I’d have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those pesky kids

And that’s enough said. My break will be from responding to their comments. I will simply be deleting them instead. And maybe I will have a bit more time for constructive activity as a result.

The way to make sure the little bastards don’t show me up as being ignorant is to make sure their comments showing I’m ignorant are never published.

Yep, that’ll work, for I am the LHTD.

33 thoughts on “I’d have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those pesky kids”

  1. He needs a bit of downtime to replace his spellchecker. The last one was short-circuited and burnt out due to ingress of bilious foam.

  2. This is the man that speaks truth to power, don’t forget. Not so keen when people do the same to him.

    In the immortal words of Corporal Jones:

    “They don’t like it up ’em!”

  3. He is upset that some people – and I think Tyler and PaulB are particularly culpable here! – are suggesting he doesn’t really know what he is talking about, when in fact his expertise is “self-evident”. Which makes me thick, because it’s not self-evident to me.

  4. Yes, I must admit that I seem to be getting up his nose somewhat. Between being very quiet at work and hating the utter hypocrisy of the man I just had to.

    I sort of got him to admit that Hodge the dodge was just as bad as Fink (if you start from the point that trusts are not “vanilla” avoidance) but what really got my goat was the human rights/racism/non-dom diatribe.

    Apart from declaring that he is now a legal expert, the very idea of classifying English domicile and tax laws in the same category as human rights law simply disgusted me.

    Whilst I’m not a lawyer, the Mrs. is. A human rights lawyer. Working for Lawyers for Human Rights. In their refugee and statelessness department. She knows a thing or two about country of origin and residency, and spends much of her time in immigrant detention centres trying to help people fleeing places like Somalia and the DRC.

    So Ritchie trying to conflate that with tax law, pushing what is essentially a passport tax is frankly disgusting. Morally reprehensible.

  5. And the funniest thing is he can’t keep straight from one thread (or even comment) to the next as to what his “passport tax” would involve. Yay double taxation. No, no double taxation.

    It’s down now to what the French do with Monaco, i.e. only if there’s no income tax.

    But I’m sure it’ll be back up at something else again next time it arises.

    And yes, I take this idea personally (and drone on incessantly about it) – if i had to pay the difference in UK taxes at the current exchange rate I would be living hand-to-mouth on what is a reasonable professional salary. I did the sums – despite living pretty frugally there just isn’t the difference in the tax rates left at the end of the month.

  6. @Tyler thread hijack but what’s the betting in the new Dad’s Army movie they’ll delete mention of the Fuzzie Wuzzies as being too politically sensitive. If they do it won’t matter how good it is I won’t ever watch it.

  7. @Ironman

    His gall is astonishing. When he is factually wrong and I point it out, he accuses me of ‘nitpicking’.

    He must have given some truly appalling tax advice over the years.

  8. For me it was when he claimed never to have created tax risk for any of his clients. On Jolyon Maugham’s blog he claimed none of his clients ever showed any interest in reducing their tax liabilities.
    Let’s be gentle here and just say some of his claims appear counter-intuitive at first blush.

  9. The idea that none of his clients would see an accountant about accounts or advice and not show any interest in reducing their tax liabilities is a bit far fetched, yes.

    Can just imagine him on training courses, at conferences, seminars etc or visiting clients and insisting they must do things his way….. regardless of law, other people’s decisions or even reality.

  10. Would a previous client have a case to sue Ritchie if he can produce correspondence from him claiming that (like most accountants) he could save the client money by minimising their tax liabilities? (Has anyone ever heard of an accountant whose sales pitch was: “I will make sure you pay everything HMRC want from you”?)

    Ritchie is in print saying that he hasn’t ever done that, and believes such activities should be made illegal.

    So he’s either:
    1. Lied to his clients.
    2. Lied to his readers.
    3. Simply incompetent and doesn’t understand anything he says on the subjects of tax, economics and law.
    4. A fantasist.
    5. Delusional.
    6. A combination of 3, 4, & 5.

  11. Clearly it’s bollocks. He was running his practice when he licensed Trivial Pursuit from Barbados and set up manufacturing in Ireland. He says he left when he discovered the tax issues, but also says he remained as a consultant for 6 years after.

    Anyway, his clients are ok now. He sold the partnership to WSM claiming they were “similar kind of animal”. They claim “In the current climate of anti-avoidance the teams at WSM believe strongly in the taxpayer’s ethical right to arrange their financial affairs, within the law, to minimise their tax liability.”

    http://www.accountancyage.com/aa/news/1755155/your-practice-the-lighter-life
    http://www.wsm.co.uk/about-us

  12. But he still keeps pumping as do GMG/Toynbee, TJN, The Financial Transparency Coalition etc. – and of course they are all as white as the driven snow…

    sheesh.

  13. This dickhead thinks somebody who lives and works in Switzerland, but happens to have been born in the UK, is going against the spirit of British law by setting up a trust in Switzerland?

  14. Apart from declaring that he is now a legal expert, the very idea of classifying English domicile and tax laws in the same category as human rights law simply disgusted me.

    Seamus O’Leary is doing some wonderful trolling on that thread, though.

  15. “This dickhead thinks somebody who lives and works in Switzerland, but happens to have been born in the UK, is going against the spirit of British law by setting up a trust in Switzerland?”

    And what does he think the Swiss would think of him setting up what, to them, is an offshore trust in the UK?

    Oh, wait, he doesn’t think of anything other than from a UK perspective. Ever. Is incapable of it.

    I bet if someone were to pose the question as to why he should set up his trust offshore like that, the response will be:

    “It’s not offshore.

    It’s in the UK.

    You are a troll. Don’t call again.”.

  16. I’m with Ian B on his assessment, he’s simply thick. Where he’s gotten lucky is the thing he’s chosen to bang on about is politically sensitive at the moment, and people think his conviction is born from knowledge rather than ignorance.

    In the 1930s there would have been people like him who genuinely believed the Jews were the root of all evil, and gained an audience. In the antebellum South, there would have been people belting out popular articles about the Negro being naturally inferior.

    Being thick and wrong can, at the right place and right time, gain you an audience. He’s stumbled right into that time and place, but he remains as thick as pigshit.

  17. There is a fake Ritchie trolling his blog now
    “I do get things wrong sometimes
    I admitted doing so on the blog this morning”

    The lack of typos gives it away.

  18. @ Tim Newman
    I disagree: he appears to be of slightly-above-average intelligence but highly motivated to act in a malicious fashion. He attended a third-class university doing a “double-honours” course, implying that he wasn’t good enough at either subject to do a straight course, but even so that puts him (just) in the top third academically of his educational cohort. When I threatened him with a libel action for a completely gratuitous and totally unjustified slur he backed down and promised to delete it, then failed to do so until I followed up a day later.
    If you want a 1930s reference, the obvious comparison is with a fellow-Irishman who relocated to England William Joyce (aka “Lord Haw-Haw”).

  19. Stuck-Record,

    What does No6 have against No1 & No2?

    None of the others are inconsistent with him telling mammoth porkies. Especially as we know No2 is true, having caught him at it numerous times.

  20. “I do get things wrong sometimes
    I admitted doing so on the blog this morning”

    No doubt reference to his mis-quoting of the Companies Act (never mind that he got his conclusion hopelessly wrong anyway. Sure there is no specific reference in the Companies Act to a director being obliged to minimise tax but then there is no specific reference to a director having to buy a box of pencils at the best price but you would still expect them to).

  21. The timing of his decision to take a break is perfect – it means he doesn’t have to comment on the Miliband tax planning,

    Mind you, he’d have no doubt spent most of the day blocking posts.

  22. Oh considerably more than two posts now abacab.
    But he was being typically nuanced and subtle in his “taking a break” meme.
    The last week has been a touch hectic, and to be candid I am in need of a bit of a break.
    So I am going to take a modest one, from the five or so commentators [ . . . ] who in recent weeks have used the comment section of this blog to represent that, [ . . . ] I do not know what I am talking about [ . . . ] That I do know what I am talking about is I think broadly self evident, as is the fact that those making comment do not like the way I put it. I can live with that. Time and again I have made it clear I will knowingly upset vested interests to seek change in the way tax is managed for the benefit of society. [ . . . ] My break will be from responding to their comments. I will simply be deleting them instead. And maybe I will have a bit more time for constructive activity as a result”

    Mr Valiant-for-Truth has spoken.

  23. “So I am going to take a modest one, from the five or so commentators who like to represent that they know something about tax who in recent weeks have used the comment section of this blog to represent that, firstly, I do not know what I am talking about and, secondly, to suggest that I really am a very bad accountant for not believing in what they consider to be the necessity of minimising tax bills.”

    That is one of the most poorly written sentences I’ve ever had the misfortune of trying to read.

  24. “the five or so commentators who like to represent that they know something about tax”

    I like the implied admission that his supportive commentators don’t know anything about tax and don’t even pretend that they do.

  25. @john77 you can’t libel an unknown person using an alias – I can say you’re a paedophile but since noone reading this knows who you are in real life (and neither do I) it would not be actionable.

    So unless this libel was vs the real you then he is really thick to have backed down. You had no hope of suing him.

    He’s a jackass though, what’s new?

  26. @ Interested
    He tried that on but I pointed out that some people *do* know who I am, so it *would* be actionable. I use the same alias on several blogs so all the hosts can identify me from my email address, plus I have corresponded off-blog a few times when a discussion was going to bore the mass of readers.

  27. That’s a slightly different matter then. Only slightly though. Anyone who threatens libel action over something said on a blog by Richard Murphy has a screw loose, or is a bored billionaire.

  28. Anyone who threatens libel action over something said on a blog by Richard Murphy

    Is insanity a sufficient defence against libel?

    “I’m sorry, m’Lud, but the poor deranged narcissist didn’t know what he was saying. We have two doctors willing to certify to his lunacy and his long-suffering wife, a respected GP, has entered a plea of apology into the court.”

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