Share this content

Is it time to stand up and be counted?

We all know that HMRC are getting more and more power and we all know that they don’t always use that power in the most responsible way, but what can be done? Accountants and tax advisers are not known for rolling up their sleeves and painting banners, but perhaps now the time has now come to get away from the desk and make your views known. Anybody interested? Anybody got ideas to make a better tax system?



Please login or register to join the discussion.

09th Jul 2009 13:40

I might be wrong
Hi yes hello.

Please excuse me, me memory is not so good these days...... but was it you who posted on here about susaning your previous

Gotta go, i think the News of the World might be touching me up, either that or its Benny, or Gina or the hairy one?

Chow for Now

Thanks (0)
09th Jul 2009 14:33

dont make crass assumptions
Nick you assume a lot. Just like you assumed that your former accountant was to blame for YOUR ineptitude in your tax investigation and bad mouthed him for no particular reason.

Many accountants spend a lot of time lobbying for change for the tax system, taking part in consultations on their own time because they actually care about what they do.

Don't lecture about what you don't know. Sorry I forget - you are a journalist. Making up things is what you do for a day job.

I should point out as an aside you are the only person who has ever made me feel sorry for HMRC staff.

Thanks (0)
By zebaa
09th Jul 2009 15:37

Another question not answered then...
Is is just me or does there seem to be a lack of any answer to the question? Perhaps it is grumpy men ( it does not read female) in a hot sweaty office.

Could the tax system be better? Yes. Will it be done anytime soon ? No. Not least because HM gov will need all the dosh - and more - that they can lay their hands on and any big change now would be a distraction.

Thanks (0)
09th Jul 2009 16:40

The Heart of the Question
HMRC could generate MORE money for the government by reforming the system. A clearer, more simple tax system would encourage more people to pay the correct amount of tax and that system would also allow tax inspectors to be both more efficient and competent.

HMRC should be run on more commercial lines, with greater levels of transparency and accountability.

I have a simple idea and it’s this: ask investigators to log their hours on a case file. That way it would be easy to calculate how much each case was costing the taxpayer to process.

Most tax advisers in the commercial world do this, so why should it be different for HMRC?

What do you think?


Thanks (0)
09th Jul 2009 16:51

Legal Action
Yes "Tony". I think that any tax adviser or accountant who tells a client to go before two HMRC investigators unrepresented deserves to be sued.


Thanks (0)
By zebaa
09th Jul 2009 18:24

Most tax 'just' gets paid
By which I mean the money is paid over, with little interaction from HMRC. Consider PAYE, as long as the tax and NI is paid ( or at least some of it ) HMRC are unlikely to come looking. In fact as these taxes have a yearly return it is possible for an employer make the wrong payment 11 out of 12 times. Only if the year end figures don't tally do you have a problem. With vat, as long as it looks correct it can be several years between visits. I understand HMRC take a view as to the nature of business and incorrect past returns as well as other items in deciding how often they visit. It can be arbitrary. With self employment things are different again.

The use of computers is making big changes, with again less face to face interaction. Fine in my opinion, its when you get someone with less than useful amounts of training that problems start.

As to making tax ' commercial ' the idea is, sadly, misplaced.

Thanks (0)
10th Jul 2009 09:33

"Yes "Tony". I think that any tax adviser or accountant who tells a client to go before two HMRC investigators unrepresented deserves to be sued."

But you where not actually even a client of this accountant that you libelled on here previously?

It also depends on the question. If the question is "can I go unrepresented?" the answer is "yes you can".

If the question is "is it sensible to go unrepresented?" the answer will be different.

Thanks (0)
10th Jul 2009 09:50

I asked an architect I knew ...
... whether I could build my own home without using him. I couldn't believe it when he said that I could. How cool and what a saving! Imagine my surprise when it turned out that my lack of formal training and qualification meant that I was really rubbish at it. How stupid do I feel now?! Still I will probably sue him and write a book on the experience ... its an ill wind as they say.

Thanks (0)
10th Jul 2009 10:38


Hi yes hello

Please accept my apologies on this matter, i had no idea you had a letter of engagement with your previous accountant, i assumed
it was just passing advice..... sorry.

I might sue my dad for telling me that too much you know what makes you go blind! I have perfect 20/20 vision, i must be doing something wrong.

Keep up the good work, i am sure Moira deserves horns & a tail.

Chow for Now

Thanks (0)
By Moltke
10th Jul 2009 11:04

Sorry Nick, but stop boring us...
We already know that HMRC resources are not focussed properly, we already know that the staff are badly/not trained, badly managed etc with the result that the organisation is corrupted…their staff even know it themselves. We know how bad things are, and not just with Officers fabricating anything convenient to increase their enquiry settlement. It is this government who created this “organisation” in full knowledge of its deficiencies and policies, also passed the law.

Demonising a popular media celebrity in a cheap HMRC attack is not clever and doesn’t win you friends.

If you want a story, publicise the people who have had their lives destroyed by HMRC failing to follow the law or abusing their powers.

Thanks (0)
By Anonymous
10th Jul 2009 11:41

I had a client
once who decided to go to an investigation meeting unrepresented to "save money"...yup you've got the self build house it all went horribly wrong ...

If you think we're taxed now wait until 20/25 years from now...this is one way ticket and will be as long as all those clever medical bods keep on finding ways of extending our already far too long lives even further..

As for lobbying..don't you get the point of this government..??....they don't want to listen to people who talk sense...they'd much prefer to pay zillions to "consultants" to tell them exactly what they want to hear..."yes Gordon our 678 page report entirely justifies your decision to abolish the 10p rate of income tax" "yes Alistair its a brilliant idea to slash the VAT rate to 15% oh and heres my bill for £1000000 by the way..."

Or am I just getting old?


Thanks (0)