fall within the ambit of this new provision. So it would be interesting to know what our favourite ‘tax expert’, ‘political economist’ and all-round activist of civil society thinks should now happen.

    However, Ritchie does tend to go judiciously quiet at certain moments; so I’m not holding my breath.

  7. Seizing the assets of anyone without proving the case first is simply plain wrong. FFS, simply do the usual “if that happened to me” test?

    And yes, HMRC consistently and regularly screw up and get things completely wrong.

    Over the last 4 to 5 years, they have managed to get something as simple as my tax code wrong on average at least twice a year. That is no exaggeration. They are simply incompetent; no way on this planet should they be given this kind of power.

    If the Conservatives go ahead and force this fascist crap through, one solution might simply be to move liquid funds off shore (ie outside of HMRC’s jurisdiction), simply as a precaution. Not to evade tax or anything like that, simply to protect it in a safer jurisdiction.

  8. “Gotta say it, when he’s right he’s right”

    Indeed – much like a stopped clock, I imagine even an out and out loon like Murphy is capable of being right twice a day.

  9. PF – this is why it pays to maintain a bank account in every country in which one has lived if one has moved several times.

    Otherwise, the Swiss post office takes all comers. Except Americans not resident in CH.

  10. Something fishy here.

    This is the man who approved of all our income being paid to the State which then doled out the amounts it saw fit.

    This is just a milder version, a precursor.

    Perhaps Freud would have seen this as an indicator that he owed some tax?

  11. First of all, I’m not comfortable with this at all. It strikes me as the sort of measure to be applied to criminals.

    And yet it is, as John Miller points out, much much milder than any number of measures proposed by Ritchie, which are nothing short of fascism. So why this sudden outbreak of concern for an individual’s right to property?

    The comments on his blog are also curious: there are very few of them, they are predominately ‘off topic’ and effectively amounting to “look, kittens”.

    Just strange.

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