Idiots on the tax gap

As Rebecca Long Bailey said for Labour during the debate on this amendment:

[N]ew clause 13 would require a comprehensive report into the UK tax gap, which is defined as the difference in any financial year between the amount of tax HMRC should be entitled to collect and the tax that it collects. Such difference derives from tax avoidance and evasion.

The amount that HMRC is entitled to collect is the legal amount of tax due and no more. As tax avoidance is legal it cannot be part of this tax gap therefore.

13 thoughts on “Idiots on the tax gap”

  1. “[N]ew clause 13 would require a comprehensive report into the UK tax gap”

    HMRC produce one. The IMF said they were rather good at doing so. So did the NAO.

    A bloke on his own in a shed did come up with a much bigger number.

  2. I don’t see how he can not understand the HMRC is not infallible, that HMRC *itself* wouldn’t say its infallible, and that the courts have definitely shown that its not infallible.

    Because his definition of ‘all the tax it should be entitled to collect’ seems to be solely based on the total amount of tax the HMRC *says* it is owed. And some percentage of that is not actually owed.

    Actually, its worse – he seems to think its *higher* than HMRC says because, for some strange reason, he doesn’t thing people should avail themselves of perfectly legal ways to arrange their affairs.

    Plus there’s also the difference between what it entitled to collect and what is actually there to collect – if a business hasn’t got any money then there’s really not any reason to go yammering on about how large their tax bill is because its not going to get paid.

    Take those out and I’m pretty sure that HMRC is actually collecting pretty close to ‘all that its entitled to’.

  3. The brilliant Agammamon

    ‘I don’t see how he can not understand the HMRC is not infallible,’

    How would someone who believes he is infallible recognise fallibility in others?

  4. Some of what HMRC want to collect is subject to insolvency proceedings – and the priority of debts for that does not put HMRC at the top.
    If a company goes under and most creditors get 5p in the pound you can guess what HMRC get. Yes, 5p in the pound.
    Once all assets cashed in and disbursed there really isn’t any more money to collect a debt on.

  5. Don’t forget, Ritchie also claims tax paid late is part of the tax gap *every year*, never crediting back to the current year tax paid late from the previous year.

  6. Agamammon, Van Patten, Murphy’s entire schpiel hinges on a) the infallible Courageous State b) HMRC being able to collect tax at headline rates and c) unlimited cash/’stimulus’ via flavour-of-the-week-‘QE’ (actually moneyprinting). It’s alternately boring and terrifying, depending on the attention he’s getting.

  7. The scary thing is that he has an audience.
    Hitler, among others, proved you can lead the willing wherever you want to go. And there’s always willing people who have a desire to believe what they are told rather than question, or even compare what they are told to reality.
    Have lost count of the people who have Ritchie’s ideas and told them to me, though most have never heard of him.

  8. Martin

    I agree it is partly terrifying.. A man who has that casual a regard for individual freedom is for me a man who exudes evil. However, his petulance makes him arguably more along the lines of an Alfred Rosenberg (i.e a theoretician) than a practical man of action (a Hitler or a Goering) He has royally hacked off the Corbynites who arguably should be his likely unwitting dupes, and appears to be able to start an argument in an empty room. however, as you say his ideas, witless though they are, have permeated through into the mainstream with all that entails…

  9. How to cause cognitive dissonance in Green Socialists

    Q: Do you support a tax on carbon?
    GS: Fucking right I do.
    Q: You believe that carbon emitters should pay tax.
    GS: Goes without saying.
    Q: And you believe that if they tried to avoid paying this tax, it would be illegal?
    GS: Sticks out like a dog’s balls, dunnit?
    Q: The point of the carbon tax being, to end carbon emissions.
    GS: Should all be put in jail, they should.
    Q: So you want them to change the way they run their businesses so as to emit less or no carbon.
    GS: That’s it, now you’re getting it.
    Q: But if they changed like you want them to, they’d be paying less carbon tax, wouldn’t they?
    GS: Yeah, your point is?
    Q: They’d be changing away from fossil fuel energy, you’re happy with that, to renewable energy, you’re happy with that, to avoid having to pay the carbon tax, you’re happy with that?
    GS: Errrr…
    Q: They’d be avoiding tax. Isn’t that illegal?
    GS: [spluttering noises]

  10. “Have lost count of the people who have Ritchie’s ideas and told them to me, though most have never heard of him.”

    True. He got a lot of exposure at Corbyn’s early rallies, and his ideas gained currency by word of mouth. My neighbour couldn’t name him, but he drones on about tax gaps and QE for investment because his son went to a Corbyn rally.

  11. @southener

    You forget the standard lefty response that ends all attempts to point out the hypocrisy or lack of logic in their arguments:


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