[Image: Alamy].

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of this Canary story is the fact that this situation has been ongoing for four years now – This Site reported that then-Chancellor George Osborne was going after hairdressers rather than tax-avoiding corporations, way back in 2013.

I wrote: “HM Revenue and Customs’ list of tax dodgers… is the list compiled by HMRC in response to public outrage against the tax-dodging schemes of large corporations like Starbucks, Amazon, the water companies mentioned in this blog before Christmas, Vodafone, Arcadia group and so on.

“Who do you think this list marks out as public enemy number one?

“A hairdresser from Liverpool.

“Apparently this person was scalped of £17,000 for deliberate default. Others include a knitwear firm, a wine firm and a pipe fitter.

“Meanwhile the amount of cash seeded away in offshore tax havens by the UK’s super-rich is estimated at £21 trillion. That’s 21 TRILLION – more than enough to pay all of our debts and put us back into surplus.

“There is only one conclusion to be reached: The Chancellor is using the HMRC list to laugh at us. He’s mocking the poor, who have to pay tax no matter what. He’s not going to level the playing field because that would harm his own profits and those of his friends.

“The Chancellor of the Exchequer is deliberately harming the UK economy.”

In the words of the current (God help us!) prime minister: Nothing has changed.

On Wednesday 25 October, The Financial Times reported [paywall] that big business potentially underpaid£25bn in UK taxes last year. And on the same day, HMRC released a report into another group of people it claims don’t pay the right tax. But these people could be your mobile hairdresser, your gardener, or even your friend who sell items on eBay.

This is because the government wants to crack down on what it calls the ‘hidden economy’. But when you compare this to the amount of tax corporations potentially underpay by, it seems like the government’s resources could be better allocated elsewhere.

Source: Forget the ‘£25bn big business underpaid’ in tax. The government is coming after your mobile hairdresser. | The Canary

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