HMRC is continuing with its anti-evasion publicity campaign, “closing in on undeclared income”, through targeted advertisements on over 3,000 billboards in public spaces.
The basic poster is perhaps tacky and to some eyes a little sinister in terms of implicit State Surveillance, but clamping down on evasion has got to show the idea is in the right place.
I was delighted to see that the website had a link saying, “Remember you can get independent advice”.
When you click on this however, you get a list consisting of:-
–          Tax Aid
–          Citizens Advice Bureau
–          GOV.UK setting up
–          Business Finance and Support
The latter entry cross refers to getting public finance for business and GOV.UK.  Bearing in mind the problem highlighted in the (inherently unauthorised) use of public finance through not paying tax, it would seem the latter two sources are inherently unsuitable for independent advice on such tax problems!
Further, assuming the tax problem is large enough to make it worthwhile having an expensive, publically funded publicity campaign, the first two organisations are also inappropriate as they focus on small matters and those who cannot afford professional advice.
As an advisor, I am forced to ask, why is there no mention of real independent tax advice, through qualified professionals?  It seems insulting to qualified professional advisors, who seek to act ethically, that they are not mentioned at all as “independent advisors” but obviously rank behind “family and friends” in terms of expertise, according to the GOV.UK article.
Bearing in mind the recent consultation on so-called ‘High Risk Tax Providers‘, it appears that there is a running theme of mistrust of the profession from HMRC which does not bode well for the future of tax advisory work.

1 thought on “HMRC "closing in on undeclared income"

  1. HMRC are a servent of the state, their views and internal guidance notes may have some influence upon them but in the end it is the legislation and the courts that matter.
    The voters should make sure that they exercise their influence upon the rules that they wish to live by. Otherwise they are under the control of unelected civil servants who may be motivated by justifying their own position, or advancement.

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