This isn’t tax avoidance

This is tax evasion:

Ed Balls said that people should demand receipts from tradesmen to stop tax avoidance

And of all of Ritchie’s numbers it’s the only one that I think comes anywhere close to reality. The amount of tax evasion going on in that cash economy.

And now think about what you need to do to stop it. Portugal actually does this for example: you can be stopped while driving by the police. If they see shopping in the car they will ask you to produce the receipts. If you cannot then they will fine you for not having the receipt to prove that you have paid VAT.

No, really.

And in order to actually stamp out tax evasion that’s the sort of thing, and worse, that it would be necessary to do.

At which point we’ve a decision to make. Do we want a country that still does have freedom and liberty, where the police cannot just stop you and interrogate you, where “going about my lawful business” is the only thing anyone need tell them, but with tax evasion, or do we want a police state with less tax evasion?

Answers on a postcard to the LHTD, Downham Market.

27 thoughts on “This isn’t tax avoidance”

  1. Balls says he only started getting receipts for cash transactions when he came into politics. How noble and above board of him. Nothing to do with all those lovely expenses of course!

  2. Yes, politicians always demand receipts, that’s why they changed the expenses system so that they could claim £500 a month without them.

    And Tim, I’m not sure it was wise to spill the beans about Portugal. If someone tells Balls about it, well, I dread to think.

    All that money stolen from tax avoiders, all the new jobs created – the VAT receipt enforcement officers – all the new laws, the new building in Victoria used as a sub deprtment of the Treasury. It’ll be a socialist wet dream come true.

  3. Despite the LHTD’s claim about evasion – which I personally would doubt – he still spends his entire career “researching” an area – multinational avoidance – that he says accounts for much less. And he absolutely will not discuss who exactly is responsible for all this evasion, or indeed how closely it.must be meshed with benefit fraud and just how much benefit fraud must be going on.

  4. >Portugal actually does this
    Italy too — one of the bits of local orientation we were given on the airport to hotel transfer when we went there in the early ’90s was to hang on to receipts against being pounced on by the local Plod as you came out of a shop.

  5. How can a pack of cunts who, scant years ago, were revealed as thieves and fiddling sacks of shit (ZaNu and BluLab both) have the bare-faced gall to be standing there talking about other peoples supposed dishonesty.

    All taxation is theft. God bless every single tax evader rich or poor for helping to keep resources out of the hands of humanity’s most greedy and viscous adversary–the state.

    Ed Balls is a bug-eyed turd.

  6. Aren’t we already headed in the direction of a cashless society? Sure, the whole concept is slowly taking off, but it isn’t too far in the distant future.

  7. ‘LHTD’ – can someone decode this acronym for me? I know it refers to a certain retired accountant in Downham Market

  8. I’m sure I remember a Lord Denning quote to the effect that a householder is not responsible for ensuring that a tradesman he engages is paying tax correctly, but Wikiquote is failing me.

    We’ll have to make do with this quote instead:

    The House of Commons starts its proceedings with a prayer. The chaplain looks at the assembled members with their varied intelligence and then prays for the country.

    Daily Telegraph (1989-10-12).

  9. The LHTD was on Five live this very morning pontificating about this very subject. I lasted 3 minutes before switching the radio off. The hum of the tyres on the motorway was much more interesting.

  10. @BiE

    Do let us know if you’d find such a quote. Richie, being the legal scholar that he isn’t, was being an arrogant prick towards one of his commenters, on the subject of Denning, only last week.

    He was, on that occasion, quite approving of the old Lord. Should Richie accord with Balls on this front, I would be curious to see him tell us all why, in this matter, Denning was a neoliberal sophist.

  11. The Thought Gang: I think Murphy was just being wrong 🙂 So far as I could tell, he mentioned Lord Denning because he thinks Denning is the source of “the man on the Clapham omnibus” being the generic reasonable man. Which of course he isn’t 🙂

    Then he seemed to go on to say that as a) Denning invented Omnibus Man, and b) Omnibus Man would say what Murphy thought he should, then c) Denning would endorse Murphy’s views and so d) I should concede.

    This is not an argument I necessarily accept, for a number of reasons – but it seemed a little redundant to say so at the time 🙂

  12. And of course he corrected them. He has told me previously that he personally NEVER calls himself that.

    P.S Pellinor

    Remember that everyone else on the thread agreed it was self-evident the man on the Clapham Omnibus would agree with Ritchie. No need to test that theory of course; it’s fact.

  13. all this reminds me rather of Sid Vicious’ reply when someone asked him if the man in the street considered The Sex Pistols offensive. “I’ve met the man in the street. And he’s a c*nt”

  14. Jesus wept, I think he’s finally flipped.

    ‘I am not sure how anyone could mix the roles of parenthood and being a right-wing libertarian.’

    ‘I think right wing libertarians let all children down’

    I’m lost for words.

  15. Which reminds me, I’ve a couple of friends that I would like the LHTD to meet.

    Mr Murphy, this is Mr Smith and Mr Wesson…

    God bless America!

  16. Worzel

    This is his sickest if not his lowest point. I note that his usual cheerleaders are noticeably absent. And what with him I suspect pressing delete quite a lot this isn’t the most heavily commented on posy.

  17. The receipt thing happens in Panama too (although I’ve never heard of anyone being dinged for it). It’s fucking mental. You can tell this is getting idiotic when a joke by the late great Mitch Hedberg, meant to be absurdist, is actually overtaken by reality:

    “I bought a doughnut and they gave me a receipt for the doughnut. I don’t need a receipt for the doughnut. I’ll just give you the money, and you give me the doughnut, end of transaction. We don’t need to bring ink and paper into this. I just can’t imagine a scenario where I would have to prove that I bought a doughnut. Some skeptical friend: “Don’t even act like I didn’t get that doughnut! I got the documentation right here…oh, wait it’s at home…in the file…under “D”.”

  18. Mr. Ecks has it.

    To aid all you poor impoverished and overtaxed Brits, should the UK go Portuguese/Italian, (and you will) I plan a new “receipt factory” app for your smart phones.

    I will obtain receipt formats for every business I can find, and make up a few, how’s a copper gonna know the difference?

    Then a day before you shop, app me a shopping list and I will send you a fake receipt.

    Equal and opposite reaction, unintended consequences and all that, coming at you, Herr Tax Collector.

  19. Italy I think can only demand a receipt in the vicinity of the shop; the Portuguese system sounds much more what Murphy would like.

  20. Same thing happened once upon a time in Belgium, with tax inspectors stopping people leaving restaurants to check they had a receipt (if not, the diners themselves were in trouble)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *