Should we learn a lesson from this ?
Mass murderer Derrick Bird was tipped over the edge by a major tax investigation into an undeclared £60,000 which he feared would see him sent to prison, it was disclosed last night.
Increasingly desperate and drinking heavily, he became embroiled in a bitter dispute with his twin brother David who was the first of his 12 victims.
Bird, 52, killed brother David then family solicitor Kevin Commons, who he thought was colluding to cheat him out of his mother's £96,000 inheritance.
He wanted the money to clear his tax demand which exceeded £10,000 after the Inland Revenue caught him with £60,000 in undeclared and untaxed earnings in a bank account, a friend said last night.
Fellow taxi driver Mark Cooper said: 'All he said was that they had caught him with £60,000 in the bank. He said, "They have caught me with £60,000 in the bank, the tax people". He just said, "I'll go to jail".
We know how threatening HMRC letters can be.
We know how HMRC refuse to allow time to pay.
We know the stresses this can cause.
We are all guilty of underestimating it's effect on clients because we have "seen it all before".
But, if the above report is true, is it time for HMRC's methods to be changed. Is it possible that 12 people died because of a £10,000 tax demand? Do we really understand just how desparate such demands can make people?