Come and be Immoral with Me!

Sep 3, 2012


There has been a long tradition that taxpayers have the right to pay the correct amount of tax according to the law.

The recent comments by ministers about cash payments to traders and the tax affairs of Jimmy Carr left me both sad and very annoyed. That sadness comes from the desperate level the country has reached when its laws are not enough to collect the right amount of tax, it has to resort to embarrassing its citizens and disclosing confidential information about their tax affairs. Of course they may have advanced notification that the tax receipts for July were not as high as expected, adding to concerns about public borrowing. Tax receipts are only one side of public borrowing, the other side is public expenditure. There are many clients I meet who do not object to contributing to health, welfare, defence and security of those less fortunate than themselves, but they do object to the wholesale waste in the public sector.

My anger is with the assertion that receiving a payment in cash means that you are not paying your taxes. Tescos, Sainsburys, Asda, and Morrisons must have some thoughts about this. When did paying cash for something become immoral? The sheer arrogance and ignorance of this view. According to a government report there are over 1m adults in the UK who do not have a bank account. How are they to buy the services of a tradesman? The huge growth in the pawn broking, same day and payday loan companies who all operate in cash are further evidence of the state of the finances of our citizens.

We have also turned on those, such as Vodafone, who create wealth, income and pay huge amounts of taxes, just because they don’t pay very much corporation tax. The amount of national insurance and VAT they pay would keep many small cities alive for years.

I am committed to helping clients pay the correct amount of tax, according to their situation, not because they think it morally right to do so. There are enough charities to donate to if you feel you have not paid enough tax.

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