First, this was in the ‘Wild West’ days of 2005 when tax campaigning was in its very early days and adverse publicity for tax planning was unknown. It’s important to remember how much has changed since then, largely due to that campaigning and the resulting publicity.

Second, tax justice was never rewarded by HMRC for its work on this. The question as to why that did not happen is relevant.

What’s the argument here? That Tax Justice Network – or whoever – should be given some cash for their work? Get the HMRC Gold Star for their lapels?

Whut?

19 thoughts on “Eh?”

  1. tax justice was never rewarded by HMRC means –

    Murphy was not appointed a Commissioner of HMRC

    In terms of public recognition for Murphy’s works, as one door closes behind you, another slams in your face

  2. Surely campaigning for the other guy to pay “their fair share” goes back at least as far as the founders of the twelve tribes of Israel?

  3. Dennis, CPA to the Gods

    Second, tax justice was never rewarded by HMRC for its work on this. The question as to why that did not happen is relevant.

    Evidently Spud is running out of money.

  4. “Second, tax justice was never rewarded by HMRC for its work on this. The question as to why that did not happen is relevant.”

    The answer is obvious – they didn’t commission the work. And, candidly, if the work was done in expectation of creaming off some tax money then that should ideally have been clearly stated upfront.

  5. Was it the mid 90s that various celebs, including St Terry of Wogan, were getting it in the neck for planting trees for tax reasons? Where was Captain Potato then?

  6. There were two golden eras for tax planning – the mid-late-1970s under the Wilson-Healey malice and the ’90s-noughties under the Brown malice. Murphy seems to claim that there was no campaigning about tax before 2005. Simply not true.

  7. @John77

    Indeed. The 70s was the wild west time.

    During my training to be a Tax Inspector we looked at one case involving (IIRC) one of the Vestey family businesses. Terribly complicated and HMIT (as was at the time) issued assessments under different under half a dozen different sets of rules on the same income at the highest profit/income levels they could think of. As expected the Vestey’s appealed against all the assessments but unexpectedly didn’t postpone any of the tax payable. Despite the fact that only one of the assessments could be correct, they paid all the tax bills.

    Then the penny dropped. At the time, interest paid by HMIT wasn’t taxable. Tax rates were stupid high. The Vesteys had found somewhere they could invest money and get a tax free return on it.

    In the end, after a few years of arguing, the Vesteys won on all arguments and the tax paid was returned along with the tax free interest.

  8. A friend of mine asked about the Trump tax returns and it being suspicious they weren’t released, my response was that not many people would have the correct background and knowledge to understand them and as such the media could spin them as much as they liked. What it really comes down to is has the tax office signed off on them or issued an assessment/fine, no one else’s opinion matters in law and for someone like Trump there’s bound to be some matters of interpretation/opinion which his people will have negotiated with the tax office over. I’d imagine there’s even people in the tax office who would say if it was their file they would have done it differently, so why hand the media an open goal.
    Also made the point that the entire voluntary tax returns publishing was just another way of professional politicians keeping others out of the race.

  9. Dennis, Odin's Tax Collector

    A friend of mine asked about the Trump tax returns and it being suspicious they weren’t released, my response was that not many people would have the correct background and knowledge to understand them and as such the media could spin them as much as they liked.

    You’re missing the point. Trump’s returns were vetted six ways to Sunday before being filed, and by people far more qualified than the New York state or city tax auditors who might review them. The reason Democrats, progressives and the media want his returns is that they will disclose the companies and individuals Trump does business with… Then the hounds of Hell can be turned loose on them.

  10. @Andrew C

    Similar ‘tax free’ investment when that pre Brown cnut Clarke imposed VAT on domestic fuel (cnut taxed everything)

    Bought a few years of VAT free elec & gas prior to start date. Also used to buy 100-200 gallons of petrol on budget day after tax increase announced

    Yes, I know technically illegal to store >x litres at home

    @BniC, Dennis
    Thanks

  11. I work with an ex HMRC chap of many years standing (at a high grade too). His view of Murphy is that he’s perceived as a total loon who the majority of inspectors don’t want to identify with or he’s a total loon they haven’t heard of. In other words, they (HMRC) regard him as a dangerous mendacious piece of dogshit.

  12. @Lizardking

    I remember a while back, Spud (who likes to claim such things) claiming that he knew Jim O’Harra ( chief executive of HMRC) personally.

    A claim somewhat spoilt by the fact that the guy’s name is Jim Harra.

  13. First, this was in the ‘Wild West’ days of 2005 when tax campaigning was in its very early days and adverse publicity for tax planning was unknown.

    You have missed this, the funniest bit: Murphy’s defence of his efforts to help luvvies and others avoid tax. He could do this because “tax campaigning” was in its very early days, apparently, so that’s OK.

  14. ‘Second, tax justice was never rewarded by HMRC for its work on this. The question as to why that did not happen is relevant’

    I’d concur with Murphy to a degree here actually – they should have been ‘rewarded’ – by having their details passed to the Intelligence Services to investigate their links with Hostile nations.

  15. And of course back then when he was helping clients do it it was called “tax planning”; now it is tax avoidance or even tax evasion, depending on which day of the week it is.

  16. “now it is tax avoidance or even tax evasion”

    I didn’t think he made a distinction between the two.

Leave a Reply

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