Qualified v unqualified
D Weston wrote:The whole qualified v unqualified argument is a total red herring.
I disagree, I think there is a lot to be said for clients cutting too close to the cloth on costs by using unqualified accountants.
Everyone has to start somewhere and an unqualified accountant can be a great asset to a practice given the right guidance and oversight.
An accountant on his/her own on the high street is just asking for trouble.
Equally, a qualified accountant with enough experience can stop clients doing stupid things like "mate down the pub" type tax dodges, because we know that clients are often their own worst enemies.
drakeltd wrote:Therefore perhaps PAYE should be abandoned (thus saving a figurative 50% of HMRC staff).
This could be counterbalanced by increasing VAT to discourage spending on consumeristic products, whilst keeping VAT on basic commodities low.
Unfortunately to completely withdraw PAYE would require the abolition of Income Tax, Employees NI and Employers NI.
This brings in about £200 billion (difficult to breakout non-PAYE figures from UK Tax Income), but this is versus £100 billion in VAT, so at a ballpark you would have to triple VAT and even at 60% would only be revenue neutral if UK consumers made no behavioural changes to avoid / evade VAT.
I suspect the channel ferry companies would be sold out until doomsday even at £1,000 a head.
I don't deny that cancer sufferers are genuine claimants...
But if cancer sufferers are inconvenienced to weed out hundreds of thousands of fraudulent claimants, then my apologies, but although unfortunate, it is a fact of life and also a condition of receiving welfare since Beveridge.
Can't have it both ways...
glynisbm wrote:I agree there are some fraudsters out there but according to PAC and NAO benefit fraud makes up less than 1% of the total benefits bill.
It is already acknowledged that a vast number of DLA claimants withdraw their claims before ATOS assessment and equally of those who appeal 60% might very well be allowed, but a further 40% of appeals are rejected.
I accept that genuinely disabled claimants are being put under the spotlight, but this is only to weed out the fraudulent who are undermining the whole basis of the welfare system.
Regardless of the fact that fraud may or may not make up 1% of the whole welfare bill, it is still fraud and such fraud (going undetected) is cumulative, year-after-year for as long as the fraud exists...
1% of the welfare budget is still billions of pounds every year!
Utter [email protected]#%!
glynisbm wrote:The ATOS/DWP contract is fatally flawed in that the service level agreement makes little or no provision for ATOS to pay penalties as pointed out by the Public Accounts Committee....you really could not make it up!
I carry no torch for ATOS, who are simply following the process laid down by the DWP who raised the contract in the first place.
That the DWP is trying to get millions of claimants off the Disability Living Allowance et al and onto Jobseekers Allowance where they will have to explain their efforts to find a job on a weekly basis (formerly fortnightly) is simply a recognition that too many people have been getting away with this dodge for too long, certainly since St. Margaret of Thatchers day.
I have some sympathy for the genuinely disabled, but there are far too many slackers who are able to fake/deceive medical professionals with unverifiable or self-inflicted medical complaints.
Why should I get up at 6AM, 5-days-a-week and give up nearly 50% of my hard-earned money so that some poorly educated slacker can get up at lunchtime, watch Sky TV, then bugger[***] off down the pub.
Their sole skill being the ability to wheeze upon demand and accurately describe the medical condition that they are faking to a nurse or GP?
Do me a favour, I wasn't born yesterday, even if you were...
The problem here...
johnjenkins wrote:Leave the donkey work to us. Meaning trust us HMRC. Then all HMRC has to do is investigate and collect. That way, in a few years, HMRC will become a lot more efficient as they would only have to concentrate on checking us instead of trying to implement systems that they heven't a clue about.
The problem here is that most taxpayers are unrepresented and pay tax via PAYE, so even if the above did apply, it would only apply to a minority of taxpayers (although probably a majority of tax contributed).
Equally, HMRC have always maintained that the only way forward on this particular issue comes down to agent accreditation, a subject which gets the blood boiling amongst the profession.
Typical civil service mentality...
Perhaps the only way to fix this broken system is to privatise tax collection so that unionised idiocies such as those involving the PCS and bureaucratic idiocies can be removed.
Equally, thanks to the badly handled merger between IR and HMC&E which created this monstrosity, the vast majority of experienced tax specialists are now outside HMRC, having been made redundant or given early retirement.
They know the current culture and its failings well enough to refuse to return to HMRC, but they might work for a privatized agency. Nothing that HMRC does is so different or specialised that it couldn't be undertaken by a 3rd party.
Heard of Magna Carta?
tomriv801 wrote:Here in the u.s., bounty hunters are strictly licensed and controlled.and are paid on commission. - what about that for an alternative.
Fortunately for the UK, our tax authorities have to have actual evidence of evasion before HMRC are allowed to "Send the boys round".
In the interests of fairness...
Oppco wrote:Why have the politicians squeezed the life out of HMRC?
It wasn't the politicians (excluding the idiotic merger of IR with R&C to create HMRC in the first pace) but the management that squeezed the life out of HMRC.
The retirement / voluntary redundancies program that followed the merger sucked all the expertise out of HMRC, leaving the remaining, mostly clerical staff adrift without adequate support in tax matters.
HMRC management since the merger have staggered from one crisis to another, exacerbated by attempting to apply one-size-fits-all "business solutions" such as pacesetter and process improvement on top of an inflexible and massively bloated tax code.
The only reason that tax revenues haven't collapsed is that the majority of collection is done by business through PAYE, VAT, CT, etc.
Unlike HMRC businesses suffer financial penalties for mistakes so their staff tend to be far more qualified, knowledgeable and professional than most of the HMRC staff, who are little more than call centre agents following telephone scripts and quoting HMRC manuals chapter-and-verse without any knowledge of the underlying tax statutes, legal precedent or even accounting basis.
I bet my original district inspector is spinning in his grave.
memyself-eye wrote:Still with the personal allowance now rising to sensible levels most of the small fry miscreants would probably not actually be earning enough anyway.
Fair point, although I'd be more worried about VAT evasion than income tax evasion.