Seems the majority on here, who know a thing or two about economics and running companies, disagree with you.
If you're as disrespectful to your leave-voting clients as you are to those on this forum, I suspect a few of them may leave you.
"After all, the computer cannot make decisions, it can only do what it's program is set to do". Quite so. But the computer is programmed by a computer programmer, who might not be considered to be an officer of HMRC (or indeed, might not even be an empoyee of HMRC at all, but a contractor). In that case, it seems to me that the decision wasn't taken by an officer of HMRC.
Agreed, the government needs to do more to control our population. As well as limiting immigration, it needs to persuade people to have fewer children. Can't see it happening though - governments generally tend to do things that get them re-elected, rather than what's best for the country. And a growing population implies a higher proportion of younger tax-paying workers, which helps them keep taxes down. The UK is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe, and England is now _the_ most densely populated (except Malta, which is a bit of a special case, being a small island with avery attractive tax regime). At some time, growth has to be stopped, and ideally reversed.
But not every taxpayer has an accountant - and letting them work out their own tax codes and refunds may cause some, er, conflict of interest.
In 10 years of contracting pre-IR35, I only ever came across one person who left permanent employment and then went contracting with the same company. If IR35's purpose really is to stop this (it isn't, of course), it seems to me it's a solution to a non-problem. IR35's real purpose was to stop contractors paying themselves dividends free of NI, but rather than do this by some simple means (e.g. dividends paid to shareholders who were also employees of closed companies should be subject to NI, or a supplemental tax at the same rate as NI), HMRC and the Labour government introduced the cack-handed employment status tests we have today. The sooner IR35 goes, the better.
As far as I know, there's no legal requirement for the Internet to exist. Although unlikely, it's possible it may one day cease to exist, or become so spammed-up as to be unusable. I don't see how HMRC can require you to file on-line if there's no statutory underpinning for the required infrastructure.
Family taxation seems fairer
Separate taxation can lead to the anomaly where two families with the same gross income pay different amounts of tax. Both wage-earners on £30k per year: basic-rate tax only. One on £52k a year, spouse on £8K, and a large wodge goes in 40% tax. A consistent tax regime for families, or the ability to transfer excess income to a lower-taxed spouse could help eliminate this.
I hadn't intended my post to be taken too seriously. As a confirmed Linux-lover, I had my tongue firmly in my cheek when I posted.
I'd have added a tongue-in-cheek smiley if I knew what one looked like.
Are there any benefits?
"Are there any benefits to be derived from this activity by the perpetrators? "
Only that it might lead to the eventual demise of Microsoft.
Is that a crime?