Taxing Tax

That time of year when these gross government adverts will start again on TV in the UK is fast approaching and, although I promised myself I wouldn’t get into too much politics on this blog, I just can’t help myself on this one…

The UK’s HMRC (that’s like the US’s IRS) spends money advertising on TV and its adverts tell us that “Tax doesn’t have to be taxing.” For those of you not accustomed to our idiosyncratic ways of phrasing things, that means it doesn’t have to be difficult, or a struggle. Yeah, right! Gee whizz! I’ve just seen a pig flying across the sky!

They ask hundreds of apparently daft questions to which most normal people don’t know the answers – all designed to make sure that you pay your “fair share”. Naturally, if you make a mistake, they’ll assume you did it deliberately in order to cheat and they’ll no doubt be down on you like the proverbial ton of bricks. Of course, if the boot is on the other foot and they make a mistake (which they almost always do!), then do you think they’ll tell you? Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen, ‘cos you’ll suffocate!

However, there has been a (superficially subtle) change over the years. Actually, it’s one hell of a shift that has been quietly introduced and most people seem to have accepted it. I’m afraid, though, it’s yet another example of the thieving, cheating, snide way UK government and civil authorities have sneaked things in on the British public by stealth.

However, although there are endless examples of how something they want becomes the people’s responsibility, let’s just stick to the tax example for the moment, or this rant will become a jumbled torrent of pet hates that, although in my opinion are all valid, will make this post way longer than I imagine anyone would want to read.

So, once upon a time, you were taxed and you had to give the Inland Revenue (as it was then) the relevant information so they could tell you how much of your money they were going to demand off of you at (metaphorical) gunpoint. If you were an ordinary employee (which is, of course, most people) working for a company, then there was PAYE (Pay As You Earn) which forced your employer to steal a chunk of your money on their behalf before you even got it and hand it over to the government. Now, all that is true, but you additionally have to fill in a novella on all your earnings – including the £0.05 interest your bank has paid you for the one month in the year when you had more than a pound left in your account, but ignoring all the times you had to pay them for being inadvertently overdrawn when they took ten days to clear a cheque that should have taken ten minutes and in spite of the fact that the bank had by law to deduct tax from that £0.05 before it gave it to you!

And they have the bloody impertinence to produce an expensive advert (that we pay for) saying that “tax doesn’t have to be taxing” because, if you’re a good boy and fill in their small rainforest of paperwork in good time, they will work out for you what tax is due! What’s that supposed to mean? They are going to do that anyway in order to check if you owe them even a penny! Yet, if you don’t get it all in on time and get it right, they fine you!

On top of all that, once they have got your money, a huge chunk of it gets divvied up amongst the MPs and their families for “expenses” and they waste three quarters of what’s left on things most people don’t want or support! Then, they further tax your house, your car, your fuel, your power, your clothing and pretty much your very life!

What a load of useless sh*t these people are!

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